With the aim to meet the needs of customers and the demand for greener equipment, Liebherr is working on alternative drive units, which are tailored to the application and location of the machine, without focusing on a single technology. The new LTC 1050-3.1 compact crane from the Liebherr Plant in Ehingen features an electric motor in addition to its conventional internal combustion engine. This enables crane movements to be powered electrically as an option. The new version of the compact 50 tonne crane therefore helps to reduce CO2 emissions and meets the requirements for operating on “zero emission” sites.
`The new alternative LTC 1050-3.1, on the road and off-road, has a conventional, low emissions internal combustion engine which complies with emissions stage 5 and develops 243 kW (326 bhp). The engine can be fuelled with hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) with absolutely no restrictions, enabling it to reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 90 % compared to fuelling it with diesel. Either the engine or the electric motor can be selected in crane mode depending on the conditions for the job. The latter reduces both air and noise emissions to a minimum. This also means that the machine is suitable for use in noise-sensitive areas and in “zero emission areas”.
Dr Ulrich Hamme, Technical Director at Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH, says: “We want to be able to offer our customers full crane performance even with the alternative electric power unit. The LTC 1050-3.1 still has a conventional internal combustion engine, powered by diesel or HVO, for driving on roads and for crane operations. However, as an alternative it also has an electric power unit for crane operations so that it generates “Zero emission”. That means that all the familiar usage properties of the crane will be retained, regardless of whether the crane operations are powered by its zero emission electric motor or its internal combustion engine.”
Simple and clever electric motor concept
The newly developed power unit featuring an electric motor develops 72 kW and therefore enables the crane to be operated without restriction, in other words with almost the same performance as using the 6-cylinder engine. The electric motor uses the existing hydraulic pump, which is mounted direct on the powershift transmission on the conventional LTC 1050-3.1, to transfer the power to the consumers in the crane superstructure.
Only the electric motor and a distributor gear as well as the required control equipment must be added to the conventional LTC 1050-3.1 model to transform it into an electric version. The distributer gear is located directly between the crane pump and the powershift transmission. This solution enables the operator to switch between diesel-hydraulic power and electro-hydraulic power. Site current at 125 A is required to achieve full performance, but the crane also operates very well with a 63 A supply. Alternatively, the crane can operate using an external conventional battery pack if the site does not have the appropriate electrical infrastructure.
Liebherr supplies the electric model of the LTC 1050-3.1 for the version with the 36 metre TELEMATIK telescopic boom. The RemoteDrive option for remote-controlled driving and height-adjustable elevating cab are also available for the new crane. The prototype with the electric power unit is currently undergoing intensive testing and Liebherr is planning to deliver the first models in 2023.