PORT EQUIPMENT & TECHNOLOGY - Railpower offers Deltaport a whopping 74% reduction in fuel costs…

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PORT EQUIPMENT & TECHNOLOGY - Railpower offers Deltaport a whopping 74% reduction in fuel costs and emissionsBy Leo Quigley, AJOTIn addition to being an early adapter of cleaner burning biodiesel to power its equipment at Canada’s largest container port, Deltaport, and Vanterm container terminal on Vancouver’s inner harbor, TSI Terminal Systems Inc. has also installed cleaner, more efficient engines on its 40-ton rubber tired gantry cranes.
Made by Montreal-based Railpower Technologies Corp., the diesel/battery hybrid power plants are capable of achieving nearly a 75% saving in fuel costs and equal, or greater, reductions in emissions over time.
Joe Murphy, Vice President, Engineering and Maintenance at TSI told AJOT that the hybrid units are offering tremendous cost and environmental advantages to the container terminal. Crane operators have found very little difference in handling the cranes, other than the elimination of the noise and fumes that accompany conventional diesel engines. He also said that TSI is considering installing the units on additional, smaller, cranes as well as the 40-ton units. Before this can be done, however, the equipment will have to be altered somewhat to accept the heavier electro/diesel units.
One of the unique features of Railpower’s ECO Crane power pack is that it is most comfortable working in a situation where short bursts of power are required, making it well suited to container loading or unloading operation. Also, the diesel/electric units are designed to recycle power by expending energy when a container is lifted, and reclaiming energy when a container is lowered.
The results are greatly reduced fuel consumption and a sharp reduction in noxious emissions.
Railpower’s technology involves replacing the conventional diesel generator set on a crane with a smaller diesel engine/alternator and lead-acid battery energy storage combination.
Equipped with this new power plant, TSI experienced a fuel burn rate during a typical duty cycle of 2.08 gal/hr. for a fuel power efficiency of 12 kWh/gal. On the other hand, the conventional diesel units used on conventional RTG cranes of similar size burn roughly 8.0 gal/hr. during active duty.
Following the tests in June of this year Murphy said, “The Railpower hybrid solution was chosen because it offered an impressive reduction in fuel consumption and, by far, the largest emission reductions available. We like the hybrid approach because it inherently incorporates all the strategies for reducing fuel usage and emissions reductions.”
The successful adaptation of the ECO Crane at TSI Terminals is very likely to lead to further purchases by the company. Capt. Norman Stark, president and CEO said the purchase of the first crane, “…is one of our key initiatives to reduce emissions. Last year, we were the first container terminal in Canada to implement a biodiesel fuel program. Our commitment to the environment is to further reduce emissions and our impact on the natural environment wherever practicable.
“We currently operate more than 40 RTG cranes at our two container terminals in the Lower Mainland. If the prototype continues to be successful, TSI intends to enter into an agreement with Railpower to continue retrofitting our fleet of RTG cranes with Railpower’s hybrid power plant system.”
Railpower is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, with its US office in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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American Journal of Transportation