Setting New Trends: Volvo Hybrid Hydraulic Technology
Hybrid technology has been around for decades in the automobile industry. You may not believe it, but the first hybrid car was actually introduced back in 1899 by Porsche. The introduction of Ford’s automobile assembly line in the early 1900s led to an increase in the production of gas-powered vehicles, thereby making hybrids obsolete for nearly half a century. But the hybrid resurgence in the 1970s has only grown in the decades since — and now, this efficient technology is taking hold in the construction industry.
At Volvo Construction Equipment, we’ve always been at the forefront of conceptualizing and designing new machines that push the boundaries of efficiency while maintaining impressive power and productivity — and the new hybrid hydraulic technology we’re launching on our EC300E excavator is no exception.
When you hear “hybrid,” you may think of a complicated system that takes hours of operator training, electrical components that must be monitored and replaced when worn, and so on. But with our unique hybrid technology, this isn’t the case at all.
How it works
How the EC300E Hybrid Excavator Works
A Simply Reliable Hybrid Excavator Design
The concept is incredibly simple. We take the energy generated by the boom-down motion, capture it hydraulically, and use it to assist the boom-up motion, which is where you need most of the pressure and power during operation.
We do it by mounting a hydraulic accumulator just behind the boom, and as the boom goes down, the high-pressure oil that you use to retard the boom dropping goes into the accumulator instead of being routed to the tank. This gives the accumulator a high-pressure charge that’s then routed through assist motors and put back into the cylinders on the upswing. The entire process is controlled automatically — the operator isn’t required to do anything. He simply sees a small symbol on the dash that tells him when his accumulator is charging and discharging.
With this hybrid hydraulic technology, we’re not generating electricity or installing batteries and storing it. It requires minimal components — there are no electronics to program and no control systems other than system monitoring. Maintenance is also very simple because the system is essentially a combination of hydraulic flow and valves.
The biggest difference between our hybrid concept and those of our competitors is that we use the up and down motion of the boom to capture free energy. Other systems typically use the swing motion and capture energy that way. With Volvo, our customers are able to capture the energy of a typical loading cycle, which is really where we’re optimizing the system to work.
Lower fuel costs, reduce emissions
Volvo EC300E Hybrid Excavator
Volvo EC300E Hybrid Excavator
What do our customers get from this novel concept? By taking a load off the engine, the machine delivers up to 15% lower fuel consumption during normal operation. And as an added benefit, customers get a 12% decrease in CO₂ emissions when compared to a conventional machine.
When used in high production dig and dump applications, the fuel-saving payback is approximately two years — and all with no loss of performance. In the end, our customers win with lower operating costs, plus they’re able to decrease their impact on the environment. As more project owners take into account environmental factors and more governments pass clean air regulations, being able to demonstrate that your equipment reduces harmful emissions could help you win more jobs.
As with any Volvo excavator, the boom, arm and frame come with our Lifetime Frame and Structure Warranty. And as a new machine purchase, it’s also covered by ActiveCare Direct, meaning we’ll monitor the hydraulic assist system for our customers and ensure it’s working properly.
This unique hybrid hydraulic technology we’re launching on our EC300E excavator is exciting — but it’s only the beginning. You can look for Volvo to expand it to future excavator models over the coming years.
(“Setting New Trends: Volvo Hybrid Hydraulic Technology” was used on 2/10/2021 from https://volvoceblog.com/setting-new-trends-volvo-hybrid-hydraulic-technology/)