EnviroRent: Hybrids Continue to Hurdle the Hype

Jan. 1, 2010
As part of its goal to address increasing global environmental concerns, Komatsu America delivers its first hybrid excavator in North America.

Komatsu America Corp. recently introduced its Hybrid PC200LC-8 excavator to the North American market at an event held at Montemayor Construction headquarters in Elgin, Ill. The new Hybrid PC200LC-8 is designed using hybrid technology to deliver fuel savings, power and efficiency, while reducing the environmental impact as compared to Komatsu's standard excavator model.

Komatsu developed the new hybrid excavator as part of its goal to meet increasing global environmental concerns through the development of innovative equipment designed to reduce environmental impact, including CO2 reduction. By developing a successful hybrid excavator in the largest construction machine segment (20 to 22 ton), Komatsu's green technology will have a substantial impact on saving fuel and reducing green house emissions.

“Komatsu's decision to apply its engineering excellence to the largest construction machine segment clearly signals our commitment to developing environment-friendly equipment,” said Dave Grzelak, chairman and CEO of Komatsu America Corp.

Powered by the Komatsu Hybrid System, the Hybrid PC200LC-8 uses a newly developed electric swing motor, power generator motor, capacitor and diesel engine. Komatsu developed its hybrid system to work on the principle of swing energy regeneration and energy storage using the Komatsu Ultra Capacitor system. Komatsu's Ultra Capacitors provide fast energy storage and instantaneous power transmission.

The kinetic energy generated during the swing braking phase is converted to electricity, which is sent through an inverter and then captured by the Ultra Capacitor. This captured energy is then discharged very quickly for upper structure rotation and to assist the engine as commanded by the hybrid controller when accelerating under work load conditions.

In tests comparing the standard PC200LC-8 hydraulic excavator to the Hybrid PC200LC-8, the hybrid model reduced fuel consumption by approximately 25 to 40 percent, depending on the application.

At a key ceremony held at the event, Grzelak turned over the keys to the first Hybrid PC200LC-8 excavator delivered in North America to Joe Montemayor, president of Montemayor Construction.

“We look forward to trying out the new technology,” Montemayor said. “We try to stay up-to-date with what's new in the marketplace.”

Montemayor Construction is a private company established in 1988. It specializes in underground and heavy highway construction. Montemayor's customers include the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Tollway Authority, O'Hare and Midway Airports, and a variety of Chicagoland counties and municipalities.

Komatsu North America is based in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

The Hybrid PC200LC-8 excavator was introduced to the Japanese market in June 2008, and has been successful in reducing fuel consumption. In addition, Komatsu introduced the Hybrid to the Chinese market in August last year.

Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., a global manufacturer and supplier of construction, mining and compact construction equipment.

Submit green products and technologies, and sustainability innovations for consideration in EnviroRent to Brandey Smith at [email protected].

Sustainability initiatives and green building products are a burgeoning segment of the construction industry. Find out about the latest efforts made by OEMs, as well as the latest innovations and resources for the rental industry.