An electric PTO, or power take-off, clutch uses power produced by a power source, such as a battery or engine, to operate other components of a piece of machinery, such as a pulley, belt or attached piece of equipment. Commonly found in trucks, tractors and similar machinery, a PTO clutch transmits energy from the power-producing component of the vehicle to a secondary piece of equipment or an accessory.
A large lawnmower uses a power take-off clutch to direct energy from the mower's battery to the blades so that the equipment cuts the grass as it is moving forward. This gives the driver control on when this application is in use, promoting safety, reliability and efficiency for the operation.
The clutch is just one component of the larger power take-off system, which also features other elements, such as pulleys, drive shafts, input shafts and gearboxes. All of these components work together to effectively operate secondary systems, features or accessories of a larger system so that the entirety of the equipment can operate using only the energy produced by the power source, whether it is a battery or a running engine. Not engaging the clutch results in the accessory or secondary system not operating, which provides complete control over when and how these systems are used.