Digital Throttle Gear Optimizer for Better Fuel Economy of Tractors 2005-26-066
Fuel consumption continues to be a major concern through out the tractor industry despite efforts to minimize it. Gear-Up-Throttle-Down (GUTD) technique to match the load during field operation with tractor is a well known practice for better fuel economy. But proper application of GUTD principle demands a good amount of experience from the operator to sense the minimum specific fuel consumption (sfc) zone for particular load and to select proper gear accordingly to maintain high work rate. Again trend for shifting to higher horse power segment by farmers of some developing countries like India without replacing the implements suitable for their small horse power tractor is a source of high fuel consumption due to implement-tractor mismatch. In this paper, design, development and dynamometer testing of a Digital Throttle Gear Optimizer (DTGO), which can act as a GUTD guidance system, have been discussed. Microcontroller, inductive type proximity sensors etc. were used to develop DTGO. A simple signal system was developed which acted as guide to the operator for optimum throttle-gear position at any load. During testing, under varying load condition, DTGO successfully identified minimum sfc zone for any load. Test results of DTGO have shown a maximum possible 10.69% fuel saving. Addition of real time clock with suitable program, which can adjust the engine performance database stored inside the microcontroller according to aging of the engine, can improve the system further.