Konecranes puts the battery in big container handling machines

Konecranesa world-leading group of Lifting Businesses, serving a broad range of customers – is applying the global “battery megatrend” to large container handling equipment with new offerings in Battery RTG, Battery Straddle Carrier, and all-electric Mobile Harbor Cranes. Some container handling equipment – states a press release – is “small” in industry terms, an example being a reach stacker, a type of heavy-duty lift truck that handles containers weighing up to 40 tons when full. Some container handling equipment is large, such as a Rubber-Tired Gantry (RTG) crane, in size around 23m wide and some 27m tall, running on rubber tires. RTGs work in the container yards of seaport container terminals, taking containers in and out of the container stacks, and “shuffling” them there as needed.
Many container terminals use RTGs as their container yard workhorses, and Konecranes is a leading world supplier of RTGs. Konecranes also offers automated RTG systems, which are becoming increasingly popular. Making an RTG run successfully on batteries is a considerable engineering challenge, states the release: it’s a large machine doing heavy work at a fast pace, usually 24/7.
The Konecranes Battery RTG can be thought of as a system when it is operated with a charging station. This will always be the case when the Konecranes Battery RTG is automated. It can also be operated manually, with manual plug-in for charging. This brings new flexibility and “no strings”1 electric operation to RTG-based container yards, as well as zero local CO2 emissions and virtually zero local noise emissions. Combine this with the fact that the Konecranes Battery RTG is delivered in a carbon neutral state, and you get the most eco-efficient RTG in history.

Konecranes started the battery trend in container handling equipment with the introduction of a battery-driven Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) some 15 years ago. The battery AGV earned acceptance and became established in large fleets at major container terminals. Meanwhile, a transition from lead-acid to Li-ion battery technology occurred. This was a major leap forward. Konecranes has been learning enormously about battery technology and electric power management over the years. This knowledge has been used to introduce battery AGVs, hybrid RTGs and a battery-driven forklift truck, the E-VER. Then the time came to introduce battery-driven, large container handling machines. When all-electric machines are charged with renewable energy, we call it “pure electric” since it’s the purest form of container handling to date.

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