Robust Hybrid Technology: A “Must Have” in Today’s Rental Fleets
by Zach Gilmor - Product Manager On Mar 5, 2020, 03:00 AM
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Responding to worldwide demand for high-performance yet environment friendly aerial access equipment, and to increasingly stringent emissions and noise regulations, particularly in European markets, hybrid technology today, especially in rental equipment fleets, must be able to perform a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications, increasing utilization rate for rental businesses and decreasing cost of operation for end users.
Main applications for hybrid boom lifts in today’s market include:
- Contract work
- Manufacturing Plants
- Convention Centers
- Sport Arenas
Robust hybrid solutions, like the Genie® fuel electric – or FE – boom lifts, offer “2-in-1” energy-efficient solutions that keep jobsite productivity high and maintenance and operating costs low.
Eliminating Wasted Energy
Genie fuel electric (FE) – hybrid – technology is a revolutionary new approach adapted to the latest emissions and noise legislation, as well as customers’ demand for efficient, high-performance access solutions that meet today’s environmental regulations.
By no longer requiring the operator to manually operate the generator, as is the case in a bi-energy hybrid model, today it is the machine itself that decides when the generator is needed. This simplifies operation and can improve battery longevity. With this innovative hybrid power technology, battery autonomy is extended by reducing wasted energy, using technologies such as regenerative braking. As a result, operators can work in electric mode for more than a full-day shift, without the need for a plug-in charge. In hybrid mode, this system ensures more than a week’s run time on a single tank of diesel.
Neither purely electric nor fully diesel, Genie hybrid FE technology marks the introduction of a new family of 100% hybrid-powered boom lifts. Putting an end to batteries that run low, it offers a “2-In-1” solution that is both environment-friendly and highly versatile to adapt to an extremely wide range of applications.
Understanding the Genie FE Hybrid Technology
“Serial” hybrid technology, the system used by Genie, is designed to optimize energy consumption in real-time. Whether used in diesel-powered hybrid mode or in new-generation 100% electric mode, this technology does away with wasted energy thanks to an “intelligent” power system that only utilizes the energy needed, which increases the machine’s power efficiency.
Genie FE boom lifts combine an electric motor, that also works as a generator when the machine is operated in hybrid mode, as well as a diesel engine. The electric motor/generator feeds the battery and drives a hydraulic pump that powers the machine’s lifting movements. The battery also powers the unit’s four AC drive motors that also serve as generators by recuperating energy produced during braking, which charges the machine’s batteries.
As applies to any electric-powered machine, the battery needs to be recharged but much less often than with conventional electric machines. The reason for this is that, when the machine is operated in hybrid mode, the diesel engine automatically takes over from the battery when the level of charge declines, driving the hydraulic pump directly and recharging the batteries.
The Benefits of a True 4x4 Hybrid
Thanks to their four independent AC drive motors, hybrid Genie FE boom lifts are the first and only machines of their kind to combine the powerful 4WD all-terrain abilities of diesel-powered solutions with the emissions-free benefits of electric powered machines.
While providing more traction than a traditional 4WD diesel machine, thanks to their two interchangeable modes of operation, these boom lifts only use the fuel and electric energy they need, which increases their cost-efficiency. Equipped with a new “Intelligent” AC wall charger that monitors the battery state of charge to provide exactly the right amount of power needed, the hybrid system utilized by these models also analyses the battery charge cycle, prolonging battery life.
Increasing productivity, the machine recaptures the energy produced when braking or descending inclines to help maintain its level of charge, which maximizes the time the machine spends working in full electric mode. Even the hydraulic system is specially designed and adapted to increase efficiency.
Last but not least, the hybrid system continuously maintains the battery level of charge while the machine is in operation to offer a low consumption of less than 65 litres (17 gallons) of diesel per week.
The machines’ ability to manage and regenerate electric power makes them a true 100% hybrid solution that combines exceptional performance and battery autonomy with the same or better drive capabilities as conventional all terrain, diesel-powered work platforms.
Versatility Indoors, Outdoors and in Urban Areas
In response to current environmental demands, for work in city and town centers, these machines can perform a multitude of tasks without CO2 emissions or noise, making them an ideal solution for work non-stop indoors and out, even at night.
They are well suited for work indoors, such as in departmental stores, museums and convention centers. For applications in outdoors, such as being used in city centers, hybrid boom lifts provide the ability to work non-stop on jobsites where electric power is not available. The flexibility that today’s Genie hybrid FE technology offers for varying aerial jobsite applications makes it a “must have” in rental fleets.