Heavy machinery the future is electric

Speaking of hybrids, we tend to think of cars. In fact, most probably we think of the Toyota Prius, which is an excellent hybrid vehicle that has earned its well-deserved reputation. The hybrids have found their niche due to fuel savings they achieve and that is always attached to an equally significant reduction in emissions. Also they get additional savings in terms of lifetime of motor (in a given period of time the combustion engine is less pray on), and for wear of certain components: The braking system substantially prolongs its duration since a good part of this task is performed by the electric braking mechanism also used as energy recovery system. Naturally the question arises: Can we move this large-scale, heavy machinery? Fortunately, many engineers have done before this question with a yes. Although they are unknown to the general public, and there are options in the field of heavy machinery to work vehicles hybrids. Doing a little searching on these issues, we can find some very interesting cases.

We are talking about a truck with a load capacity of between 360 and 400 tons, used in open pit mining. The truck has a diesel engine 90 liter engine, 20 cylinders in V, and 3650 horsepower, designed by the manufacturer MTU. The  same engine is used in some airports to move emergency electric generators. It can produce 2.7 MW.

Komatsu series E

Komatsu in 1996 began using electric propulsion systems for mining trucks. It has a number of trucks in this line, from the small family (730E) to the greatest of them (960E with an 18-cylinder diesel engine and 3500 horsepower engine), and all have electric drive systems.

Trucks (with electric drive) from other manufacturers in the mining sector, the truck offers the possibility of using a centenary system to improve performance and significantly reduce operating costs.

The manufacturer seems determined to continue investing in this line and, today, is providing updates and news trying to offer even better performance.

In presenting this bulldozer, although many details were not given, it does indicate some key facts: Its price is 20% higher than the conventional model (Caterpillar D7R). The estimated recovery time from the extra investment is 2.5 years. Fuel savings is obtained between 10 and 30%. With the same amount of fuel, you can move 25% more material than the conventional model.

Hybrid port cranes

The sector of heavy cranes (port cranes, overhead cranes) has also been able to see the advantages of using electrical devices. Some manufacturers already offer such cranes to customers.

Hybrid trains

Finally, other means of transportation that we have become accustomed to see electrified. In this case, the advance is the ability to use without overhead lines, but using a hybrid train (diesel / electric) instead of using traditional diesel locomotive. The Tango 730, which has recently begun to operate using this system. For now, it has been reduced nearly an hour the time spent on the journey of some routes.

In short, it appears that the field of heavy machinery begin to see the advantages of using hybrid mechanisms. In addition to the cases presented, we find hybrid wheel loader high capacity (technologies Hitachi L130, Caterpillar 6120B H FS), and other heavy vehicles known as bulldozers and even tugboats. The excellent results obtained make it increasingly more the number of manufacturers that are committed to these technologies, achieving a fuel savings and emission reduction levels several orders of magnitude higher than what a particular user can achieve when you decide to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle.