Crushing, Load & Haul, Other Products

Stevenson Aggregates behind the wheel of Volvo EC480EL hybrid excavator

The Volvo EC950E excavator promises next level safety, productivity, operator comfort and ergonomics, making it ideal for quarrying needs.

Stevenson Aggregates has taken the chance to operate the first Volvo EC480EL hybrid excavator to be used commercially in the world.

A subsidiary of Fulton Hogan, the experience of the business will be part of Volvo’s assessment of the product.

Regional sales manager at TDX, Volvo’s New Zealand distributor, Andrew Falloon, says that Fulton Hogan and Stevenson Aggregates are a good test-bed for technology aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

“Varied types of use, skilled operators and a company willing to innovate are what you need to assess new technology in a working environment,” said Falloon.

The EC480EL is Volvo’s largest excavator so far with a hybrid power system, utilising a system where as the boom lowers, a motor feeds energy back to the hydraulic pump via an accumulator.

Stevenson engineering operations manager Ross Ashby spoke on the suitability of the excavator’s work in Drury Quarry to the testing that is to be performed on the machine and the benefit of the hybrid nature of the equipment.

“Minimal slewing beyond 90 degrees means lower energy use and a greater amount of time, proportionally, in regeneration mode,” said Ashby.

TDX has reported expectations for carbon and nitrous oxide emissions to be down by more than 10 percent over the most efficient E series diesel-only excavator.

On site in fuel terms, this would equate to savings of more than 10,000 litres of diesel per year on the EC480EL hybrid, as opposed to a similar machine fulfilling the same role.

Hybrid alternatives are cropping up through other excavator manufacturers, although the EC480EL hybrid produced by Volvo stands out as competitors are mainly focusing on using the torsional force of the slewing of the boom for regenerative power, rather than the interaction of the hydraulic pump.

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