3 / 11 / 2014
HUBER+SUHNER's Automotive unit has once again sponsored ETH Zurich. During the "Electric Excavator" project, students at the university converted a 15-tonne excavator. The aim was to drive the excavator electrically, rather than using diesel power. The Automotive unit donated various RADOX cables and RACS connection systems for all of the connections in the excavator's engine compartment. During the course of the project, the students installed shielded RADOX battery cables, shielded multi-conductor RADOX cables and RADOX 155SFLR.
Safe and durable products for a harsh environment
The electric excavator will eventually be used on construction sites. RADOX cables from HUBER+SUHNER are the perfect solution for keeping it operational in a rugged environment. Thanks to their electron-beam crosslinked insulation, RADOX cables are more robust than traditional cables, and guarantee durable and safe connections in the engine compartment. Shielded cables connect the battery, which has a capacity of 173 kilowatt hours, to the distributor. From there, the current flows to the two voltage transducers and is then distributed to the electric motor and the pump. An estimated 6 to 10 hours are needed to fully charge the excavator — the two chargers together deliver a maximum capacity of 44 kilowatts.
Another distinguishing feature of the excavator is its efficiency, with an average energy consumption of 50 kilowatts. In comparison, a diesel-powered excavator consumes 12 litres an hour (120 kilowatts). The electric excavator also contributes to lower noise emissions thanks to its quiet running.
For the construction of the excavator, the Automotive unit not only donated the cable, but also provided expertise and financial resources to the students. Collaboration with universities and colleges is a win-win situation for both HUBER+SUHNER and the students. On one hand, the company can test its products in new fields and support the training of specialists in Switzerland through its involvement, and on the other, the students benefit by gaining initial practical experience in the work environment, while at the same time meeting a potential employer.
"Collaboration provides a great opportunity for networking, both for the students and for us," says Marc André Beck, a Product Manager with the Automotive unit. "Plus, these are always very exciting projects, and we look forward to providing continued support to ETH in the future".