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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

We're pretty committed to zero carbon footprint around here (https://www.PrairieHaven.com). Lectric car (Tesla), couple lectric ATVs (Polaris EV), solar power, geo heat, lectric chainsaws, lectric toothbrushes, etc.

The last major consumer of petrol is the tractors, a pair of PowerTrac PT-1850 slope mowers that we use all the time for mowing, hauling, plowing, etc.

This is an all-hydraulic device, including the drive wheels. Two hydraulic motors are bolted in series to the driveshaft of a 65hp diesel engine. The engine runs at a (variable) constant speed.

I'm looking for ideas about how to approach this, with the first question probably being "is this feasible?"

My preliminary guesses are:

- yes, it's possible to bolt an electric motor in place of the diesel
- controls shouldn't be very complicated, as the motor will run at constant speed.
- there's a fair amount of space for batteries in the engine compartment (behind the driver)

Puzzlers:
- is it possible to extend range/regen with a flywheel?
- is it possible to stuff enough batteries into the enclosure for it to run 4-5 hours in a day, and recharge overnight?
- is this simplified by thinking of it as a conversion to an electric forklift or similar device?


Preliminary approach:
- find/select a designer to evaluate feasibility and do a preliminary design
- find/select a conversion vendor
- have a new PT-1850 (complete, but engine and fuel tank deleted) delivered to the conversion shop for build/test
- ship converted device here if it works out, or back to PowerTrac if it doesn't

There are a ton of us PowerTrac nutcases out there, running a wide variety of these tractors. I think an EV kit/conversion would take our world by storm.


That's my story and I'm sticking with it. :)
 
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