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(VIDEO) Liebherr battery-electric piling rig put to good use on its first job site

A Liebherr LRH 100.1 unplugged piling rig Liebherr

A Liebherr LRH 100.1 unplugged piling rig has found its place at its first job site. Hercules Grundläggning AB is using this model to drive nearly 300 concrete piles into the ground.

"I am retiring in two years. It is very nice to operate such a machine for the last few years," says Mats Andersson who operates the LRH 100.1 unplugged on the job site in Karlstad, Sweden. This job is the first application and endurance test for the battery-powered piling rig from Liebherr.

A complex with flats, offices, and shops on the ground floor is being built in Karlstad. In order to transfer the load of the building into load-bearing soil layers, Hercules Grundläggning AB is driving piles into the ground with the LRH 100.1 unplugged. The contractor is installing 284 piles that vary in length from 15 and 20 metres.

Flexible for all piling conditions

The LRH 100.1 unplugged excels with its large working range. The machine has a radius of up to 8.7 metres and has the advantage that the machine does not have to be constantly moved. The design of the piling rig enables inclinations of up to 18 degrees in all directions. It is also possible to raise or lower the leader by four metres (e.g., when working in a foundation pit), which makes the machine even more flexible.

For the piling work, Hercules Grundläggning AB has equipped the LRH 100.1 unplugged with a Liebherr hammer type H 6. The hammer is modular and can be used with drop weights of between 3,000 and 6,000 kilograms. At the job site in Karlstad, Mats Andersson drives the piles into the soil with a 5,000-kilogram weight from a drop height of 40 centimetres.

"Here, we are using a free-fall hammer, i.e., it is not accelerated. We only compensate for the power loss with the cylinders. This has the advantage, especially when driving concrete piles, that these are not damaged so much as when using accelerated hammers," explains Liebherr's Product Manager Michael Rajek.

Depending on the length of the pile, between 800 and 1,500 strokes of the hammer are necessary for each one. In only 10 to 20 minutes, the operator can lift the pile and drive it into the soil.

"The control system is designed in such a way that the operator can now adjust the pile-driving energy and the number of strokes independently of each other, and thus ideally adapt to the conditions," says Andersson.

Hercules Grundläggning AB is using the H 6 hammer on the LRH 100.1 unplugged piling rig. Liebherr says that the next iteration of this hammer was designed for durability, a long life, and to be reliable. Since the piling rig is a battery-powered machine, job site noise is greatly reduced. Hercules is utilizing a soundproof pile helmet as well as the redesigned hammer to reduce noise by about 35 percent.

Zero emission operation

The electro-hydraulic drive of the LRH 100.1 unplugged has the same performance specifications as the conventional version. Both are operated in the same way, which is convenient for machine operators if they often have to switch between the machines.

The LRH 100.1 unplugged calculates the machine's ground pressure in real-time and displays it on an in-cab monitor. As part of the calculations, the piling rig compares its ground pressure against the specified safety limits of the relevant job site. The operator is always aware of whether the machine is situated in or is approaching a critical area.

The unplugged machines of this series do not produce any exhaust fumes and are extremely quiet. The battery is charged using a conventional job site electric supply.

"That was no problem at all," says Mats Andersson in regard to charging the machine.

Machine operation can continue as normal while charging. In order to change to battery operation, the operator just needs to pull out the plug. Whether attached to the electric supply or not, the performance and range of applications remains unchanged.

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