PRODUCTS & SERVICES
iVTInternational.com September 2019
with Curtis Instruments Inc to ensure that their products
are 100% suited to market requirements and conform to
all relevant EN/ISO standards.
Headquartered in New York, Curtis develops,
manufactures and supplies drivetrain components for
advanced EV technology for its global customer base,
and o ers a wide spectrum of everything that is needed
to design and build electric and hybrid vehicles or
equipment. The company is increasingly being called on
to assist manufacturers of NRMM wanting to transition
away from diesel power.
The 48V has been mentioned
a few times and it is signi cant. The
maximum 60V DC charging voltage
meets the Safety-Extra-Low-Voltage
(SELV) requirements and means that
additional safety requirements for higher
voltage systems do not apply. Anything higher than
60V breaches SELV and is typically more expensive to
implement. Due to the additional safety measures and
protection required, operators, service and maintenance
personnel will need training and certi cation before they
can work on higher voltage systems. As the onus would
be on OEMs to devise and provide these programs, it is
a further argument in favour of 48V systems.
Another consideration is power. NRMM typically
works hard in tough conditions and the performance
of the new electric equipment needs to be
comparable with the diesel equivalents. Given the
SELV constraints, 48V is a far better proposition than
24V or 36V systems where the higher currents needed
to achieve the same power at these lower voltages will
naturally cause higher losses.
Safe and durable
Due to the harsh working environment typically
encountered on construction sites, components also
need to be able to withstand the rough and tumble of
punishing schedules. Curtis has partnered with leading
manufacturers on projects to design new electric
powered dumpers, mini excavators and wheeled loaders
that bene t not only from 48V technology, but also from
the robust, reliable and sustained performance that was
previously assumed to be con ned to diesel engines.
These include components such as rugged motor speed
controllers (inverters), which deliver the best possible
e ciency and torque generation for both induction
and PMAC motor types.
Curtis’ proprietary Vehicle Control Language (VC)
also allows straightforward integration with third party
CANbus devices such as Battery Management Systems
(BMS) and Engine Control Units (ECU).
Along with the system controllers, the new
generation of speed controllers is designed to withstand
extremes of temperature, shock and vibration. These
are immune to high levels of electrostatic discharge
and electromagnetic interference, are protected against
water ingress, and are resistant to solvents, degreasers,
fertilizers and other such corrosive substances.
With many in the construction sector believing that
it is a matter of when and not if it will be the norm to see
electric vehicles on construction sites, the die is rmly
cast in their favour. According to a report by market
research and business intelligence company IDTechEx,
by 2029 the majority of construction, agriculture and
mining vehicles sold will be electrically powered.
Manufacturers have taken note of customer
requirements that they clean up their act and are
now ready to commit to change. Working with an
experienced partner, OEMs can ensure that their new
product will be e cient, reliable, competitive and ready
to electrify the market. iVT
By Mark Ankers, vice president of product management
at Curtis Instruments, Inc.
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