The 20-tonne operating weight Komatsu HB205 offers fuel savings of up to 41 per cent and a 10kg per hour reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions compared with an equivalent diesel-only excavator.

21062011NewHybridExcavatorsSetsTheBenchmark-(1).jpgThe key to the Komatsu HB205's dramatically reduced fuel consumption and emissions is its breakthrough diesel-electric drive system

It uses an electric motor to drive the machine's swing function and to recover energy during the swing-braking phase of the machine's operating cycle.

The use of recoverable electric power for the swing function has allowed Komatsu to build the machine with a four-cylinder diesel engine in place of the six-cylinder diesel in Komatsu's popular diesel-only PC200 excavator.

Komatsu Australia managing director Sean Taylor said the new HB205 confirmed Komatsu's ability

to deliver technology-laden earthmoving and mining equipment with a successful blend of tangible environmental benefits and commercial viability that was second to none.

"Komatsu uses technology as a mechanism for change," Sean said.

"Modern equipment must be more fuel efficient and produce fewer emissions, while delivering increased productivity for operators.

"Komatsu targeted the 20-tonne operating weight range for its first hybrid excavator to help achieve a substantial impact on fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions in the largest construction machine market segment."

The Komatsu Hybrid System in the HB205 uses an electric swing motor, power generator motor, capacitor and139 horsepower diesel engine.

Komatsu developed its revolutionary hybrid system to work on the principle of swing-energy regeneration and energy storage.

The kinetic energy generated during the swing-braking phase is converted to electricity, which is sent through an inverter and then captured by the Komatsu-developed Ultra Capacitor.

This captured energy is then discharged very quickly, to power the next rotation of the machine's superstructure.

Komatsu's Ultra Capacitors are used rather than the nickel-metal hydride batteries employed in most hybrid cars to provide fast energy storage and instantaneous power transmission.

In tests comparing the standard PC200LC-8 hydraulic excavator to the Hybrid HB205, the hybrid model reduced fuel consumption by approximately 25-40 per cent, depending on the application.

Komatsu's Sean Taylor is calling upon governments to begin advocating the use of environmentally sustainable machinery in future infrastructure developments.

"We believe the provision of funding for future projects needs to be contingent on developers being able to demonstrate their environmental responsibility.

"Hybrid technology significantly reduces the impact of equipment on the environment, without adversely impacting the economic feasibility of a project," Sean said.

The HB205 excavator includes the latest KOMTRAX technology, which sends critical machine-operating information directly to the machine owner's desktop.

Data such as operating hours, fuel consumption, machine location and machine utilisation are relayed to the web application for analysis, no matter how far the machine is from the owner.

The KOMTRAX fleet monitoring system increases machine availability, reduces the risk of machine theft and provides a wealth of other information to drive business efficiency.