The Groundsman

September 2016

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Visit for more information and digital editions early all products with an internal combustion engine are now governed by exhaust emission legislation and while sophisticated technology has been developed by engine manufacturers to reduce the noxious gasses emitted, unsurprisingly there is a price to pay. In the small plant and machinery world, of which turf maintenance equipment is an integral part, the cost of the engine contributes signifi cantly to the fi nal price of the machine - especially those requiring Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) and common rail technology. This has driven design teams to look at alternative solutions and technology. So, why hybrid over some other technology? The most immediate attraction to machinery manufacturers is that the power requirement for a given product can be generated from two smaller sources rather than one large one. N Hybrid power is here to stay Hybrid vehicles are becoming more commonplace and while car manufacturers are probably the most familiar adopters, hybrid power systems are increasingly being used in turf maintenance equipment By: Richard Comely This offers the opportunity to use a smaller engine, usually diesel in the industrial world, augmented by batteries and electric fi nal drive motors. In the turf maintenance machinery industry, smaller engines (less than 25hp) do not require the sophisticated exhaust after- treatment technology such as DPF, so they are ideal. This simpler type of engine is signifi cantly more economical to buy and for customers more economical to run. The combined output, however, can be similar to the horse power of a larger traditional diesel engine driving a hydraulic system. The need to carry large quantities of hydraulic oil is removed, potential leak points are signifi cantly reduced and lower overall noise levels can be achieved. As electric drives are usually more effi cient than hydraulic, the opportunity for fuel savings can usually be realised, too. Most of these advantages benefi t the end user, environmentally, economically and offer more control in the case of mowers. In summary, hybrid vehicle technology is here to stay in one form or another. Ever more stringent engine emission legislation will probably accelerate hybrid technology in industrial plant and machinery as it has in the car industry. Hybrid power is now well beyond just being considered a gimmick. It is the future. At Ransomes Jacobsen we have, and will continue, to embrace it. Richard Comely is director, international product development, at Ransomes Jacobsen. l Fuel savings in the region of 30 per cent are possible with hybrid engines There's no hydraulic system on the hybrid Eclipse ride on; it uses a small engine to power a generator to run all of the electric systems on the mower. AWARD SPONSOR 32 the Groundsman September 2016

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