JCB Power Products has developed the world’s first Inteli-Hybrid generator, to meet a range of off-grid power requirements from construction sites, telecoms, agriculture, mining and event hire. Generators are specified to meet the peak load requirement of an application, yet off-grid sites often face significant changes in load requirement throughout the day, leading to inefficient running of the generator and excessive fuel use.
Based on JCB’s market-leading QS generators, the Intelli-Hybrid has a series of high capacity, deep cycle battery cells are stored in the base of the unit. These batteries are charged by the generator during periods of higher load, when the engine is running at its most efficient output. During periods of low load, the engine can be stopped and the batteries continue to supply the power, increasing efficiency much like an automotive Stop/Start system, reducing fuel consumption and cutting emissions.
Typically a 100kVA generator on a construction site will use up to 120 litres of fuel per day running at low load, creating up to 340kg of carbon. By turning the engine off for up to 10 hours in a 24-hour period and relying on battery power, a customer could potentially save up to 40 litres of fuel per day, with a similar reduction in emissions. In addition, while the generator is operating on battery power, potentially through the night time period, there will be no noise emissions, making it an ideal solution for urban and city sites. By reducing engine running hours the customer can also extend the regular service period, cutting maintenance costs and reducing cost of ownership.
The base unit of the generator, powered by JCB Dieselmax engines, has the same footprint as the standard QS machine, contains 24 battery cells connected to a high power inverter unit. The inverter converts the stored energy within the batteries into a 230V 50Hz, or 220V 60Hz, AC supply. The batteries are charged using three internal charger units but can also be charged using a mains supply via a separate input socket, for low cost charging and conditioning. The generators can also be equipped with Stage IIIa emissions level engines for the European rental market and can be supplied with 60Hz output if required.
The battery system has also been installed with the potential to integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar in future. This will further decrease the running costs of the generator sets as alternative energy sources become more readily available. The sealed gel batteries require no regular maintenance and built-in cooling fans minimise heat build during charging.
JCB’s Livelink telematic system is standard on the hybrid generator, allowing fleet managers access to monitor equipment in real time remotely from the office, making the hybrid unit ideal for rental fleet management. This alerts low fuel situations, ensures timely service work can be scheduled and the system also acts as a tracking unit, warning customers of unplanned movement of machinery and acting as a theft deterrent.
LiveLink also provides an intelligent link to the generator, allowing fleet managers to access load history set the mix of engine and hybrid battery use to determine how efficiently a machine is being used. It provides information on how long the generator is running at light loads on battery power and fully loaded through the diesel engine and in the future will demonstrate how much energy has been provided by renewables. In addition to the load statistics, LiveLink provides access to phase load information, so the most efficient use of the unit can be determined.
JCB Power Products has also developed the Battery Box, a secondary hybrid power solution that can be used to significantly improve generator efficiency, providing power in low load periods to allow generators to be turned off, conserving fuel and reducing carbon emissions. The JCB Battery Box is compatible with all sizes and makes of generator and with mains supply electricity, allowing it to be efficiently charged on site.
Packaged in a robust steel canopy, the Battery Box delivers up to 10kVA continuous power output with a 20kVA peak and is available in both 50Hz and 60Hz configurations. As it has zero emissions the power pack can be used indoors or in sensitive applications. The maximum depth of discharge can be set between 30-50% to prolong battery health and the batteries have cooling fans to blow air across the cells.