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Kier trial new fuel-saving generator technology | BUILDING MAGAZINE

Kier trial new fuel-saving generator technology

Kier is trialling a new fuel-saving generator technology on a site in Lancashire. The Punch Power 200 is a standalone flywheel energy storage system that improves the efficiency of diesel generators, enabling smaller, less thirsty ones to be used instead.

Working with plant supplier Sunbelt Rentals, Kier has trialled a Punch Power 200 generator to help power the tower crane on its Shakespeare North Playhouse project in Prescot and achieved 40% fuel savings.

The Punch Power 200 is produced by Punch Flybrid, a member of the Silvertone Technology Cluster, which has been pioneering mobile flywheel energy storage technology. It is derived from a similar technology used in Formula One.

Punch Flybrid technology can be used to capture energy from a vehicle or machine that would normally be wasted, and then store it in a high speed energy storage flywheel. The recuperated energy can then be used to help power the vehicle or machine, thus improving performance, saving fuel and reducing emissions. The technology can also be used to balance peak loads in dynamic duty cycles. Punch Power 200 is Punch Flybrid’s product for the power generation market.

For Kier and Sunbelt it means that a smaller generator can be used on site to power the crane. The main objectives of the trial were carbon savings and a reduction in pollutants. The trial showed that the fuel consumption was reduced by 40%.

Managing director at Kier Regional Building North & Scotland, Gary Wintersgill, said: “We are continuing to use the Punch Flybrid flywheel technology on the Shakespeare North site and are assessing other sites that could also benefit from it”.

Mark Brown, Sunbelt Rental national account manager said: “This technology is a large step in the right direction to move towards net zero carbon”.

Managing director of Punch Flybrid Tobias Knichel, said: “Deploying a single flywheel system with this tower crane removes the equivalent emissions of 17 road cars from our city centres. I applaud Kier and Sunbelt Rentals for being the very first innovators to operate the flywheel energy storage system on a live construction site. Such forward thinking leadership deserves the very positive results achieved during this trial”.