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DEUTZ Introduce World's First Hybrid Power Unit For Construction Equipment

Leading engine manufacturer DEUTZ has developed a unique hybrid power unit for construction equipment that is designed to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

DEUTZ claim that their new hybrid drive has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30%.

The drive unit is the mild hybrid type, consisting of a DEUTZ four-cylinder diesel engine, an electric motor, a battery and a control unit. The electric drive serves to assist the main diesel engine drive.

Constantly energised when the engine is running, the system creates electrical energy that is stored within a lithium ion battery pack when asked to operate as a generator.

In response to high engine loads, the system reverses its operating mode and turns into an electric motor.

Doing so enables the system to supplement diesel power by taking stored battery power to assist the engine in driving the machine's hydrostatic transmission.

The electrical system provides a nominal 15kW output, with a peak capacity of up to 30kW, almost doubling the power of the DEUTZ engine.

The hybrid drive has been developed in conjunction with Heinzmann, a well-known manufacturer of engine control systems and a long-term DEUTZ partner and supplier.

A prototype unit has already been fitted to an Atlas Weyhausen wheel loader. While the standard AR65 loader is powered by a 68hp DEUTZ TCD 2011 diesel engine, the hybrid version has been replaced by a smaller 50hp D 2011 non-turbo-charged oil cooled version.

Unlikely to reach full commercial production until 2010, the electric motor/generator is situated where the engine's flywheel and flywheel housing is normally located.

The hybrid power unit has the following functions:

  • Start and stop: automatic engine stop during idling phases, automatic engine start in the case of continued operation, the usual starter is omitted.
  • Power boost: in the case the power peaks, the electric unit is cut in.
  • Battery charging: if the diesel engine has excess power, the electric unit can charge the battery while operating as a generator.
  • Recuperation: part of the braking energy is refed into the battery by the electric unit.
  • The hybrid drive is easy to fit, can be integrated with different types of DEUTZ engines and retrofitted to existing systems.

Currently, all functions on the Weyhausen loader's equipment side are still hydraulically driven. The next step will be to power the loader totally by a full hybrid drive system, delivering eventual emission-free operation.

Said DEUTZ UK National Sales Manager, Keith Andrews: "With similar hybrid technology in cars and commercial vehicles bringing fuel savings of up to 30 per cent, we are pioneering its potential in the construction equipment sector. Going hybrid has to be the way forward if we are to reduce rising fuel costs and help lower harmful CO2 emissions at the same time."

As one of the world's leading independent diesel and gas engine manufacturers, DEUTZ produce around 286,000 units annually, with a turnover in excess of EUR 1.5 billion.

It has an overall engine range extending from 9kW to 500kW, with models suitable for wide variety of markets and applications, including the construction, quarrying, mining, materials handling, agricultural, groundcare, industrial and airport ground handling equipment sectors.

DEUTZ engines are widely used in excavators, wheeled loaders, access platforms, compactors, cranes, crushers, screeners, compressors, lift trucks, tractors, ride-on mowers, chippers, shredders, gensets and other off-highway mobile plant.

Full sales, service and product support is available through the DEUTZ UK centrally located Cannock facility, supported by a dedicated nationwide team of factory trained Service Engineers, equipped with a fleet of mobile workshops, together with a network of specialist appointed local distributors.