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Superior Compact Electric Wheel Drive
A new, more efficient and compact electric wheel drive will save fuel, reduce maintenance and improve service. Introduced initially for use with self-propelled sprayers, the drive features an electric motor with higher power density. That means a smaller motor can do more in all types of applications.
  “Increased power density is particularly helpful in agricultural equipment where power needs are relatively high, yet available space is limited,” says Massimo Palomba, Bonfiglioli Riduttori, an off-highway transmission supplier. Bonfiglioli, in cooperation with Magneti Marelli Powertrain, an electronic control component maker, developed the new hybrid wheel drive.
  In sprayer drive wheels, the more powerful electric motors fit inside existing, formerly hydrostatic drive wheels. Instead of the engine driving hydraulic pumps, it drives a generator, with power delivered to each wheel motor as needed. Unlike hydrostatic motors, electric motors can be overloaded when more torque is needed simply by delivering more current. This is especially relevant for agricultural use where high torque may be only occasionally needed, such as in soft soil or turning up an incline. Electric wheel motors also provide the opportunity to generate power traveling downhill or braking.
  “Each wheel’s torque can be independently controlled,” says Palomba. “Combined with enhanced conversion efficiency from engine to wheel over traditional powertrains, preliminary tests suggest a 20 percent improved fuel efficiency with the new electric wheel drive.”
  The increased power is due to a special stator design using a non-traditional conductor to fill stator slots.
  “The new design is practically size neutral,” says Palomba. “There’s demand for efficient electric wheel drives across a range of applications.”
  He adds that the more efficient motor may require a smaller engine than otherwise would have been needed. Other benefits include greater serviceability due to the mechanical simplicity and improved reliability. Resulting lower maintenance costs, along with fuel savings from improved efficiency, may reduce total operating cost.
  Contact:  FARM SHOW Followup, Bonfiglioli USA, 3541 Hargrave Dr., Hebron, Ky. 41048 (ph 859 334-3333; www. bonfiglioliusa.com)

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4