A greener future for industrial heavy duty non-road machinery with hybrid driveline technology

The reduction of harmful diesel emissions is a hot topic right now

as the automotive industry looks to phase out new diesel engines by 2040. With hybrid technology fast becoming the vehicle of choice, businesses using non-road mobile machinery should understand how tougher emission regulations could affect their business, whilst looking for technology that can aid in their overall environmental impact.

HTV 700What is the problem with diesel machinery? As we become more aware of the part diesel engines play in contributing to poor air quality across Greece, we are learning of the serious health risks NOx emissions can have to citizens. A UK government study in 2015 found that diesel engines in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) alone contributes to 15% of NOx emissions in London –with these pollutants only second to smoking for posing serious health risks.

So what steps are being taken to combat the problem? Whilst there have been significant developments in hybrid technology for on-road and smaller commercial vehicles, the heavy-duty NRMM industry is falling behind when it comes to developing a sustainable alternative to diesel power. For vehicles such as bulldozers, construction machinery, industrial trucks, forklifts and mobile cranes, diesel remains the main power source – whilst only a fraction of the overall larger problem, NRMM users need to future proof their business.

The EU recognised this problem and sought to address this by introducing the EU Directive 97/68/EC (emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants from internal combustion engines to be installed in non-road mobile machinery), which was adopted in 1997, with this directive then implemented into UK law by the “Non-road Mobile Machinery (Emissions of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) regulations in 1999.

What exactly is the NRMM legislation? The NRRM legislation looks at reducing emissions from new diesel engines in non-road mobile machinery, and since its introduction in 1999 is gradually becoming more stringent. On January 1st 2017, the V5 amendment came into force, which now specifies emissions requirements for all categories of compressions ignition (diesel) and positive ignition mobile engines. These standards are applicable to diesel (CI) engines ranging from 0 to 56 kW and all types of engines above 56 kW.

Currently, the legislation relates only to new engines, but businesses should be aware that the V5 amendment also commits the European Commission to create an assessment by the end of 2018, which will look at the possibility of adopting measures for the installation of retrofit emissions control devices into existing, in-use non-road engines. Both engine manufacturers and end-users should be concerned by this as it is only a matter of time until striker regulations are introduced to machinery that is already operational.

Transfluid  – A hybrid solution for industrial drivelines

Whilst the industrial market has been focused on developing new technologies to reduce their ecological impact on land and sea, with the vast array of industrial drivelines used in NRMM machinery, a heavy-duty hybrid product has before now been impractical to develop. Accepting that challenge, was Transfluid, based in Italy and experts in industrial transmissions since 1957. The dynamic innovation of the company and its dedication and vast industry experience has allowed them to introduce a viable hybrid driveline solution for heavy-duty industrial applications.

Up to 920kW i.c.e diesel and 150kW electric power, the Transfluid HM Electric/Hybrid driveline allows the user to operate in 3 modes:

Electric Propulsion – to drive at zero emissions, in low vibration and silence.

Engine Propulsion – whilst using the electric machine as a generator to recharge batteries.

Booster – allowing the electric motor during acceleration to assist the engine, providing extra torque to the driveline.

The system works by having a hydraulic or pneumatic input controlled clutch, which when disengaged, the engine disconnects from the rest of the driveline – allowing the vehicle to operate via the electric motor. When in engine mode, the clutch is engaged, the electric motor becomes a generator which will then recharge batteries. Booster mode allows the engine and electric motor to work together, increasing the total power available to drive.

All that is required to install the Transfluid hybrid unit is a short distance between the engine and the transmission, making the solution ideal for both retrofits and new designs without having to significantly change the design to typical driveline layouts. Designed to sandwich between an engine with an SAE flywheel, housing and transmission with an SAE input, the HM module provides an easy to install, seamless solution. Additionally, the electric machine can be mounted in multiple positions in order to best fit the engine compartment.

Users of the Transfluid hybrid technology can expect to see typically between a 15-30% fuel reduction, reduced NOx and CO2 emissions and reduced use of the diesel engine, resulting in reduced wear and maintenance costs.

The solution future proofs a business against tighter emissions regulations and reduces their overall carbon footprint.

The Transfluid hybrid driveline solution is available in Greece via ILIOFOS Co.