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Volvo and Skanska begin testing Electric Site quarry; anticipating 95% reduction in carbon emissions

Volvo Construction Equipment and its customer Skanska have begun testing the viability of Volvo’s Electric Site concept at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry, near Gothenburg, Sweden. The system, which incorporates electric and autonomous Volvo machines, will run in a real production environment for 10 weeks—delivering an anticipated 95% reduction in carbon emissions and 25% reduction in total cost of operations.

The research project aims to electrify each transport stage in a quarry—from excavation to primary crushing, and transport to secondary crushing—although a negligible amount of diesel power will still be used.

Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry near Gothenburg in Sweden produces aggregates for construction purposes as well as for asphalt and cement. Production will run for 10 weeks and has been designed to achieve the same output as Skanska’s usual equipment.

The project has involved developing new concept machines, work methods and site management systems which together, form a complete site solution. New technology encompasses machine and fleet control systems and logistic solutions for electric machines in quarries.

Three rigid haulers, for example, have been replaced by eight smaller prototype HX2 autonomous, battery-electric load carriers to transport the material from the primary mobile crusher up to the secondary static crusher.

The prototype has advanced significantly since the HX1 (earlier post) was first shown to customers and members of the international press at the Volvo Exploration Forum in September 2016.

The HX1 was our proof of concept. Once we knew it was feasible, we updated the design requirements for the HX2 to incorporate shared technologies and components from the Volvo Group, such as electric motors, batteries and power electronics. Integrating a completely new drivetrain was crucial to take full advantage of the groundbreaking electromobility developments that are happening inside the Volvo Group. Another new feature is the addition of a vision system, which allows the machine to detect humans and obstacles in its vicinity.

—Uwe Müller, chief project manager for Electric Site at Volvo CE

The primary crusher on the Skanska site is loaded by the 70t dual-powered, cable-connected EX1 excavator prototype, which had not previously been seen by customers and press. The base machine for the EX1 is a Volvo EC750 model that has been upgraded to incorporate an electric motor in addition to the diesel engine.

The piles of material on the site are organized by the LX1, Volvo CE’s prototype electric hybrid wheel loader. The machine can deliver up to a 50% improvement in fuel efficiency, as well as significant reductions in emissions and noise pollution compared to its conventional counterparts. The LX1 is a series hybrid that incorporates a driveline that consists of electric drive motors mounted at the wheels, electric-driven hydraulics, an energy storage system, a significantly smaller diesel engine and new machine architecture, including a new design of the lifting unit. It is this combination that enables the substantial gain in fuel efficiency. The prototype—which has 98% new parts and a fundamentally new machine design—can do the work of a wheel loader that is one size larger.


The prototype—which has 98% new parts and a fundamentally new machine design—can do the work of a wheel loader that is one size larger.

#Winning.  Economics is everything, so this is bound to take off like wildfire.  Even if diesel-powered, the electrohydraulics will not consume power when not in motion so there will be substantial savings even if outside electric power is not available.  Conventional hydraulic pumps are moving fluid all the time, so the parasitic losses are substantial.

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