Japanese firm introduces its first mass-produced hybrid wheel loader at Intermat 2015
HITACHI Construction Machinery Co. Ltd (HCM) have unveiled their first mass-produced hybrid wheel loader – the new ZW220HYB-5 – which has been developed as part of the company’s quest to manufacture its own eco-friendly products that use significantly less fuel than they did in 2010.
The new hybrid wheel loader incorporates the same 100% proven Hitachi technology used in Japan’s bullet trains and the company’s EH-Series dumptrucks. The ZW220HYB-5 machine’s four-cylinder engine powers a generator which produces energy to drive two electric travel motors.
When the machine is rolling or braking, it continues to store electricity in a capacitor. Under acceleration, the hybrid wheel loader uses energy from the generator and the capacitor, and so less revs are required when it reaches normal travel speed.
The control units are the key to the electrical power process and engine operation. For example, when lifting and loading automatically, HCM say the engine rev/min increase in respect of the load and there is no need to use the accelerator pedal.
There are four main benefits of the hybrid system: reduced fuel consumption; enhanced reliability and safety; less noise; and easy operation. The ZW220HYB-5’s hybrid system, say HCM, will improve fuel efficiency by up to 26% compared with the previous conventional ZW220 wheel loader. This reduces running costs and yet delivers the same level of performance.
The lifetime cost of the hybrid wheel loader is also reduced as less maintenance is required for the generator, travel motors and service brakes. Safety has been enhanced by an auto-braking system that allows the machine to travel downhill at a constant speed.
The ZW220HYB-5 wheel loader is also easier to operate. Using travel motors there are no jolts when digging or climbing uphill, while the drive and hydraulic systems are independent which helps deliver a higher performance.
The hybrid wheel loader has been tested extensively by HCM’s customers at quarrying and waste handling sites in Japan. Positive feedback has helped the development team to successfully fine-tune the ZW220HYB-5 before introducing it to the Japanese market.
‘HCM are constantly focused on enhanced customer satisfaction by developing the latest advanced technology,’ said Vasilis Drougkas, wheel loader product specialist for Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) NV. ‘Customers demand a high level of performance, reduced fuel consumption and a low cost of ownership – these represent the challenges for the future development of Hitachi wheel loaders.’