New Drive-In technologies reduce costs and CO2
“The conversion of RTGs from diesel to electric saves up to 95 percent on diesel consumption,” explains Claus Burger, Director of the E-RTG business unit at Conductix-Wampfler. During normal operation, E-RTGs no longer require a diesel motor; this is only necessary when driving from one container corridor to the next or in the waiting area. According to Burger, it is paying off: “If you compare diesel with the expected power costs for operating an RTG, a conversion offers a real chance for achieving savings. These are often so great that the conversion costs – around EUR 150,000 per RTC – are fully amortized in as early as two years.” In addition, forgoing the use of diesel minimizes maintenance and operating costs by up to 70 percent in addition to CO2 emissions and noise pollution around the port. Reason enough to consider alternatives to diesel. But which solution is the best
Four solutions for each individual range of use
Conductix-Wampfler offers port operators four different systems for the electrification of RTG cranes: The conversion can generally be implemented with motorized cable reels in addition to conductor rails in combination with “plug-in” or “drive-in” systems. In the case of the “Drive-In P” (pantograph) system, the connection between the RTG and conductor rail has an automatic mechanism that makes the manual attachment/detachment required in the case of the “plug-in” solution unnecessary. The brand-new “Drive-In L” (linear) system is completely electrically driven and is used without the need for any pneumatic or hydraulic components.
Electrification of motorized cable reels
A motorized cable reel is installed to provide an RTG with power. “Since each RTC is a self-contained system, Conductix-Wampfler offers two basic options,” explains Burger. Both applications are precisely adapted to the unique workflows at the port where they are being used.
On the one hand, Conductix-Wampfler offers modular motorized cable reels with a permanent magnetic coupling, which is a “plug-and-play” system consisting of interchangeable electrical and mechanical components. On the other hand, the port operator can utilize a constantly controlled motorized cable reel system that is equipped with several control units – either in the form of hardware with pre-programmed operations or in the form of software that can be integrated into the existing PLC control systems. Here, built-in video cameras and optical sensors control the movements of the RTG.
“The range of systems offered by Conductix-Wampfler covers both low and high-voltage applications,” according to Burger. A fiber optic core and transmitter can be integrated into the reel or into the cable. “One or more container blocks in the same corridor can be supplied with power from the same motorized cable reel system,” Burger added.
Conductor rail systems with “plug-in” collector trolley
The conductor rails are attached to a steel structure that stands atop a concrete foundation. Depending on the port operator, this can be anchored to the ground The conductor rails can also be installed at various different heights, offering flexibility once again here,” Burger explained.
The electrical energy is sourced from the conductor rails through the movement of the collector trolley back and forth on the steel construction. A power cable and plug-type connector allows the collector trolley to be directly connected with the RTG. “Because the safety aspects play a crucial role at ports, we use conductor contacts that also disconnect the power supply of the plug when the connection is not active,” explains Burger. Two plugs are mounted on the RTG – one on each side in order to ensure the necessary flexibility for the RTG. Conductix-Wampfler installs limit switches on the collector trolley to prevent the crane from leaving the block during electrical operation.
The system upgrade: “Drive-In P” port cranes
When using the