Industry News, Latest News, Machinery & Equipment

Komatsu: Green electricity driving forward

Komatsu is aiming to halve its CO2 emissions by 2030, including the operation and manufacture of its products.

Komatsu’s ongoing reaching and development efforts around sustainability have produced several solutions for reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

Komatsu is strongly committed to environmental best practices, with a continuous focus on reducing its environmental impacts and carbon footprint.

In its mid-term management plan, Komatsu made a steadfast commitment to minimise its environmental impact through various initiatives. 

The company is aiming to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from both the use of its products and the production of its equipment by 2030, compared to 2010. Additionally, the company set a challenging target of attaining carbon neutrality by 2050. 

To support its customers’ carbon neutrality goals, Komatsu has been providing an array of products, services, and solutions that reduce environmental impacts, including hybrid hydraulic excavators, electric mini excavators, and advanced electric models.

The company is collaborating with industry titans such as Toyota to aid the development of sustainable products.
The company is collaborating with industry titans such as Toyota to aid the development of sustainable products.

Hydrogen-powered excavators

Komatsu has been exploring cutting-edge technologies to power its construction equipment to further its commitment to carbon neutrality. One such technology is the hydrogen fuel cell system. 

By partnering with Toyota, Komatsu adopted a hydrogen fuel cell system and hydrogen tank for its medium-sized hydraulic excavator. 

Komatsu has developed a concept machine for a medium-sized hydraulic excavator that combines a hydrogen fuel cell and Komatsu-developed key components to achieve carbon neutrality at workplaces of construction equipment. 

By advancing the Proof of Concept (PoC) tests it started in May 2023, Komatsu will accelerate its efforts to commence commercial production of medium-sized and large construction equipment powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Combined with Komatsu’s comprehensive control technology and critical components, this approach aims to achieve zero exhaust emissions, substantial noise reduction, and decreased vibrations while delivering the same powerful performance and operability as traditional engine-driven excavators.

Komatsu is also working towards zero exhaust emissions and significantly reducing noise and vibration. Its excavators will deliver the same powerful digging performance and high operability as engine-driven excavators.

Medium-sized and large construction equipment requires a power source with higher energy density than small construction equipment, leading to electrification with batteries. 


 

Related stories:

 


Hydrogen has a higher energy density and can be refuelled faster than recharging batteries. As such, Komatsu has been advancing its research and development efforts as a promising electrification choice for medium-sized and large models. 

To contribute to realising a hydrogen society and carbon neutrality, Komatsu will continue its efforts toward the commercial production of medium-sized and large construction machinery equipped with hydrogen fuel cells by conducting PoC tests of this new concept machine.

Electric avenue

The WA Electric Concept Wheel Loader further exemplifies Komatsu’s dedication to sustainability. As a fully electric and remote-controlled machine, this loader eliminates emissions and reduces its carbon footprint significantly. 

Equipped with a 22 kW onboard charger, the loader can operate seamlessly and efficiently with minimal downtime. Integrating linear electric actuators for critical functions adds to its efficiency and eco-friendliness. 

This is because the electric actuators reduce energy consumption and maintenance requirements.

With a chassis based on the Komatsu WA70 wheel loader, the WA Electric wheel loader concept machine was developed in partnership with Moog Inc. Utilising an intelligent electrification system; this wheel loader features an electric traction motor, lift, tilt and steering cylinders, power electronics, system control computer, battery and battery management system.

Komatsu is further developing its options in electric and hydrogen fuelled machinery.
Komatsu is further developing its options in electric and hydrogen fuelled machinery.

Mini excavator with maximum eco outcomes

Another addition to Komatsu’s eco-friendly fleet is the three tonne Electric Concept Mini Excavator. It is driven by seven electric motors, powered by a lithium-ion battery, and operated through a simple remote control via wireless LAN. This mini excavator demonstrates impressive power and efficiency while producing zero emissions. 

By eliminating hydraulic equipment from its design, maintenance becomes virtually non-existent, further reducing environmental impact and operating costs. The remote control offers a new workstyle of operating it without boarding it, reducing the operator’s fatigue and improving workplace productivity. 

Thanks to electrification and remote control, this machine should be stress-free for the operator, as it’s easy to operate in confined sites.

Komatsu’s strides in electrification have already yielded impressive results. The company has sold over 1300 electric drive trucks in Australia and over 380 electric mining excavators globally, with demand continuously increasing. 

The success of electric-driven models like the PC210E all-electric hydraulic excavator and the electric mini excavator PC01E-1 showcases the company’s dedication to sustainable equipment solutions. The future arrival of these products in Australia provides more opportunities for companies to leverage their sustainability outcomes. 

This article was originally published in the September edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

Send this to a friend