Komatsu brings hybrid excavator to North America

  • 12-Jan-2010 03:52 EST
Hybrid_PC200LC-8_1.jpg

Powered by the Komatsu Hybrid System and finally being offered in North America by Komatsu America Corp., the Hybrid PC200LC-8 uses a newly developed electric swing motor, power generator motor, capacitor, and diesel engine.

With the new Hybrid PC200LC-8, Komatsu America Corp. says it "has raised the industry bar for hybrid technology and fuel savings" by delivering an excavator with power and efficiency, while reducing environmental impact as compared to its standard model.

Komatsu says its goal, as one of the top construction equipment manufacturers in the world, is to meet increasing global environmental concerns through the development of innovative equipment designed to reduce environmental impact, including CO2 reduction. To prove its sincerity, it believed it would have most impact on saving fuel and reducing greenhouse emissions by applying its hybrid technology to an excavator in the 20- to 22-ton (18- to 20-t) segment.

“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, 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 says its ultra capacitors provide fast energy storage and instantaneous power transmission.

The kinetic energy generated during the swing braking phase is converted to electricity that 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 workload 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%, depending on the application.

The hybrid excavator is powered by the turbocharged, air-to-air after-cooled Komatsu SAA4D107E-1, which provides 138 hp (103 kW). With an operating weight of 43,643 to 47,260 lb (19,796 to 21,437 kg), the hybrid has a bucket capacity of 0.66 to 1.57 yd3 (0.50 to 1.20 m3). It has the same working forces and performance levels of the conventional PC200LC-8.

Viscous cab damper mounts reduce vibration to ensure operator comfort, says Komatsu. A 7-in LCD monitor provides easy-to-read gauges and onboard diagnostics as well as displaying the rearview monitoring system for viewing the work area to the rear of the machine.

The Hybrid PC200LC-8 is also equipped with the latest KOMTRAX technology, which sends machine operating information to a secure website via wireless technology. Data such as operating hours, fuel consumption, machine location, and machine utilization are relayed to the web application for analysis. The KOMTRAX fleet-monitoring system is claimed to increase machine availability, reduce the risk of machine theft, and provide a wealth of other information to drive business efficiency.

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

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