Excavator manufacturer Hyundai is working on an eye-catching alternative fuel project as other leading excavator manufacturers around the world put new technologies to the fore. They are keen to help the aggregates industry invest in new technology.
Hyundai Construction Equipment is working on the development of excavators that can use hydrogen as fuel in partnership with Hyundai Motors.
The project is commencing this year with a target date for the machines being ready for market set for 2023. According to the firm, the use of hydrogen for fuel cells suits large quarry operations with heavy lifting requirements. This offers easier capacity expansion than for all-electric machines powered by lithium batteries.
The agreement is set to give Hyundai Construction Equipment (Hyundai CE) a leading role in the future hydrogen-powered off-highway equipment market. It will also put the manufacturer in a good position to secure a better place in establishing a global standard.
Hyundai CE signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding the joint development of hydrogen fuel-cell construction equipment with Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Mobis at its Mabuk Research Centre in Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do. Together, the three companies will look to develop medium/large-capacity hydrogen-powered excavators over the next few years.
According to the MOU, Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Mobis will design and manufacture hydrogen fuel-cell systems, including power packs. Hyundai CE will design, manufacture, and evaluate the performance of excavators.
Unlike conventional diesel engine-based equipment, hydrogen-based electric construction equipment uses electricity produced through the chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen as its power source, meaning no emissions of toxic gases into the air.
Hwang Jong-hyun, head of the R&D Division for Hyundai Material Handling at Hyundai CE, said: “With this latest agreement, we’ve prepared a foundation upon which we can secure core technology in hydrogen-powered construction equipment ahead of our competitors.
Hyundai Construction Equipment will do its very best to meet the challenges that lie ahead as countries around the world attempt to establish global standards in terms of certifying the performance of equipment and legislating relevant laws for the commercialisation of hydrogen-powered construction equipment, and play a leading role in the market moving forward.”
Volvo Construction Equipment claims that its forthcoming EC300E HYBRID excavator can improve fuel efficiency by up to 20%.
The company says that this is achieved through the excavator’s boom-down motion which charges energy-storing accumulators that are used to power the engine system.
It adds that this differs from other systems that capture the swing energy of an excavator’s superstructure to electrically assist the engine. Instead Volvo’s hydraulic hybrid harvests ‘free’ energy generated by the down motion of the excavator’s boom and uses it to supercharge the engine system.
The powerful and regular boom-down motions charge 20-litre hydraulic accumulators, which then deliver energy to drive hydraulic assist motors that help power the engine system. Volvo CE says there are the same levels of control and performance as the standard EC300E, including the ability to work in ECO mode and hybrid mode simultaneously.
This process is claimed to help the engine deliver up to 20% higher fuel efficiency, and up to 17% less CO2 emissions with no loss of performance. When used in production ‘dig and dump’ applications (especially those within a 90° swing) Volvo CE claims the payback of this approach can be a little less than two years.
It adds that the system requires just a few add-on components that are simple to maintain.
Caterpillar claims that its new 395 excavator benefits from new technology that helps increase productivity by 10% over the 390F model it replaces. Swing torque and stick force have both been upgraded by 10%, boosting cycle times while the larger buckets further increase overall output.
Doosan has launched the new DX490LC-7 and DX530LC-7 Stage V 50-tonne crawler excavators, said to offer significantly improved performance compared to the previous Stage IV models.
These new units are said to supply the strength and productivity needed for heavy-duty work such as large-scale earthmoving, moving rock, pulling down buildings, secondary breaking, loading haulers and pipeline projects found in quarrying and mining, highway, aggregates, demolition, utility and general construction projects.
To meet Stage V engine emission regulations, the DX490LC-7 and DX530LC-7 excavators are powered by the new Scania DC13 Stage V-compliant diesel engine, providing a higher power output of 294kW.
The Scania engine offers a new solution to exceed Stage V with super-efficient DOC/DPF+SCR after-treatment technology to ensure minimal emissions. Thanks to the new technology, maintenance of the diesel particulate filter (DPF) has been greatly reduced, with a claimed six-times-longer automatic regeneration interval (60 hours) and an ash-cleaning interval that is twice as long at 8,000 hours, compared with the previous DPF in the DX-3 generation machines. The operator is now able to see the amount of ash build-up in the DPF from their seat in the cab via the gauge panel and that a regeneration has been successful.
In the DX490LC-7 and DX530LC-7, the enhanced performance of the DC13 engine is combined with a Virtual Bleed Off (VBO) hydraulic system (D-Ecopower+) and the new generation Smart Power Control Technology (SPC3), providing a claimed overall fuel efficiency increase of 11%.
Increased pump capacity and the higher power of the engine produces up to an 8% increase in productivity, said to be the best-in-class performance in the 50-tonne market.
At the CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2020 exhibition in Las Vegas, USA (10-13 March) LiuGong showcased new and latest machines including new F-Series excavators: the 9018F, 9027FZTS and 922F.
Launched at BICES Beijing in September 2019, the F-Series is the sixth generation of LiuGong excavators. The F-Series platform allows for products to be adapted to suit different markets. It was designed for North America, Western Europe and China but is also suitable for emerging markets and is well suited to a variety of applications from construction and mining to forestry.
LiuGong’s new Stage V 856H and Tier 4 Final 877H wheeled loaders are further new standout models. The Stage V 856H was launched in Europe last April, while the Tier 4 Final 877H completes LiuGong’s wheeled loaders’ bucket capacity offering, making it complete from 1.91m³ to 5.42m³. It is already said to have received positive feedback from both LiuGong dealers and their customers.
Kevin Thieneman, LiuGong vice president and chairman of LiuGong North and Latin America, said: “We want to be the choice for customers who desire construction and material handling equipment that is affordable, reliable and can get the job done with the lowest total cost of ownership.”
This article first appeared on our sister website www.aggbusiness.com