The idea of electric mobility has been talked about for a long time, but it is not just the automotive industry that is having difficulty putting it into practice. Quite the opposite is true in the material handler sector. Electro-hydraulic machines have been on the rise there for decades. Flexible solutions have made the last few mobility obstacles easy to overcome, and intelligent energy recovery systems have made it possible to double the savings.
This is the almost perfect solution for many applications. The important thing is individual adjustment and precise analysis of the demands to be made of the machine in use. At SENNEBOGEN it is Attila Troll, our electric solutions expert in the technical sales and distribution department that particularly takes care of this. At first glance, there does not seem to be much of a difference between private users and industrial applications. “The most important thing when considering whether an electric drive is the way to go, is always the efficiency in relation to the required versatility and mobility,”, explains A.Troll.
When the making the decision to replace established diesel machines with electric drive material handlers, customers are often initially concerned about a lack of versatility due to the cabled supply of electricity. We can confidently say this does not need to be the case. “With decades of experience, SENNEBOGEN offers a wide range of solutions for electrifying material handlers whilst ensuring that complete flexibility is maintained. The solutions range from the traditional cable drum to sophisticated ceiling power supply concepts or machines with diesel power packs which are just as good as their diesel counterparts.”
We always start with an analysis of the basic situation, verifying the ideal flow of materials, as this often identifies machines that do not need to move very much or that remain stationary with a lengthy attachment, and so are extremely easy to convert to using electric power.
Depending on how far they need to travel, electric material handlers can also be easily equipped with cable drums, meaning that the electricity supply is automatically carried with them along their route. Even long distances, for example the entire length of a port basin, can then be easily covered if the feed points are strategically well distributed.
“‘Covered’ is a good keyword,” says A.Troll. He is talking about the space-saving opportunities of a ceiling power supply – a concept that has proven reliable, particularly in halls, for recycling and sorting work for example, and has numerous plus points. Noise emissions are significantly reduced with the electric drive, and exhaust emissions disappear completely. Also, working inside the machines is a lot more pleasant for the operators thanks to the smooth electric engines.
“Basically, all our material handlers are also available with an electric drive,” explains Attila Troll, demand is rising steadily and across all sizes of machine. From the huge 895 E right down to the small 817 E, these machines with the E-Green concept have become established in the market. Requests for battery solutions are becoming more frequent. “Technically possible – not yet attractive to companies”: battery operated machines are currently very expensive due to the capacity of the batteries and the performance of the modules, as SENNEBOGEN machines are generally used for heavy-duty work. An interesting addition to clean, cable free electric material handlers are the so-called power pack solutions. Electric machines are supplemented by a small diesel generator. It is either installed directly into the machine in place of the counterweight, or attached as an additional module. Following a simple switchover, the machine can move to carry out all its functions without being restricted by cables, for example, traveling to maintenance outside the hall or bridging the gap from one feed point to the next. It is, therefore, very often possible to have an electric drive and versatility of use. In the end, the decision for or against an electric solution is always based on a comprehensive analysis and formulation of the customer’s basic situation and requirements.
“The most important thing when considering whether an electric drive is the way to go, is always the efficiency in relation to the required versatility and mobility”
It is well-known that they are many ways to reach a goal – our goal is to save energy, and, from the 855 machine category up, SENNEBOGEN offers an energy recovery system as standard. Depending on the type of machine, the Green Hybrid System can achieve energy savings of between 35 % and 55 %.An energy recovery cylinder mounted on the boom in between the two hoist cylinders offsets the weight of the boom in its function, significantly reducing energy costs by between 35 % and 55 %. This additional hydraulic cylinder stores the energy produced when the boom is lowered, in compressed gas cylinders stored in safe, closed sections at the rear or side of the machine. This accumulated energy is then available for the next lift. The principle can be compared to a spring being compressed and then releasing its energy when it is allowed to expand. The system is even installed in the world’s largest material handler, the SENNEBOGEN 895 E, where the system capacity is doubled thanks to the use of two energy recovery circuits. Up to 55 % of energy is saved in comparison to a traditional diesel hydraulic version.
The energy balance is perfected by the two systems working together. An electric machine equipped with Green Hybrid can reduce its energy consumption by up to around 50 %. “Every customer should bear this in mind - where it is practical to use a material handler equipped with Green Hybrid and/or an electric drive, this is absolutely what you should do, as the potential for saving cold hard cash is real”, concludes our expert Attila Troll.
Dr. Franziska Limbrunner