Monarch Tractor announced its latest patent for a vehicle in the form of a tractor that features a mobile power conversion and distribution system. The system is showcased on Monarch Tractor’s prototype unit, deemed the Alpha Prototype, a Monarch Tractor concept that was developed and deployed for testing through a Powering Agriculture Grant from USAID.
“In order to meet the increasing global food demands in a sustainable manner, new tools and approaches are needed to support the farming community,” says Monarch Tractor CEO Praveen Penmetsa. “Compared to traditional tractors and generators, the Alpha has shown success in providing significant cost benefits while increasing the utilization of clean energy in farming.”
With the Alpha Proto, Monarch has developed a multi-purpose shareable mobile power delivery system for agriculture. Consisting of a power module integrated within a tractor, the Alpha Prototype system provides mobility, rotary power and electrical power from a single zero-emission platform. Based on a now-patented power electronics architecture developed by Monarch Tractor, the prototype tractor collects power from solar panels, wind turbines or intermittent electrical grids, stores that power in an on-board battery, then delivers it on demand. The Alpha Prototype can be rented, tracked and updated via cell network, resulting in increased year-round utilization compared to a traditional tractor. It’s flexible, extensible and scalable. The Alpha’s power modules can be tied together to form a micro-grid with scaled-up output capability; it is both a “Swiss Army knife” for agricultural power and a platform for local innovation.
“The successful completion of a year-long test program in India has proven the technical viability, business feasibility and, most importantly, adoption in Indian farming communities, says Penmetsa. “Our success in the very challenging Indian environment coupled with the issuance of the patent will see an acceleration in our efforts.”
Monarch Tractor is currently developing the next model, the Beta Prototype, which will incorporate additional innovations in sensors, software, energy storage and propulsion technology.