Electric container handlers save energy

electric Hyster The second electric Hyster in development features a large lithium-ion battery and two fuel cells. Photo: Hyster

Testing of Hyster Europe electric container handlers has found that energy consumption reductions of up to 15% can be achieved.

The two laden container handlers are being developed for the Port of Los Angeles. The first electric Hyster is powered by a large lithium-ion battery, which is charged by a high-power, wireless fast charger. The second electric Hyster also features a large lithium-ion battery, but is recharged by two onboard fuel cells during operation.

Proving an update for TOC Europe, project leader for Hyster Europe, Willem Nieuwland, said: “The energy recovery achieved by the container handlers in test is more than expected, largely due to the full flow hydraulic energy recovery. Energy consumption reductions of up to 15% are expected compared to trucks without these systems.”

Battery only

The first electric Hyster will be used by an operator at the Port of Los Angeles. Hyster expects that the “battery only” approach will suit applications with a medium-duty cycle where there is suitable energy infrastructure and a strict charge management regime for opportunity charging.  “It will not suit larger fleets due to the high demand on the electricity grid, or where multiple trucks are charged at the same time,” said Mr Nieuwland.

Fuel cell technology used alongside the lithium-ion battery in the second electric container handler better suits the challenges of the test site at Fenix Marine Services in the port and other heavy-duty terminal operations.

“The use of hydrogen reduces planning complexity or charging. Continuous operation is possible as long as hydrogen is available from the onboard hydrogen tanks. Even where refilling is required, this is only expected to take around 15 minutes,” explained Mr Nieuwland. Plus, the battery can also be charged during lunch and other breaks to minimise refuelling requirements further.”

In addition to cutting operational emissions, the container handlers offer high levels of accuracy and control to boost productivity, alongside reduced noise levels and energy costs.

Reachstacker
Hyster Europe is also developing an electric reachstacker featuring hydrogen fuel cells for the Port of Valencia, as part of the European Horizon 2020 programme and H2Ports project. The MSC Terminal Valencia (MSCTV) will be the first terminal in Europe to incorporate hydrogen energy in its operations.

The company has recently introduced a spreader support device option for its empty container handlers that helps eliminate a stage in the inspection process.

By using the Hyster spreader support device, the spreader holding the container is firmly locked in place at a height of about 1.8m. This means containers no longer need to be set down for inspection, enabling quick and thorough inspection of the containers.

The support device secures the spreader with mechanical locks from both sides of the mast. The mechanical locks prevent the spreader and container from dropping.

Hyster Europe is also now offering a lift truck with an attachment that can easily move a 40ft container into a workshop with narrow door, and then rotate it. Inside the workshop, the attachment allows the containers to be placed in a row ready for repair. After repair, the containers can be removed in any order regardless of their position in the row.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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