Dual power, or bi-power, mobile crushers and screens are said to offer a host of new benefits, allowing contractors, quarries and mines to reduce operational costs and increase equipment availability, with the added versatility of being able to run crushers and screens at remote locations.
Pilot Crushtec sales manager Charl Marais highlights the significant reduction in operating costs that can be achieved by running a mobile crusher on grid electricity. Firstly, there are savings in diesel fuel, which is said to be the biggest contributor to higher operating costs, as well as considerable savings in diesel engine maintenance and servicing costs. Mobile units can be operated using an external power supply, with the cost of electricity from a central grid generally much lower than the cost of diesel-generated electricity per kW.
“Secondly, there is better availability of the mobile crusher or screen, as less time is required for scheduled servicing on hybrid mobile machines,” he says.
Other advantages of running mobile crushers and screens off electric power include the elimination of carbon dioxide gas emissions and reduction in engine noise, which is especially important when operating in urban areas. Fewer diesel engine services also mean reduced lubricant usage and fewer consumable parts. In addition, the hybrid machines use less hydraulic oil as drives have been replaced by electric motors.
“The necessary servicing of the mobile crusher and screen diesel engine would typically reduce equipment availability by a further 10%,” says Marais.
The increased performance of the machine improves its cost effectiveness over the duration of a crushing contract and the dual power option allows machines to be used in remote areas where grid power is unavailable.
“Although bi-powered options are not new to Metso’s fleet on some of their mobile units, Pilot Crushtec now encourages these features, which are available to its customers locally, and we are seeing clear signs of interest in the market,” adds Marais.
Various units in Metso’s mobile product range are now available with the dual power feature, including certain products in its mobile jaw crusher, mobile impactor, mobile cone crusher and mobile screen ranges.
Marais concludes by pointing out that Pilot Crushtec is South Africa’s leading supplier of mobile and semi-mobile crushing and screening equipment, and is the official Metso distributor for sub-Saharan Africa.