Earthmoving, Machinery News, Wheel Loaders

Komatsu launches two new hybrid mining loaders

Komatsu launches two new hybrid loaders for mining applications.

 The smaller WX18H model produces 280kW (375hp)

Komatsu Australia has launched two new hybrid underground loaders, which it says will boost operational efficiency at a time when demand for precious minerals is booming.

The Komatsu WX22H and smaller WX18H hybrid load haul dump loaders each claim the lowest total operating costs in their class, the company says.

Both achieve up to a 20 per cent increase in tonnes moved compared to conventionally powered loaders, with a decrease of up to 20 per cent in fuel costs, based on operating trials, says Komatsu.

An independent life cycle analysis identified a 30 per cent reduction in operating costs.

The kinetic energy storage system – KESS – is at the heart of the switched reluctance hybrid drive, which captures and reuses braking energy from each of the four wheels.

Heat-energy generated when the machine stops abruptly at the dig face is captured by the bi-directional KESS loop instead of being lost to the atmosphere.

KESS stores and releases three megajoules of energy, supplementing power from the conventional diesel engine for greater acceleration to maximise cycle performance.

A smart traction system provides smoother acceleration and results in less tyre wear and component degradation.

It generates less inertia at each stop, significantly reducing potential damage to the drive train.

Fewer underground emissions, lower heat rejection and greater operator comfort are all intended benefits of the hybrid system, states Komatsu.

Komatsu’s 22-tonne WX22H produces 320kW (429hp), while the smaller WX18H produces 280kW (375hp).

Both engines are rated to Euro V requirements for emission control, and both utilise the same KESS, capable of delivering 410kW (550hp), effectively doubling power delivery on demand.

Cabin access, visibility and ergonomics have been optimised on Komatsu’s loaders and critical service points placed at ground level to reduce the need for technicians to use ladders to  reach key areas.

A new more efficient bucket design enables greater penetration into a load pile for fast bucket filling.

Komatsu Australia product manager mining Joshua Foale says supplying hard rock miners reliable loaders such as these shows the company’s understanding of their need to improve productivity in the face of global competition.

“In developing our machines, we have been specific in providing protection for critical structural components, linkages and joints,” he says.

“Reliability has been a paramount consideration in the design of long-life moving parts.

“In the case of our hybrid drive machines, there are no commutators, brushes or rotor windings to replace, and our wiring systems are double insulated.”

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