Among the 23 machines that Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) will present at Bauma next October, one that will surely impress is the model of a 14t excavator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, the HW155H. A technology that makes it easier to increase the machine’s capacity and is therefore more suitable for high-end construction machines than electric, according to the South Korean manufacturer. So HCE is embarking on a full hydrogen journey and intends to step forward. But faced with the very high costs of this type of solution, the gamble may seem risky.
As a technical reminder, the fuel cell, placed at the back of the machine in the high-pressure tanks, opposite the operator’s cabin, provides electrical energy that activates the hydraulic pump driven by the electric motor. This electricity is produced by a chemical reaction between stored hydrogen and oxygen in the air. And when it comes out, the HW155H only emits water while enjoying 8 hours of autonomy and a record 20-minute charge time. The technology that the manufacturer has already tested with hydrogen trucks created from hydraulic energy or renewable energy. An innovation that is part of the manufacturer’s roadmap for zero-emission building sites in the future.
Infrastructure to be developed
“It’s a revolutionary machine,” enthuses Peter Sebold, Hyundai’s product manager. And we are responsible for putting in place the necessary infrastructure to deploy hydrogen. » And that’s the rub. Because if these technologies are now known and mature, they remain in the embryonic stage. Everything has to be built and invented to develop the internet in all areas. “We carry this innovation with the responsibility of helping the population and participating in the evolution of professions and ideas”, assures Peter Sebold.
The events began in 2020, with the development of a transmission powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between HCE, Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Mobis, at its research center in Mabuk. The three companies have pledged to develop a hydrogen fuel cell to power electric forklifts and medium to heavy excavators in the next few years. A “challenge” that HCE aims to take on, believing that “hydrogen will establish itself as a major renewable energy”. And with this partnership, which brings together additional skills and makes it possible to provide the necessary funds for research and development, “it is important to maintain a good network of businessmen,” explains Peter Sebold, who cannot imagine the deployment possible without support. for these important actors. Also, with a focus on innovation and research, HCE intends to stand out at Bauma by offering “a combination of the best technology and visionary options”.