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AIS Hosts Komatsu Hybrid Demo at Michigan State

Fri August 05, 2011 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

AIS Construction Equipment recently unveiled the new Komatsu HB215LC-1 hybrid excavator at a demo at a job site on the campus of Michigan State University.

The job entailed digging footings for the new science building being built for MSU’s College of Nursing. The general contractor for the job is Granger Construction and the excavating contractor on the job is Sandborn Construction.

The HB215LC-1 is powered by the Komatsu Hybrid System, which includes Komatsu’s recently developed electric swing motor, power generator motor, capacitor and a 141 hp (104 kW) diesel engine. Komatsu developed its hybrid system to work on the principle of swing energy regeneration and energy storage using the Komatsu Ultra Capacitor system, which provides fast energy storage and instantaneous power transmission.

The kinetic energy generated during the swing-braking phase is converted to electricity, which is sent through an inverter and then captured by the Ultra Capacitor. This captured energy is then quickly discharged for upper structure rotation and to assist the engine as commanded by the hybrid controller when accelerating under workload conditions.

The HB215LC-1 has an operating weight of 47,530 lbs and a bucket capacity of 1.57 cu. yds. (1.2 cu m)

With the help KOMTRAX, Komatsu’s GPS based monitoring system, AIS was able to determine a fuel savings of 25 to 40 percent through use of the hybrid, which could mean a reduction of up to 20 lbs. of carbon emissions per hour.

The MSU job was chosen to highlight the new Komatsu machine, in part due to the universities push for “green” technology.

Officials from Granger Construction were in attendance as well as Brent and Renee Sandborn, owners of Sandborn Construction. Cal Johnson was the excavator operator for Sandborn.

Senior Vice President of AIS Construction Equipment Will Leistikow was in attendance at the demo as was Sales Manager Greg Doyal and local Area Manager Craig Williams.

According to Brent Sandborn, the university is documenting the carbon footprint of all contractors doing work at the university.

“Having machines that reduce emissions this dramatically will go a long way to help meet future carbon footprint standards,” said Sandborn.

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