Sometimes it can seem like the development of new technologies moves glacially slow. Then comes the day it actually arrives and the impatience of waiting suddenly falls away.
The idea of testing a prototype hybrid wheel loader at a landfill and transfer station in California came up two years ago when the senior director of heavy equipment for Waste Management, John Meese, was in Sweden. He was shown for the first time Volvo CE’s LX1 hybrid wheel loader.FREE Infographic on Landfill Management: 6 Tips for Excellence in Landfill Operations. Covering publicity, education, engineering, long-term planning, and landfill gas waste-to-energy. Download it now!
Eventually, the LX1 would begin the field testing at the end of 2016. The results of which were recently announced by Volvo in Novato, CA:
“Testing began at the Redwood Landfill and Recycling Center, a green waste composting site in the northern part of the state. Both fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emission tests were conducted at the facility and, although the data is still being analyzed, the results so far show an average improvement of 50% in fuel efficiency, equating to a reduction of 35% in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The second test site was the Moreno Valley Transfer Station, a waste transfer site in southern California. Here, the LX1 achieved an average fuel efficiency improvement of around 45%. Both sets of results exceed the 35% fuel efficiency improvement target set for the project.”
John Meese was also at the press event to announce the results of the field tests. I spoke to him on camera. He says he’s hoping the technology gives Waste Management a huge competitive edge.
Volvo Construction Equipment partnered with Waste Management, CALSTART, which did the emissions testing, and the California Energy Commission, which helped to fund the project. Energy Commissioner Janea Scott says, “Demonstrations like these help improve the viability of cleaner, less polluting technologies for near-term market adoption in California’s commercial goods movement, transit, and other sectors.”
The LX1 is a series hybrid that uses an electric motor mounted at each wheel (that means no axles), electric driven hydraulics, a battery storage system, and a small diesel engine. The prototype has new architecture and is made with 98% new parts. It’s able to do the work of a wheel loader that’s one size larger. The loader is not yet commercially available.