Komatsu Ltd. last week announced that the company is soon going to launch sales of the PC200-8 Hybrid excavator, the world’s first hybrid construction equipment.
The PC200-8 Hybrid is powered by the Komatsu Hybrid System which uses a newly developed electric motor that turns the upper structure, power generation motor, capacitor and diesel engine. Compared with the standard PC200-8 hydraulic excavator, the hybrid model achieves about 25-percent reduction of fuel consumption.
In May 2007, Komatsu launched the world’s first hybrid electric forklift trucks on the market. The company said it is introducing this hybrid excavator as it is our flagship construction equipment.
“As a leading company of the construction equipment manufacturing industry, we are determined to meet the needs of the time by practically proposing innovative equipment designed to reduce environmental impact, including CO2 reduction,” said Kunio Noji Komatsu president & CEO. “Our proprietary Komatsu Hybrid System converts energy generated when the upper structure reduces its speed while turning, stores the energy in the capacitor, and uses it to assist the power of the engine via the power generation motor when the engine accelerates.”
While standard equipment normally uses a hydraulic motor to turn the upper structure, for this movement, Komatsu has newly developed an electric motor for the hybrid. By using this electric motor, which collects energy generated when the upper structure's turns slow down, it has achieved a hybrid excavator.
And while standard construction equipment uses only diesel engines for power, the new hybrid excavator utilizes regenerated energy to assist the engine when it is accelerating, enabling the use of the engine in a low revolution zone with high-efficiency combustion. In addition, while the engine runs idle, the hybrid excavator keeps the revolution at a super low level, achieving significant reductions in fuel consumption.
The Tokyo-based company expects to produce 30 hybrid excavator machines in the first year of production, all in Japan.