Perkins has worked with many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to understand both the operating cycle of real customer machines and the space available in these machines for power systems.
What is clear from this work is that there are multiple possible technology configurations for off-highway machines. The optimum solution for installation complexity, component cost, durability, productivity and fuel consumption will vary considerably by machine type and use.
The quantity of energy storage and how quickly energy can be released are critical characteristics. How much energy recovery is both technically possible and economically viable is also a key consideration.
In the automotive industry, the most progress for electric and hybrid technology has been in light duty vehicles in urban driving cycles. However, the duty cycles of off-highway machines, and particularly those in construction and agriculture, present very different opportunities for fuel saving or performance improvement to automobiles, buses or trucks. Therefore, it is not likely the solutions that we have seen in on-highway will translate directly to off-highway machines.
Off-highway machine economics are often different to those on-highway. Diesel fuel for example, is less expensive in many countries for off-highway than on-highway, whilst other inputs, such as grid electricity, servicing or diesel exhaust fluid can be considerably more expensive. As there are a great variety of off-highway operating cycles, there is not a single preferred solution. Different applications will have different optimum hybrid or electric technology solutions.
Marine power systems have similar limitations for technology transfer. The charging cycle, load profile, battery cooling and vibration are much easier to manage in a marine application than in a construction or agricultural machine.