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Revolutionising Agriculture: The Atlas Project's Quest for Sustainable Farming


In the ever-evolving landscape of agriculture, the need for sustainable and innovative technologies has become paramount. The Atlas Project, spearheaded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre's APC21 round, is set to revolutionise the agricultural sector through advancements in vehicle propulsion technology. With a focus on CNH Industrial's tractors, this ambitious project aims to bring about positive change by introducing a groundbreaking high-energy-density fuel storage system powered by cryogenic liquid methane and innovative vaporization techniques.

The Driving Force: Atlas Project's Propulsion Technology

Building on the success of a previous project that featured a 132kW tractor powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), the Atlas Project's primary goal is to develop a larger, more efficient 199kW engine. This engine is fuelled by a cutting-edge fuel storage system that utilises cryogenic liquid methane. This breakthrough not only enhances the tractor's performance but also contributes significantly to reducing environmental impact.

The Role of ETL: Integrating Thermoelectric Generator Units

Integral to the Atlas Project is ETL, a specialist in solid-state semiconductor thermoelectric generator units (TEGs). Their expertise lies in integrating these units into the tractor's exhaust system, thereby enhancing energy efficiency. The project's deliverables include the sales of a unique, optimised TEG energy recovery system and the validation of TEGs in harsh off-road environments, emphasising vibration resilience and intellectual property generation.

Key Deliverables:

Project Goals:

The Atlas Project is not only focused on technological advancements but also on broader goals that align with sustainable farming practices:

  1. Project Delivery: Successfully deliver the project within the designated timeframe, setting new standards for innovation in the agricultural sector.
  2. Brand Awareness: Increase awareness of the project's technological breakthroughs, positioning it as a leader in sustainable agriculture.
  3. Industry Leadership: Aspire to establish leadership in the industry by showcasing the efficacy and practicality of the implemented technologies.

The Potential Beyond Agriculture: ETL's Thermoelectric Devices

While the Atlas Project is based on agricultural advancements, the impact of ETL's thermoelectric devices extends far beyond. These devices hold the potential for various high-temperature cooling applications in industries such as medical, oil and gas, and more. They can control sensitive instruments in extreme environments and enable energy harvesting from pipelines and downhole sensors.

Looking Ahead:

The Atlas Project, with its visionary approach and collaboration with the Advanced Propulsion Centre, sets the stage for a new era in sustainable farming. The project's timeframe, from January 11, 2023, to July 23, 2025, promises a significant leap forward in agricultural technology. As a part of APC's commitment to promoting advanced propulsion projects, the Atlas Project is not just a venture; it's a commitment to a greener, more sustainable future for agriculture. Stay tuned as we witness the transformation of farming through innovation and dedication.

European Thermodynamics

Here at European Thermodynamics Limited are working on projects that help the UK towards a net zero future: Hilux FC Project and ATLAS Project.

The Hilux FC project is part of a £73 million investment for green collaborative research and development which brings together a consortium of industry leaders in which we will assist in developing a hydrogen fuel-cell Hilux in the UK.

Additionally, we are supporting CNHI in the ATLAS project in which we will support with development, prototyping, and scaling of thermoelectric devices and systems for demonstration for the world's first liquid fugitive methane-powered tractor.