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With a worldwide online launch on December 1st, Liebherr announced a pair of new crawler cranes that run on electricity.

Two models are available, the 220 tonne LR 1200.1 without plug and the 250 tonne LR 1250.1 without plug. If the plug is not connected in the model nomenclature, the electrical power is displayed – in this case either via a mains cable for stationary operation and charging or via a set of lithium-ion batteries, which allow free movement without cables and full operation of all functions enable. Electric cranes do not pollute the environment on site, are quieter than their diesel counterparts and require less maintenance.

Gerhard Frainer, Sales Director at the Liebherr plant in Nenzing, said: “The year 2020 in particular has shown that you have to be open-minded and courageous to break new ground. With our unplugged cranes, we offer our customers an alternative drive design. As we have already seen with the LB 16 unplugged, the first battery-operated drilling rig, the strategy is a complete success. Strict requirements for ecological sustainability in tenders for construction projects increase the demand for advanced technologies. It was clear to us that we would expand the design in other product groups and establish it successfully. “

Liebherr has calculated that the new electric crane will reduce the consumption of 70,000 liters of diesel and carbon dioxide emissions by 180 tons over an operating period of 10,000 hours. The lithium-ion battery is 95% recyclable.

The new cranes were developed in-house by Liebherr-Werk Nenzing (LWN) in Austria with the support of external engineering specialists. They are fully tested and ready for production. This crane size was chosen because it is a popular capacity class, especially in urban applications where the benefits of electric cranes are particularly beneficial.

The new models were ordered and the first delivered unit of the 250-tonne model went to crane rental specialist Kynningsrud in Norway. The first unaffiliated unit for the UK will go to Select Plant, Laing O’Rourke’s construction equipment arm. It will also be the 250 ton capacity model and will be delivered in March 2021. It will expand the fleet and support the pipeline of major infrastructure works in the UK, the company said.

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Liebherr electric crawlers

alternative energy

Structurally, the new cranes are based on the existing diesel versions, as LWN explained. “Our main goal was not to develop a new crane, but to be able to offer the extremely successful diesel version as an electric version. If the customer decides to buy the electric version, he buys a crane with all the previous advantages and the extended benefit of zero emissions. “

Therefore, the new machines use 255 kW electric motors as part of a 700 volt DC system instead of a diesel engine to power the hydraulic pumps and power the crane mechanisms and chain drives. A lithium-ion battery is located in the space that the diesel engine otherwise takes up. The batteries are included in the purchase price and are not rented out separately, as was the case with some electric cars.

The so-called range fear, which is also known in connection with electric cars, is not a problem, explained LWN: “If it is connected, full power is available all day long. When unplugged, the crane can be operated for four hours. On request, the performance of the Unplugged can be increased by up to 33% with the help of a larger battery. “

Depending on the available site power, the charging time is from discharged to fully charged: with a 32-ampere supply: 9 hours; with a 63 amp supply: 4.5 hours. A 125 amp charger is available as an option and takes just 2 hours and 15 minutes.

How do the diagrams compare with those of the diesel versions in terms of lifting capacity? Liebherr said that the unplugged LR 1200.1 has the same load diagrams as the diesel version – even slightly better than the diesel version, as the low additional weight of the batteries acts as an additional central ballast.

This also applies to the lifting speed, the rotational speed and the performance of other mechanisms. Liebherr said the overall performance was almost identical. “The direct reaction of the electrical system gives the driver the impression that the movements are sometimes faster, which is true. Sometimes we even had to reduce the speed. Drivers see the direct reaction behavior as an operational advantage, ”said a Liebherr-Wek Nenzing spokesman.

In terms of price, it costs more to buy than a diesel version, but Liebherr said it worked hard to keep that extra to a minimum. ICST is not only closely monitoring developments in this area, but is also looking forward to a wider application of electric drive technology in the form of new electric telescopic mobile cranes, telescopic booms, uneven terrain and truck cranes. Further information on these new cranes can be found in the next issue of International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine and soon in our online function at www.khl.com.

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The left side of the machine shows the battery to the rear, with the main drive motor and pumps in front of it.  The swivel motor is located in the front of the compartment