A new source of electrical power - fuel cells - has come out of the laboratory to power a tractor.
A new source of electrical power - fuel cells - has come out of the laboratory to power a tractor. Researchers of the Allis-Chalmers Company built the cells and installed them in a tractor designed for research experiments.
A mixture of fuel gases - largely propane - is fed into the cells. More than a thousand fuel cells are installed in the engineless tractor.
Chemical reactions within the cells produce electricity which is conducted through a controller to a standard 20-horsepower motor.
With the controller, the driver easily regulates the tractor's speed and can reverse its direction. The fuel cells produce 15 kilowatts of electricity, giving the tractor enough power to pull a plough.
Fuel cells of the future could - it is believed - provide power for homes and factories... possibly even for space vehicles and rockets.