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Caterpillar Ships D7E Electric Drive Bulldozer
In brief: Caterpillar has shipped its first D7E electric drive track-type tractor to TJ Lambrecht in Joliet, Illinois.
Vehicle in the news
The keys were given to TJ Lambrecht, one of the nation's largest heavy, civil, and earthmoving engineering firms, earlier this month for the electric-drive D7E.
The D7E is a 60,000 pound earth mover which uses a Caterpillar C9 engine to produce 175kW of power for two AC motors that drive the differential steering and moving.
The engine can lower its power output thanks to the motors adding to the torque, thus lowering both fuel consumption and noise levels, while the electric drive train does the work.
The D7E lowers fuel consumption by 10-30% versus its standard D7R counterpart and has a 50% longer life span because of much lower wear on the engine and components.
The C9 (9.3L) ACERT diesel engine is a smaller engine than what is used in a similar-sized machine (the D7R, also a Caterpillar product), yet combined with the electric drive, it produces more horsepower. It's narrower RPM range also reduces fuel consumption (1,500-1,800 vs. 1,600 and 2,200).
The engine is also beltless, running through direct-drive to the generator and drive train, thus reducing much of its maintenance requirements. The power train oil that lubricates the working parts of the tractor also acts as a coolant for the electric motors in an innovative and simple solution to the cooling problem.
And so ...
Very innovative and interesting way to solve the efficiency problem of heavy machinery while reducing both maintenance costs and noise levels.
Photo credits: Caterpillar
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