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Virtual Simulation-Based Underground Loader Hybridization Study - Comparative Fuel Consumption and Productivity Analysis

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Hybridization has shown a good potential in reducing fuel consumption of non-road mobile machinery (NRMM). However, R&D processes to manufacture hybrid variants of these machines are costly and time-consuming. In this work, a real-time cosimulation environment was used to simulate both diesel-powered and diesel-electric series hybrid versions of the same test machine, a 26-ton underground loader. A comparative study on fuel consumption, work and energy efficiencies was conducted, where a professional loader operator drove both the virtual versions of the loader in two distinct route lengths. The real-time simulation environment enables fast modifications of the loader models, and the results are practically instantaneously experienced by the operator. The simulations show that the fuel consumption of the studied series-hybrid underground loader was reduced roughly by 50% when compared with the original diesel-powered one. The simulations show also clearly how the energy efficiency of the machine is increased by the more optimal diesel engine usage. The presented new cosimulation environment gives rapid and real-time estimates of the effects hybridization will have on the performance of the non-road mobile machine under study.
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Virtual Simulation; Cosimulation; Underground Loader; Hybridization; Fuel Efficiency

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