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Kalmar Enables Multiple Battery Technologies for Electric Straddle Carriers

Kalmar Enables Multiple Battery Technologies for Electric Straddle Carriers

Kalmar has announced the launch of the Electric Straddle Carrier Charge Family as the latest addition to its rapidly growing portfolio of fully electric equipment. The Charge Family comprises battery technologies, charging solutions and software for Kalmar straddle carriers, supporting operators of both manual and automated terminals in transitioning towards decarbonised operations.

With the introduction of the Charge Family, Kalmar electric straddle carriers are now available with two different battery technologies. The Kalmar electric straddle carrier with high-energy battery is capable of up to four hours of continuous operation with a charging time of around 45 minutes. As an alternative, the Kalmar electric straddle carrier with high-power battery (previously known as the Kalmar FastCharge™ straddle carrier), is capable of up to 50 minutes of continuous operation with a charging time of five to six minutes.

The battery technologies are supported by two different charging options that can be combined flexibly depending on the needs of the terminal. A standard CCS charging interface is compatible with any commercial charging station, while the optional high-power technology charges the onboard battery via a pantograph at a FastCharge station.

Smart charging

The equipment solutions are complemented by supporting Kalmar software that allows terminals to make efficient use of their electrified equipment and identify areas for improvement through monitoring and data analysis. Kalmar Charge Optimiser automatically assigns charging tasks to the operator to avoid queues at charging stations and ensure the efficient utilisation of charging points. Kalmar One Fleet Optimiser software for Kalmar AutoStrad™ handles job scheduling and dispatching, while the Kalmar Insight Energy Module provides visibility over battery charging status, energy utilisation and key performance indicators related to charging.

"With the introduction of the Kalmar Electric Straddle Carrier Charge Family, we now have a full range of products that provide maximum flexibility for terminal operators," says Marko Hopeaharju, Head of Horizontal Transportation Solutions, Kalmar. "The battery and charging technologies can be chosen depending on the specific operational needs of the terminal, and the performance of the system can be optimised very effectively with the aid of our software products."

"With the introduction of the Kalmar Electric Straddle Carrier Charge Family, we now have a full range of products that provide maximum flexibility for terminal operators." 

Flexible choices

The optimum choice of battery and charging solution will depend on the fleet type and operational concept of the terminal. The high-energy battery will provide a continuous operational time of approximately half a workshift, and the straddle carrier can be recharged for example during a lunch break for a further four hours of operation. By contrast, the high-power system uses a smaller battery that provides 45 to 50 minutes of operational time with fast opportunity charging that takes only a few minutes between work cycles.

"The battery systems depend on two different energy storage concepts," says Sami Yli-Äyhö, Senior Manager, Product Management, Kalmar. "The high-energy solution is slower to charge, but has a larger capacity, while the high-power system can take in a large amount of energy in a very short time. Typically, the high-power solution with automated FastCharge™ charging would be the first choice for automated straddle carrier terminals, but the system is also suited to manual terminals."

"The battery systems depend on two different energy storage concepts." 

London Gateway goes electric

In the second quarter of 2024, Kalmar will be delivering eight fully electric Kalmar straddle carriers with high-energy batteries to DP World's London Gateway logistics hub. London Gateway is a state-of-the-art deep-sea port, rail terminal and logistics park situated on the River Thames. Terminal operator DP World is committed to minimising the terminal’s environmental impact, and fully electric equipment is seen as a key part of the drive to improve eco-efficiency.

DP World's Kalmar electric straddle carriers with high-energy batteries will be capable of operating for up to four hours. No major changes are required to the yard infrastructure as the charging stations will be located in parking areas outside operational hotspots. The straddle carriers will be fitted with a CCS2 charging interface that is compatible with any commercial charging station. DP World will also install two Kalmar FastCharge™ charging stations in the yard area that can be used to top up the machines’ batteries during shifts.

"One of the great advantages of the Kalmar Electric Straddle Carrier Charge Family is that the two charging and battery solutions can be combined flexibly," says Jeroka Alanko, Senior Manager, Product Management, Kalmar Automation Solutions. "The pantograph-based FastCharge™ system can complement traditional CCS charging and act as a supplemental charger for the high-energy solution. Both machine types are also fitted with the standard CCS charging interface."

One of the great advantages of the Kalmar Electric Straddle Carrier Charge Family is that the two charging and battery solutions can be combined flexibly." 

Zero emissions on site

In terms of performance, the electric straddle carrier compares favourably to its diesel counterparts. "Electric machines always need to be charged at some point, so we typically estimate a 90% availability rate for our high-power systems to account for charging. However, with optimisation, opportunity charging between container moves can be utilised very effectively without impacting productivity," notes Marko Hopeaharju.

All-electric container equipment also has the potential for lower lifetime maintenance costs as the diesel engine and traditional powertrain are eliminated. In addition to the standard warranty, Kalmar offers an extended battery warranty of up to five years when combined with remote diagnostics through the Kalmar Insight service, which allows operators to track the performance of their equipment as well as battery performance and status in real time.

"Fully electric container handling equipment is the logical next step for terminals on their decarbonisation journey," says Hopeaharju. "Kalmar electric straddle carriers are fully zero-emission on site, but the environmental impact of the terminal as a whole naturally depends on how the electricity for the site is produced. We are seeing a clear drive towards more eco-efficient operations in our global customer base, and are happy to support their goals with the Kalmar Electric Straddle Carrier Charge Family alongside our other solutions."

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