Hybrid excavators come to North America

Kerry Clines

December 1, 2009

RO51-KomatsuKomatsu America Corp. says its new hybrid PC200LC-8 excavator is the first to enter the North American market. The 20- to 22-ton machine provides 138 horsepower, has an operating weight of 43,643 to 47,260 pounds, and features a 0.66- to 1.57-cubic yard bucket capacity.

The excavator uses a newly developed electric swing motor, power generator motor, capacitor, and diesel engine. The hybrid system works on the principle of swing energy regeneration and energy storage. The kinetic energy generated during the swing braking phase is converted to electricity, which is sent through an inverter and then captured by the capacitor. The captured energy is then discharged quickly for upper structure rotation and to assist the engine when accelerating under work load conditions.

In tests comparing the hybrid to Komatsu’s standard excavator, the company said the hybrid model reduced fuel consumption by approximately 25 to 40 percent, depending on the application.

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