Chinese manufacturer Zoomlion has launched, what it claims is the world's first pure electric powered truck crane with its ZTC250N-EV.
The three axle 25 tonne crane is based on the company’s regular 25 tonne truck crane, but in place of the usual diesel engine, power comes from a high density lithium iron phosphate battery pack. This has then been matched to sophisticated energy and battery management systems to get the most out of the battery pack and protect it from damage and a series of highly efficient electric motors. The first unit came off the production line at Zoomlion's Quantang Industrial Park in Changsha earlier this month.
The crane can reach road speeds of up to 90kph/56mph and manage gradients of up to 50 percent, the same performance as the regular diesel powered model. It has a road travel range of up to 160 miles or 260 kilometres, and once on site it can be plugged into a customers AC power outlet if one is available. Maximum noise levels are said to be 65 decibels. The crane has a five section 40 metre main boom and an eight metre offsetable swingaway extension for a 50 metre maximum tip height. It lifts its maximum 25 tonne capacity at a radius of 3.5 metres on base boom and can handle six tonnes on the fully extended boom.
Detail on the rest of the crane is scant, and we are trying to obtain a full specification and will update when we do. The press release focuses on road travel, with no mention of how much power the superstructure might consume, or if it has its own battery pack, which is entirely possible.
Zoomlion crane technical director of engineering Wang Qitao said: "We have partnered with the world's leading suppliers for green energy parts and tailored to the usage scenarios and working conditions of truck cranes. We equipped the truck crane with high energy storage density LFP battery, which is the safest in the world. We set up a specialised team in 2018, consisting of staff from research, engineering, manufacturing and quality control departments, and completed the production of the truck crane within two years."
This is certainly a very interesting development and could play a significant role in raising the profile of such cranes and move the technology along. While there have been electric powered cranes in the past, the only really practical one so far has been Spierings hybrid City Boy mobile self-erecting tower crane which is now in full production.
The 25 tonne three axle truck crane is a ubiquitous piece of lifting equipment in China just as it used to be in Europe 40 years ago. They are largely used as taxi cranes taking in two three or four jobs in the working day, and while this crane has just about enough travel range to cover a decent urban territory, it would be pretty useless if once on site it had insufficient battery life left to do the job. We have to believe therefore that it does in fact have a separate battery pack in the superstructure, which would make the crane a much more practical proposition.
It is certainly a very interesting development and the initial misgivings we have raised are most likely due to a lack communication, rather than any design flaw or the company having overlooked the real world challenges. We have requested more information and will update this item as soon as we have it.
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