Late in 2009, Komatsu America introduced the first of ten Hybrid PC200LC-8 excavators into the U.S. market to test the innovative equipment that was designed to reduce environmental impact by saving fuel and reducing green house emissions. On March 11, 2010, representatives from Komatsu, along with representatives from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the
office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the contractor Griffith Company, and Savala Equipment Company, Inc.—which has been using a Hybrid PC200LC-8—gathered for a demonstration of the hybrid excavator at work at the Port of Los Angeles.
The Komatsu hybrid excavator is one of a number of other kinds of “green” machines that the Port of Los Angeles has introduced or tested, resulting in reduced diesel emissions that comply with a Clean Air Action Plan that was adopted in November 2006 by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
“We’re really in the process of seeing a complete transformation of this port as well as the trucking and construction industries,” noted Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board. “We’re actually cleaning the air one piece of equipment at a time, and the machine being showcased today and others are going to help us meet our goals of energy efficiency and diversification of the fuel supply.”
Brea-based contractor Griffith Company has seen positive results with the Hybrid PC200LC-8. Dan McGrew, VP of Business Development for the Griffith Company said that they were skeptical at first, but the hybrid excavator “surpassed all expectations while using 30% less fuel.” McGrew noted that the hybrid excavator has a shorter cycle time than a conventional excavator, and concluded, that Komatsu’s Hybrid PC200LC-8 is a “fantastic machine.”
There are 700 of Komatsu’s hybrid excavators already in use at construction sites in China and Japan. “Komatsu’s decision to apply its engineering excellence to the largest construction machine segment clearly signals our commitment to developing environment-friendly equipment,” said Dave Grzelak, chairman and CEO of Komatsu America Corp.
Powered by the Komatsu Hybrid System, the Hybrid PC200LC-8 uses a newly developed electric swing motor, power generator motor, capacitor and diesel engine. Komatsu developed its revolutionary hybrid system to work on the principle of swing energy regeneration and energy storage using the Komatsu Ultra Capacitor system. Komatsu’s Ultra Capacitors provide fast energy storage and instantaneous power transmission.
In tests comparing the standard PC200LC-8 hydraulic excavator to the Hybrid PC200LC-8, the hybrid model reduced fuel consumption by approximately 25-40%, depending on the application.
Editor’s Note: Site-K Construction Zone and the ACP magazines have been covering the introduction of the Komatsu Hybrid Excavator since its introduction in November of 2009. If you are interested you can click here to review previously posted and published articles.