C&L, Cranes & Lifting, Features

Sustainable storage systems providing sustainable solutions

A functional engineer and an electrician by trade, Tutt Bryant’s National Business Manager for Sustainable Products and Innovation, Chris Leahy, discusses what the leading equipment distributor is doing in partnership with Sany to support the operations of its electric products.

As the world progresses towards a decarbonised future, so too must the worlds of infrastructure, construction, mining and renewables.

Simple decarbonisation processes such as telematics have already been employed; where the true challenge lies, however, is with decarbonising heavy construction equipment.

For most, this means electrification of the equipment. But, in a country as geographically vast as Australia, battery technology comes with its own challenges, with the worries equivalent to those presented with electric vehicles: what if I get stuck somewhere without a charging station? What if there’s a drastic compromise on performance? What if I need to charge my vehicle and wait for eight hours in one spot?

The solution? According to Tutt Bryant’s National Business Manager for Sustainable Products and Innovation, Chris Leahy, the go-to choice will be mobile battery storage systems, a belief he says was reinforced by his recent trip to Sany’s factory in China, where he got to witness the efficacy of these products firsthand.

“The one that will be probably the low hanging fruit for everybody is going to be the mobile battery energy storage systems,” he says. “Ultimately, what that’s going to provide industry is the capability to tow a power source behind a standard commercial vehicle to where the crane is, so that crane can then have fast charging capabilities.

“Rather than bringing the crane to the power supply, we’re bringing the power supply in a mobile form to the crane.”

With a lengthy history in power generation that saw him begins his career as an electrician in 1996 and, recently, join Tutt Bryant as National Power Generation Manager in 2020, Chris’ current role will see him look to actively support and seek out battery technology as well as mobile power storage systems to bring into Tutt Bryant and distribute to its customers.

For him, this was on show in the models he saw at Sany’s factory – especially by Sany’s mobile power storage units.  With rapid charge capabilities, the 210kWhr/100kW Sany BESS is a mobile charging station, compatible with equipment that can charge while in operation – such as the Sany EV cranes.  Taking its design from the same infrastructure as the EV Cranes, the Sany Power Port will also operate as Prime or Standard power while adaptable to commercial and industrial application.

The way they work is simple: the units are plugged in and charged, taken to where the crane is, and then they charge up the crane’s battery as it needs it – and so, rather than relying on bringing a crane to and from a power source 500m away from where it is needed, the power can be brought to the crane.  With crane charge times of under four hours from a traditional 63A socket outlet, the mobile BESS can reduce the overall charge time by 50 per cent – based on a 50 per cent state of charge – making it a genuine power solution on site.

Moreover, while charging, Sany cranes continue to operate with full functionality with tracking the only exclusion. Charging between the BESS and crane occurs via the connection of a three-phase cable plugged into the lower track assembly, maintaining 360-degree slewing.  Other advantages include extended periods between services, out to 2000 hours, increasing utilisation and productivity.  Zero emissions are a significant factor with the elimination of diesel fuel and the overall reduction in noise pollution.

“The battery technology is scientifically proven to work,” says Chris. “We’ve seen LiFePO batteries thrive consistently in any environment they’re applied in, and the chemistry that has proven itself time and again is the same in cranes.”

The element of familiarity is one that construction, mining, and infrastructure companies alike will find reassuring, on top of costs saved via carbon credit savings and reduced resources spent on maintenance and refuelling of diesel products. What Chris is keen to stress as well is that the products being brought in by Tutt Bryant are fully compliant to every relevant Australian standard.

Sany’s battery technology and mobile energy storage systems operate directly with the mandated AS 3000 pertaining to electrical installations and wiring rules; AS 3012 for electrical installations on construction and demolition sites; AS 5139 specifying requirements for general installation and safety requirements for battery energy storage systems; AS IEC 62619, which specifies requirements and tests for the safe operation of lithium cells and batteries; and IEC 62477 that revolves around powering electronic systems.

As Chris says, every one of these standards is met by the technology Tutt Bryant and Sany is bringing into Australia, ensuring that powering of its electric machinery, such as the Sany SCC400TB-EV and the SCC800TB-EV, is conducted as safely as possible.

“There’s no hesitation from companies in wanting to work with us on these mobile battery storage systems,” says Chris. “A lot of these products are driven by the demand of the market and, once companies have been convinced of the compliance and quality of these products, we’ve seen great positivity towards these units.

At the end of the day, however, despite its proven capabilities, battery-electric products still face a certain stigma due to their relative newness. This, for Chris, is allayed by Tutt Bryant’s provision of the product. Because of the company’s standing in Australia as a leading equipment distributor, and thanks to its vast network across the country, customers can feel reassured that Tutt Bryant will be on standby to assist with any qualms or queries.

“Innovation is never perfect, but Tutt Bryant is a reputable, well-established company, and we are committed to providing electric, sustainable, efficient construction machinery,” says Chris. “We believe in the quality of Sany’s electric cranes, and we’re always going to be standing behind the product to help whenever we need to.”

Because, as Chris says anecdotally, the demand to take up high-performing electrical equipment is gathering speed at a rapid rate.

“As a functional engineer and an electrician by trade, I want to share my textbook knowledge with prospective clients to talk about real world application,” he says, “and there’s never any resistance to these meetings, which is brilliant.”


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