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Help inform a study

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Awkward Potato, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. Awkward Potato

    Awkward Potato Member

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    Hi Everyone, I'm new here and know very little about heavy equipment. I am reaching out because I am trying to provide feedback to academics modeling the battery sizes needed to create electric version of construction and ag equipment. This includes equipment like graders, excavators, tractor/loader/backhoes, wheel loaders, etc... I would like to check with people who actually use equipment to make sure the results pass the "smell test."

    There are a few ways to approach estimating how big a battery the equipment need. One is to have it match the amount of fuel used in a day. An issue here is that electric equipment doesn't use energy when idling, and the academics claim it's common to idle for 50% of the time the equipment is running (is this reasonable?). Another approach is to estimate how many hours a piece of equipment works and at how much hp, which I think gives energy usage. For example, a 110 hp rubber tired loader running at 70% capacity for 6 hours of a 10 hour day and idling for another 4.

    I am trying to focus on the most intense days. I assume that if equipment doesn't meet your needs on the most intense days, then it's not worth buying. For example, even though I only drive 20 miles per day on average, I want a car that can go 400 at a time. Another issue is if it's common to be unable to hook up equipment to a specialized charging station, something that might be installed at a "home base" if a company buys some electric equipment.

    If you can let me know how many hours you would need equipment to run and at what effort level (I know this may be hard to quantify), or how much fuel is used in a day with the amount of idling, I'd appreciate it. Or point out my assumptions are wrong or that I'm missing something critical.

    My goal is to make sure this study is realistic and not just academics saying dumb stuff that doesn't make sense in reality. All feedback is welcome, I really appreciate you helping out.
     
  2. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    your single best tool is a table of average fuel consumption.
    Diesels do not burn much idling. for example, my 1.9 liter VW TDI burns 0.10 gallons per hour of idling.
    When they burn fuel they are doing work. Diesel is also a predictable efficiency, at around 35%.
    A big excavator will burn 75 gallons a shift. The energy density of diesel vs battery will render the idea moot.
     
  3. treemuncher

    treemuncher Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    eatin' trees, poopin' chips
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    Once my equipment is fired up, the hydraulic oil MUST come up to operational temps prior to operations. This can be up to 45 minutes in winter temps or 5 minutes in summer temps of medium idle time with little or no operations, unless I use my diesel powered Eberspacher pre-heater. After that, I'm cranking out nearly 100% of available engine output 75-95% of the time depending on how thick my cuts are and how steep or soft the terrain is. My needs are generally more demanding than typical dirt equipment. On average, my 300 hp burns 15+ gph and my 365 hp burns 20 gph.

    If you want to know the number of trees processed per gallon of diesel, sorry, there is no way that I can count that fast. Tens of thousands per day would be a good estimate, especially in young timber growth. I'm still greener than slash & burn techniques.

    Your concept of battery power for my application is nearly impossible to me unless you can get power to remote locations where I can not get even get my truck and no power is existent. Batteries are heavy and will negate the LGP characteristics of my favored equipment so that idea is out. Unless you can walk in the power source on your person to remote locations, like maybe a hydrogen power cell that is lightweight, there is no chance of convincing me that there is another, better, fuel source than the diesel compression powerplant. Resurrected dinosaurs turned loose and eating trees all day long - that's my life in a nutshell!
     
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  4. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Are any of the models in which this system is proposed being designed with the prospect of operating continuously 24/7.?

    If the answer is no then how many hours per day does "the academics team" estimate that machines are going to work.? I feel there is your problem because I guess if you asked 100 people in the machinery operation business how many hours they expected/required a machine to work in a day you'd get 100 different answers.

    BTW electric equipment will use power when idling. You show me an operator who doesn't want his A/C running all day in summer or the heater blasting the same way in winter and I'll show you a Neanderthal.
     
  5. 63 caveman

    63 caveman Well-Known Member

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    I could see a hybrid may work in some instances.....
    Maybe not after giving it 30 seconds of thought.
     
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  6. 398370

    398370 Member

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    Can see it working some areas like log yard at mill 12 hours run charge overnight. 350 Volvo Runs about 100 gallons of diesel 12 hrs. Idling running hard ect . don’t think will ever work in woods unless can make battery pack that will change out in less than 10 minutes (no power lines there)
     
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  7. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    Sounds like a research University got some sweet grant money to produce a report that nobody will read while the grad students do all the work and the Profs get published.
     
  8. 398370

    398370 Member

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    So maybe they need my address so can send check ;);)
     
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  9. Coaldust

    Coaldust Senior Member

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    Yeah! :)
     
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  10. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Need to set up an HEF Beer Fund ASAP........
     
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  11. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    A practice that gradually is changing is the starting of a diesel engine once a day, or in cold climates, less often than that.
    Diesels use little fuel idling. Popular belief has been that starting a cold engine is far more destructive than idling long periods. I have close friends with a dozer. It sees little actual use, sort of a trailer queen. Its use is nearly limited to finish grading. It gets started if they think they might need it. Numerous times it has been started, thinking they needed it, but plans changed, a day or two later they come upon it still idling. I once read the clock at 27000 hours, that was a few years ago.

    Electric machines wouldn't idle. Use hours will run near 1 KW per HP factoring inefficiency.
     
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  12. 398370

    398370 Member

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    With emissions now days idling is killer. Used to be start in mourning shut down when go home. Don’t work on new machines major mechanics Bill for emissions realated break downs
     
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  13. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    Most production line equipment is rated at hard usage for 10 to 12 hour day fuel capacity smaller equipment like skids minis and backhoes are rated for about 8 hrs hard use

    In my area ac is going to put a good load on a battery all day as well as ambient temperature during summer going to hurt capacity and possibly life span of battery on my backhoes we get into production footings there big and you run flat out all day so you need to have 90 percent capacity for 10 hours or it's a non starter
     
  14. crane operator

    crane operator Senior Member

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    From what I've read, the cold is much worse for batteries than warm is. Up to a 40% decrease in battery life in cold temps. Lucky in battery testing range for cars, they don't test in Minnesota or the North Slope.

    There's lots of issues with electric for construction equip, vs in a commuter car. For the dirt working guys, there's usually no outlet on the site when they show up. Nobody is loading the equipment up every night and hauling it back to a power pole, moving equipment from site to site costs $$$. In a commuter car, you start it up, drive your 20-30 minutes to work, then back home again. AzIron is going to beat a electric backhoe with a hammer for 10 hours straight. A farmer in North Dakota is going to go out to a tiling job, and he wont see a power pole within 10 miles of him, let alone a outlet.

    Electric is gaining a foothold in London, where they have strict emissions requirements, and the built up infrastructure. That's where electric is going to have to start, in the LA, Chicago, New york City and industrial/factory work.

    Also, I'm your market guy for a electric. I run cranes, and the new dpf systems like to be run hard, and on the jobsite we don't run very hard. Lots of idling time, and the new engines aren't taking it very well. But I don't want all electric, I'm trying to move 100,000lbs machines down the road. I want a big 400hp 1800ft.lbs torque diesel motor in the carrier to drive down the road, and a 4 cyl, diesel electric hybrid upstairs to run the crane, like a Prius. Battery gets low, the engine comes on to charge it. I'm sitting there holding a piece for 3 hours, and I get to run on battery power. Working hard and my genset diesel kicks in. I would even settle for running the big engine to charge the battery if I had to. New 100 ton plus cranes are expensive to start with, so there's more $$ margin to work with to add the cost of a electric system. Whereas the skid loader market is much smaller $$$, and very competitive on price.

    As far as fuel usage, I'll burn around 20-30 gal in a typical day with my 300hp smaller cranes, my bigger cranes can burn up to 50-60+ gallons.

    I'm probably the closest one here on idling 50% of the time. For most equipment, time is money, jobs are bid, and the equipment has to be moving to be making $$$. Idling is really hard on the new emissions systems, so the manufacturers are all about shutting off equipment that isn't working. So very little equipment is going to have that much idle time.

    I see electric taking hold first in the crane, manlift, and telehandler world. Then working its way to the dirt equipment and long haul trucking. But I think hybrid ICE with battery, makes much more sense, and would be much more readily accepted than straight electric.
     
  15. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    The other consideration is from where all the charging power will come from for these battery operated machines. Are not talking a small charging station as a Tesla requires where will optimum charge in roughly four hours, and will be in direct competition with the auto/truck market for power.

    Can 'grow' Diesel in scaled up bio process plants, consuming CO2 as a food for algae to be harvested to make diesel.
     
  16. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    As shown by all the comments above, one can't make any kind of basic assumptions on machine use that covers all diesel powered machines. Parameters have to be set. Type of machine and its typical use, size of power plant, type of material being worked, job schedules, operator expertise, maintenance practices, management styles, projected age/use of the equipment and on and on. Electric fork lifts work good in a warehouse but not so much on an open construction site. Finding and loading up enough batteries to replace the engine in a Cat D11 is going to be a very heavy task let alone providing a charging station for.
    You are also also looking at reinventing the wheel. Komatsu is already putting together a battery powered excavator. There is a lot of work being done on battery powered wheel and track loaders. Case has a battery powered backhoe out on field trials right now. This web site is a great source of current operational knowledge. However, you might try looking at the trade magazines and places that provide industry marketing materials. They are long on hyperbole but sometimes there is some actual truth that comes out.
     
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  17. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    So, you just bring a big, diesel powered genset along with you, and charge off of that. Geez, you gotta learn to think outside the box... ;)
     
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  18. 63 caveman

    63 caveman Well-Known Member

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    Or just plug it in to the coal fired plant just out of line of sight,
     
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  19. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Out of Sight, Out of Mind!! Brings to mind N.I.M.B.Y.

    Lesson for today, look that up.
     
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  20. Awkward Potato

    Awkward Potato Member

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    Great point about running the A/C.

    Regarding how many hours per day: I am trying to figure out what is reasonable. If machines are running constantly or in remote locations, battery is not a good option. But I have no idea if it's common for a machine to run 2 hours per day, 5 hours per day, 10 hours per day? The key here being: what portion of users want a piece of equipment that needs to charge after running X hours? That's what I am trying to get an idea of. I'd hate to use an estimate that only serves 5% of people, but 50% might be acceptable.