Hybrids vs. Tier 4


by Adam Hailey - Director of Global Design Engineering On Apr 5, 2018, 03:00 AM

Hybrids vs. Tier 4

What if you combined a Ford F150 work truck with a Tesla electric car? Chances are, it would perform similar to the Genie® fuel electric hybrid Z®-60/37 FE articulating boom – powerful and efficient.

There are many upsides to today’s advanced hybrid models, far beyond the obvious of tackling a wider range of applications – both indoor and outside. It may surprise you, but there are significant advantages to the design when it comes to performance and maintenance simplicity. If you are in the market for a new articulating boom and are comparing diesel-powered against hybrid options, don’t automatically tilt the scales in favor of the traditional diesel model.

Emissions – Keeping It Simple
Depending on the power rating, Tier 4 engine designs can be significantly more complex than those powering hybrid models. To meet emission standards, Tier 4 engines can include a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst, exhaust gas recirculation and/or selective catalytic reduction technology. These electronic engines are much more complicated to work on, requiring an experienced service tech that undergoes extensive training.

Horsepower determines what, if any, aftertreatment is required to meet emissions regulations, and there are multiple Tier 4 power thresholds requiring different aftertreatment options:

  • Under 25 hp – no aftertreatment required
  • 25-49 hp – minimal level of aftertreatment required
  • 50-74 hp – more extensive aftertreatment technology required
  • 75 hp & up – complex combination of aftertreatment solutions required

The engine power rating of the Genie Z-60/37 FE boom is 24 hp. We picked this on purpose. Not only does the small engine deliver the power to operate the boom functions by itself or when combined with battery power, but it requires no aftertreatment to meet emissions regulations.

It’s a simple mechanical engine. This increases the number of technicians that can work on the engine, so you will have more flexibility with scheduling the repair. Also, it often can be fixed much more quickly, so the boom is back out in the field making money.

More Power (and torque)!
Hybrids vs. Tier 4Hydrostatic drive systems found on diesel booms have been around for years. They offer great performance with low maintenance. Yet, they are highly inefficient.

An electric-over-hydraulic drive system includes pump efficiency losses, inline flow and pressure inefficiencies and hydraulic motor efficiency sacrifices. Bottom line, these stacked inefficiencies rob power and torque from the drive system.

The drive found on some hybrid booms, like the Genie Z60/37 FE model, features AC direct drive motors. Providing power directly to the motor eliminates the efficiency losses of hydrostatic drive systems. Electronic traction control of the four-wheel drive system constantly monitors each drive motor for wheel slippage and diverts power to the other wheels with traction when slippage is detected.

These maintenance-free drive motors are fully sealed so you can power wash the machine, run them through mud or even submerge the motors under water — just like you can with a diesel unit. When operating these hybrids on rough terrain, the oscillating axles and four-wheel drive result in less traction loss, so these units can climb grades just as steep as their diesel-powered counterpart.

These are but a few of the many advantages offered by the fuel electric hybrid design when comparted to a Tier 4 diesel-powered equivalent model. So, if you have been hesitant about purchasing a hybrid model or adding one to your rental fleet, don’t be. Just like any other equipment purchase, consider the application needs for the machine and don’t think of the hybrid system as a limiting factor because it isn’t.

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