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New power unit allows Liebherr mobile crane to operate using diesel or electric power

A mobile crane is parked in an industrial job site
A Liebherr LTC1050 electric mobile crane

Liebherr has developed an electric power unit for the LTC 1050-3.1 electric mobile crane, allowing the machine to operate on diesel or electric power.

"We want to be able to offer our customers full crane performance even with the alternative electric power unit," says Dr. Ulrich Hamme, technical director at Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH. "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."

The new alternative LTC 1050-3.1 delivers a combination of green credentials and efficiency. On the road and off-road, it has a conventional, low emission internal combustion engine that complies with Stage V emissions standards 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 percent 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 and zero-emission areas. 

Liebherr's electric motor concept

The newly developed power unit featuring an electric motor enables the crane to be operated with almost the same performance as a six-cylinder engine. The electric motor uses the existing hydraulic pump, which is mounted directly 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 distributor 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. The crane needs a site current of 125 A to achieve full performance but also operates 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.

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