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Heavy Construction Equipment Going Hybrid

By Anonymous

Jun 16, 2008

Think "green building" and what advances come to mind? FSC-certified wood or LEED credits, perhaps. Think again. Try heavy machinery.The construction equipment industry is going hybrid, with Japan's Komatsu being first to a product.

It's an excavator named . The hybrid excavator costs $50,000 more than its $200,000
fully diesel counterpart. But, with its new electric motor, the PC200-8 reduces fuel consumption an average of 25%, with some users reporting a 41% savings.

The hybrid excavator works by piggy-backing energy from one part of the machine to the other. It captures energy when the upper structure (the turning shovel part) of the machine reduces its speed, much like a hybrid car. It then uses the energy to power the accelerating engine. As well, the hybrid lowers energy consumption while idling by keeping the revolution of the upper structure super low.

The fuel economy could translate into big savings. Komatsu's non-hybrid excavator uses more than 4 gallons of diesel fuel an hour when it's doing heavy digging. The hybrid would cut consumption to 3 gallons an hour or even less.

Expect to see industry leaders follow in Komatsu’s path. Not only does the hybrid save in gas expenses, but it’s prepared for future, more stringent emission regulations.

Volvo, and are planning to release their hybrid technology come 2009, and according to Senior Analyst Hiroshi Minami at Innovest, a watchdog of industry trends, #1 Caterpillar is most likely seeking the same diversification. They’re just being quiet about it.

This is what construction

This is what construction industry needed so badly, reducing the fuel consumption up to 25% is something any company would be trilled to achieve since this would lead to a considerable lowered costs. I think this kind of machines will have a strong influence on the future construction projects too, their number and size will continue to rise as long as the companies manage to make profits.

Heavy Construction equipments

Brilliant Idea......... i was always wondering as how much fuel these giant machines might have been consuming, Never thought that such machines can be converted as make hybrid machines, Every one really shounld follow this system and save fuel, and this will actually start a competition of making more efficient hybrid machines.

Handled by robots?

I love this construction Industry. Someday the construction maybe handled by robots. Thats what im thinking 100 years after. But for now we must live with selling this equipment. With the Komatsu and Caterpillar brand have made great construction.

I had been thinking about

I had been thinking about this idea as well. Since practically all vehicles are now converting into either hybrids or electrics, or drivers are putting gas saving in them, what about the heavy construction equipment? Even with their primary purpose in the construction industry, these vehicles still consume fuel. I definitely support these companies move to convert their heavy construction equipments into hybrids. I do hope they come up with full electrics soon.

komatsu equipment

Komatsu's non-hybrid excavator uses more than 4 gallons of diesel fuel an hour when it's doing heavy digging. The hybrid would cut consumption to 3 gallons an hour or even less. This information given by you to us is really good & i feel it will save lots of money.

And Caterpillar?

Finally they begin to do something. I hope, that the world´s biggest manufacturer will join the japaneses approach as well..

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