Volvo Produces First Hybrid Wheel Loader 14/03/2008

Volvo continue to break ground in the hybrid/electric vehicle sector showcasing their first Volvo wheel loader at the ConExpo 2008 in Las Vegas. The pre-production prototype is the L220F Hybrid wheel loader. The latest wheel loader offers more power and performance with a 10% reduction in fuel consumption. The Volvo wheel loader L220F Hybrid will be a real winner for keeping operating costs down and gaining back upfront investment over the lifetime of the machine. Volvo is known internationally as the worlds largest manufacturer of heavy-duty diesel engines in the 9- 18 liter class. The Volvo L22F Hybrid technology has been developed by Volvo Group using the D12 engine, although much of the technology is confidential.

The heart of the hybrid system on the Volvo wheel loader is an ISG, Integrated Starter Generator, which is found between the engine and the transmission. What makes the ISG keep fuel consumption down is that it uses minimizes power, for instance about 40% of a wheel loaders time could be spent with the engine idling. The ISG uses this concept and allows the diesel engine to be turned off when stationary but then kicking into rapid spinning when restarted and gearing up to optimum working speed through a burst of energy from the high power specific battery. The diesel engine has never been able to provide high torque at low speeds and the ISG overcomes this issue with a massive electric torque boost which adds at least 50kW of mechanical energy to an engine from standstill. This all means that instead of just idling the engine will actually be off, and instead of having to keep revving the engine from idle in order to get enough torque, the sufficient torque is provided even at an almost tick-over engine speed. Lets hope the Volvo wheel loader hybrid will be ignite a turn in the market for other manufacturing companies to follow Volvos lead.

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