PRIN 2022 / Alberti


Acronimo: OPTeAGRI
Titolo: Innovative solutions for the optimal development and use of electrified machines in agriculture
Responsabile scientifico: prof Luigi ALBERTI - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale-Università’ degli Studi di PADOVA
Coordinatore: prof. Lorenzo COMBA- Università degli Studi di Torino
Partner-Unità di ricerca: Università degli Studi di Bologna, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale-Università degli Studi di PADOVA
Bando: PRIN 2022 - Decreto Direttoriale n. 104 del 02-02-2022
Durata: 12/10/2023 - 13/10/2025 (24 mesi)
Budget totale progetto: € 259.348,00

Abstract del progetto

The challenges prescribed by the EU Green Deal and Farm2Fork strategies are pushing farmers to increase the productivity and the efficiency of their practices. In this context, the electrification of agricultural machinery is a challenge that is increasingly attracting the attention of the sector players. Indeed, the transition from conventional systems to electric drives can lead to relevant benefits, the main of which are the complete integration with the precision farming systems and the enhancement of implements energy efficiency, which will lead to a reduction of the environmental impact of agriculture.

The goal of the OPTeAGRI project is the study of innovative solutions for the optimal development and use of electrified machines in agriculture. The project will involve a wide set of new electrified implements (a seeder, a sprayer, a tedder, a ditcher, a leveller, and a leaf remover), powered by a 700 and 48VDC external power generation prototype for tractors, which is applied to the front 3-point hitch and energized by the PTO. A key point of the project will be the real-data driven approaches that will be adopted in all the main planned analysis. To this aim, implements work cycles will be evaluated on the base of a CAN-bus data monitoring campaign in uncontrolled real operating conditions. Then, machinery data acquisition will be extended to a wider set of parameters developing a multi-source sensing system and performing an experimental campaign based on detected work cycles. All data acquisition tasks will involve conventional implements and the set of innovative electrified implements, developed within previous research projects. Throughout the project, a comparative analysis between conventional and electrified machines will be performed, and it will involve Life Cycle Costing (LCC), Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), reliability analysis, and stakeholder interest analysis. The study of energy performance and the identification of the most advantageous operating conditions will be a crucial phase of this work. Finally, the optimal architecture for implements electrification will be investigated, together with the sizing of motors, transmission systems, drives and electric actuators, by developing new real data-driven calibrated modelling frameworks of the selected tractor-implements systems.

In addition to the expected increment of the overall efficiency of the tractor-implements system, the electrification will enable new valuable features, such as enhanced precision agriculture tasks or predictive maintenance. The outcoming modelling frameworks will be the key element for extending digital twin and virtual sensors techniques to the considered electrified implements. Results from the project will thus foster the full exploitation of the potential of electrification, favouring the application of the 4.0 paradigm within the agricultural sector, with benefit for manufacturer, farms, customers, and the environment.