As materials handling equipment, and vehicle owners alike, battle the stunning rises in fuel costs, they are looking to electric vehicles to try to save money. But how energy efficient are electric sideloaders?
Many people ask if can electric sideloaders can do the job whilst being energy efficient? That initial anxiety over range, originally seen in road vehicles, translates closely to shift life in the logistics sector. Doing the job means the machine will last a whole shift and that the time needed to charge will be available.
Many new sideloader customers wonder this. For the past few years, our 120v ELX and EGX machines have done a fantastic job at meeting shift life expectation. Even so, one new Baumann user recently had just this concern. “If it lasts most of the day, maybe even a full eight-hour shift, we will be happy,” says the user. ‘Try it’ we said.
A demo unit is left behind and goes straight into operation.
Three days later a quick call is made to see how it’s working out. “How are you finding the charging?” we ask. “We don’t know,” says the user. “We haven’t needed to do it yet.”
One of the reasons why this happens is because operators have a tendency to over-estimate the time equipment is actually working. Engines can idle whilst trucks are stood and hour metres do not give the complete picture.
What makes the Baumann electric range unique is a combination of three important design features related to the battery, the motor and the lift pump. Each is designed to reduce unnecessary battery use and maximise energy efficiency.
A Higher Voltage Makes Sideloaders Energy Efficient
All new Baumann electrics are now powered by a 120v, single piece battery.
Thanks to built-in fork pockets it can be exchanged if needed ensuring we can satisfy a true multi-shift application, or charged in situ, but it’s the higher voltage that means greater efficiency throughout the wiring schematics and electronics system.
Greater efficiency means less energy is lost due to heat, and ultimately longer running times, making electric sideloaders surprisingly energy efficient.
Energy Efficiency Built In
For the ELX range, we employ a single drive motor on the rear axle. It’s possible because the entire machine was carefully designed to be lightweight, with stiffening in the chassis where needed.
The motor itself is set at the most efficient frequency, delivering enough power to the key truck functions when “idling” although this is a much different concept in the electric sideloaders thanks to clever sensors throughout the truck.
Capacitive sensors detect when a hand is present on the joystick, whilst turning the steering wheel or pressing a pedal will also trigger a response.
With no hand present, or no movements made, the motor powers off. Power is saved and battery use is almost zero.
Detecting a function will trigger the motor to enter it’s ‘idling’ setting of around 90 hertz (the setting, like many others, can be changed as required) ready to trigger accumulators for braking or to power the lift and outreach pump.
Load Sensing Lift Pump
Once a lift movement is made, the load sensing lift pump sparks into life. It delivers pressure to the hydraulics in three stages – again, each can be defined as required – depending upon the force of the movement required.
With minimal movement of the joystick, 24 bar of pressure courses through the hydraulic system. With full force applied, this becomes 220 bar.
The effect of the stages is to deliver a gradual movement of the mast up or outwards, essentially the speed of its acceleration, which allows more accurate and precise control, and again, less energy wastage.
Of course, each application is different and the braking force, the top speed, lifting and outreach speeds and acceleration can all be adjusted via a plethora of settings, and turning up the dials will naturally impact on overall battery life.
Together though, the three design elements extend battery life beyond, eight, nine and even 10 hours of regular use. Enough to get most operations through their shift and give even the most anxious of users, a boost of positive energy.
Don’t just take our word for it…
The message that has emerged from customers over the past few decades has been the quality, strength and reliability of the Baumann sideloaders. We manufacture energy efficient electric sideloaders, as well as traditional diesel sideloaders.