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Clean up act: garbage truck of the future

By FLEET e-news posted 29-04-2014 17:08


This hybrid garbage truck, driven in Germany by IPWEA’s Fleet and Plant Management expert, Grant Andrews, represents the next step in the evolution of waste disposal vehicles, he says.

Faun dualpower rotorpress garbage truck

“It’s the quietness that attracts you first,” says Grant Andrews, Managing Director at Australian plant and vehicle consultancy, Uniqco. 

“Then it’s the braking that you notice – you take your foot off the accelerator, and the passengers are grabbing their seatbelts because it stops so suddenly, without actually touching the brake,” he says.

Andrews is talking about FAUN’s new diesel-electric hybrid waste collection vehicle, which he had the opportunity to drive on a visit to the FAUN factory in Germany last year, ahead of its 2013 launch at IFAT Entsorga – an annual trade fair for water, sewage and waste materials management in Munich.

One of five integrated hybrid waste collection vehicles presented by FAUN at the event was the Rotopress Dualpower (pictured), which enables fuel savings and emissions reductions of more than 30 per cent, while also operating extremely quietly, with noise levels reduced from 106dbA to 91 dbA. The latter is of significant benefit, particularly in inner-city environments, enabling potential operation in periphery time periods.

“With the Dualpower option, FAUN engineers have addressed the entire waste collection vehicle as a whole,” said a statement from the German-owned company, the largest manufacturer of garbage trucks in the European Union.

The Rotopress is equipped with a separate electric power train, hence the ‘Dualpower’ name. This works during collection operation, while the diesel system kicks in for longer trips. The braking energy generated from the vehicle's stop–go operating mode is reclaimed as electricity and stored in a supercapacitor to be used for the next acceleration, undertaken with the electric motor. 

During the collection process, both the waste collection vehicle itself and the body and lifter are electrically operated. The basic energy supply is delivered by a small, acoustically optimised 70kW motor, which is not required for driving but is permanently used to charge the supercapacitor, while at the same time supplying the necessary assemblies on the vehicle chassis with power and air. 

The vehicle does not require any efficiency-reducing conversion of electric power back into hydraulic power. For the operator, this means savings of more than 30 per cent in both fuel and CO2 emissions. 

FAUN produced a small, serial-production run of 20 of the vehicles, all of which has since been sold. 

“This is the type of technology we need to be looking at in the future, if we’re serious about reducing the emissions,” says Andrews.

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