Komatsu unveils hybrid-electric excavator at ConExpo

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Komatsu has developed a new more fuel efficient hybrid excavator that provides similar or better performance than 36-ton diesel rivals.

The HB3650LC-3 hybrid excavator was unveiled at the ConExpo in Las Vegas this Vegas and the company announced that due to the hybrid and total-vehicle-control systems fuel consumption in the vehicle was been increased by 20%.

Using an electric swing motor, the fully-electric hybrid system captures swing deceleration energy that would otherwise go unused. The energy from each swing cycle is stored in an ultra capacitor that in turn provides energy to power the swing system.

The diesel engine’s motor/generator is also able to charge the capacitor, if required, or increase engine revolutions for quick hydraulic response when the boom arm and bucket controls are activated.

Kurt Moncini, Komatsu America senior product manager, said, “The new 36-ton- class HB365LC-3 excavator is built for power and production first, with the considerable fuel savings an added benefit.

“We applied everything we learned when we debuted the HB215LC-1, the world’s first fully-electric hybrid excavator in 2011. Now, we have the perfect balance of performance and fuel efficiency.”

To meet EPA Tier 4 Final requirements, the 8.85-liter engine combines a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and selective catalyst reduction (SCR) system with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) to meet the NOx emission aftertreatment legislation.

As well as increased fuel efficiency, the unit delivers 200kW of power and includes an auto idle/auto shutdown system to limit idle time and save on fuel consumption.

Improvements have also been made in the cab, with an updated, seven-inch color screen able to relay machine data in a format for easy monitoring and incorporates a rearview camera display with gauges.

A high-back and heated suspension seat with updated adjustable armrests can be easily positioned, without the use of tools.

Operators are able to connect MP3 players and other digital devices to an auxilliary jack installed in the cab, while two 12V power ports provide a convenient way of recharging and powering the electronic gadgets.

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine, Off-Highway Annual, and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as ivtinternational.com, which is updated daily. Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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