One unit was fitted to an RTG at TSI Vanterm terminal in June 2007, and a second to an RTG at TSI Deltaport in February 2008. Both units have been operating daily, with the same container throughput and working reliability as conventional RTGs, but have burned four times less fuel.
Railpower’s technology replaces the conventional diesel generator set with a smaller hybrid diesel engine/alternator and lead-acid battery storage combination. In the trials, operating speeds, service factors and duty cycles remained unchanged, while fuel consumption of 2.15 gallons (8.15 litres) per hour generated economies ranging from 61% to 82% compared with traditional RTGs.
The company’s EcoCrane technology has the capacity to adjust the power provided by the prime power source to average demand, as well as the capacity to regenerate energy when lowering containers. The EcoCrane system is the same size and weight as a conventional generator set, and can be installed on new equipment or retrofitted in less than a week.
“As the price of fuel increases, more and more ports will investigate ways to reduce fuel usage. Retrofitting their RTGs to hybrid power systems is a premium solution to achieving a more fuel-efficient system, without any additional operational constraint,” said José Mathieu, president and CEO of Railpower.