Hydraulics and electric powertrain systems supplierPower Solutions has secured a grant worth £407,112 from the government to accelerate the electrification of construction machinery.
With the new funding, Danfoss plans to combine electrification with its Digital Displacement technology to significantly improve machine efficiency. By reducing energy consumption by as much as 50%, Danfoss says that the technology can dramatically decrease the size of batteries needed to power the machines and the amount of energy needed to charge them. The company’s research has shown that up to 70% of an excavator’s energy is wasted in the hydraulic system, making this a good starting point to leverage the reduction of power usage. This would also allow for smaller and cheaper batteries to be used in future.
“For a large excavator, the daily power consumption is so high, the batteries required are the equivalent to as many as 10 typical electric car batteries, which could cost as much as the machine itself. The key, we believe, is efficiency,” said Niall Caldwell, senior director of R&D, Digital Displacement, Danfoss Power Solutions.
A £25 million state-of-the-art manufacturing, research, and development facility in Edinburgh, Scotland, is already under construction by Danfoss to commercialize its Digital Displacement technology and electric drivetrains, which the company believes will transform the construction machinery sector. The facility is to officially open next year and will be called the ‘Decarbonization Hub’.
“Our new UK facility will be an important hub for Danfoss decarbonization programs. This grant from the UK government recognizes the potential of our efforts and will help us realize our plans,” said Leif Bruhn, head of Digital Displacement, Danfoss Power Solutions. “These funds will be used to accelerate the work we’re doing to develop next-generation, climate-friendly technologies in hydraulics, digitalization, and electrification.”
This will mark a somewhat new direction for Danfoss, as the company had been focusing on electric maritime applications for some time. In 2018, the company did announce plants to electrify mining vehicles together with the German company Paus Maschinenfabrik.