Simple Volvo hybrid set to improve fuel efficiency by up to 17%

The EC300E Hybrids from Volvo CE are currently undergoing field tests at customer sites in order to validate the technology in real world applications, prior to their commercialisation.

Unlike other systems that capture the swing energy of an excavator’s superstructure to electrically assist the engine, Volvo’s novel hydraulic hybrid harvests ‘free’ energy generated by the down motion of the excavator’s boom and uses it to supercharge the hydraulic system.

The powerful and regular boom-down motions charge 20-l hydraulic accumulators, which then deliver energy to drive hydraulic assist motors that help power the hydraulic pump. There are the same levels of controllability and performance as the standard EC300E, including the ability to work in Eco mode and Hybrid mode simultaneously.

The EC300E Hybrid is said to deliver between 10-12% lower fuel consumption, up to 12% less CO2 emissions – and all with no loss of performance. When used in production ‘dig and dump’ applications (especially those with a 90-degree swing) the payback of this simple approach can be a little more than a year, said Volvo CE. The machine provides the same levels of controllability and performance that users would expect from the equivalent conventional machine, and up to 17% fuel efficiency improvement dependent on application.

The componentry is also simple, added Volvo CE, consisting of just a few add-on components that are simple to maintain.