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Articles from CONSTRUCTION PLANT & EQUIPMENT (464 Articles), LOADERS (450 Articles), EXCAVATORS (428 Articles)

The 35-tonne HB335LC-1 features the same ultra capacitor-based slew-energy regeneration system as Komatsu’s proven 20-tonne Hybrid excavators.
The 35-tonne HB335LC-1 features the same ultra capacitor-based slew-energy regeneration system as Komatsu’s proven 20-tonne Hybrid excavators.

Hybrid benefits extended to 35-tonne excavator class

Komatsu Australia has announced the global release of the HB335LC-1, a 35-tonne version of its award-winning Hybrid excavator.
The HB335LC-1 features the same Komatsu-designed ultra capacitor-based slew-energy regeneration system as on Komatsu’s proven 20-
tonne class HB205-1 and HB215LC-1 Hybrid excavators.

The first commercially available hybrid excavators on the global market, Komatsu’s Hybrid range was released locally in 2011. There are now more than 40 hybrid excavators sold in Australia and more than 2000 units operating around the world.

According to Amber Rickard, Komatsu Australia’s national business manager for construction, the release of a 35-tonne class Hybrid excavator was a logical development for Komatsu, particularly in the Australian market.

“Our initial Hybrid range was developed around 20-tonne class machines because that is where the largest sector of the market is globally,” Rickard said. “However, in Australia, where the 35-tonne class is the larger market segment, it made a lot of sense to bring the benefits of Komatsu Hybrid excavator technology to this size machine.”

Rickard said that due to the success of the Komatsu 20-tonne Hybrid and the demand for 35-tonne excavators in the Australian market, Komatsu Australia was selected to host the global release of the Komatsu 35-tonne Hybrid excavator and recently handed over the very first HB335LC-1 in the world. “Our customers have been asking for a 35-tonne class Hybrid excavator ever since the release of the HB205-1 and HB215LC-1 – and Komatsu has delivered,” she said.


Like Komatsu’s 20 tonne-class Hybrid excavators, the new HB335LC-1 Hybrid combines a number of unique features to deliver fuel savings and environmental benefits. It combines Komatsu’s ultra capacitor with an inverter, motor generator and electric swing motor and the engine, all optimally controlled to suit the work situation.

The electric swing motor/generator captures and regenerates energy as the upper structure slows during slew operations, converting it into electrical energy. This regenerated energy is stored in the ultra capacitor, used by the electric swing motor to rotate the upper structure and also utilised by the generator/motor to assist the engine when it needs to accelerate, reducing fuel consumption and operational costs significantly.

Rickard said the HB335LC-1 would bring significant fuel saving and CO2 reduction benefits to 35-tonne class excavators. “Depending on application, customers will see an average fuel consumption saving of 20 per cent from our new 35-tonne Hybrid excavator,” she said. “We expect this saving to be greater in certain applications, similar to those seen in our 20-tonne class Hybrid excavators.”

Rickard said over the past two years, Komatsu Hybrid users throughout Australia had achieved significant savings in fuel consumption, compared with equivalent Komatsu conventional excavators.

“Conventional Komatsu excavators are recognised as being among the most fuel-efficient on the market, and Komatsu Hybrid owners have been saving thousands of dollars a year in diesel costs,” she said. “Over this same period, Hybrid owners have seen the same high levels of reliability, production and performance they are used to with conventional Komatsu excavators.

“This means purchasers of Komatsu Hybrid excavators can do so secure in the knowledge they are investing in a fully proven concept that has successfully logged millions of operating hours worldwide since its initial launch in selected markets in 2008.

“Komatsu is strongly committed to environmental conservation and also dedicated to developing new and innovative products that improve performance and efficiency, and the Komatsu Hybrid excavator is the perfect combination of these ideals.

“Komatsu really does lead the way with Hybrid excavators and also has the added benefit of technical expertise and experience in Hybrid excavator technology spanning more than a decade.”

In a Hybrid excavator, a standard diesel engine is combined with a generator and electric motors, allowing engine output to be converted into electrical and hydraulic energy.
In a Hybrid excavator, a standard diesel engine is combined with a generator and electric motors, allowing engine output to be converted into electrical and hydraulic energy.

In a Komatsu Hybrid excavator, a standard Komatsu diesel engine is combined with a generator and electric motors, allowing engine output to be converted into both electrical and hydraulic energy.

The result is that energy conversion and transmission losses are reduced, while kinetic energy developed by the machine’s upper structure during slew braking operations is regenerated.

This is achieved through a Komatsu-designed ultra capacitor that stores electrical energy. Using electrons and ions for charging and discharging, it allows for instantaneous discharge of electricity and, therefore, efficient recovery and storage of regenerative power.

The Komatsu Hybrid electrical system consists of three main components: 
1. An electric generator motor.
2. An electric swing motor generator.
3. A Komatsu-designed ultra capacitor with inverter. 

The generator motor is positioned between the engine and hydraulic pumps, the electric swing motor generator is used in place of the hydraulic swing motor and the inverter/ultra capacitor is used to rapidly convert and store  electrical charge.

The electric swing motor generator uses electrical power from the inverter/ultra capacitor or the generator motor to drive the excavator upper structure during the swing function. During the deceleration or swing braking phase, the electric swing motor generator converts kinetic energy back into electrical power and returns it to the ultra capacitor via the inverter.

The generator motor generates electric power with engine torque to drive the swing motor or to charge the capacitor when necessary. 

The inverter rapidly converts electricity from either the electric swing motor generator or the generator motor, from AC to DC for storage in the ultra capacitor and from DC to AC to supply the swing motor or generator motor for engine assist as required.

The engine assist function of the generator motor gives the Komatsu Hybrid excavator the ability to provide power on demand, utilising only the engine rpm required for the operation. 

It also enables an ultra-low idle speed of 700 rpm.

The Hybrid system is separate from the conventional excavator electrical system. It is double insulated and contains numerous in-built safety devices to protect the user and also the system from damage. It is designed to require minimal maintenance and all Hybrid components come with a special four year/10,000 hour warranty.

Apart from the Hybrid system, Komatsu Hybrid excavators are basically the same as conventional Komatsu excavators, offering equivalent performance in breakout force and operating speed and operated in the same manner.

Source: Komatsu Australia

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