Liebherr’s hydrogen-fueled excavator receives Bauma award

By Chad Elmore24 October 2022

2022 Bauma Innovation Award goes to company’s R 9XX H2 hydrogen excavator

Bauma Suitable for use under extreme temperatures, shock, and high-dust conditions on construction sites, the 50 tonne-operating weight Liebherr R 9XX H2 may in future offer a robust solution for earthworks and quarrying applications. (Photo: Liebherr)

As it works on alternative drive solutions, Liebherr said it takes a technology-neutral approach. Hydrogen combustion engines are one technology being explored by the group, and now the R 9XX H2, the company’s first hydrogen-powered crawler excavator, has won a Bauma Innovation Award.

The prototype was developed by Liebherr-France SAS in Colmar, France. The machine is powered by an H966 hydrogen combustion engine that was produced at Liebherr Machines Bulle SA, the Liebherr Group’s engine competence center in Switzerland.

Suitable for use under extreme temperatures, shock, and high-dust conditions on construction sites, the 50 tonne-operating weight R 9XX H2 could, in the future, offer a solution for earthworks and quarrying applications.

The R 9XX H2 is powered by a Liebherr H966 hydrogen combustion engine. The engine has six cylinders and uses port fuel injection (PFI), which

Bauma The prototype six-cylinder H966 hydrogen engine is the heart of Liebherr’s first hydrogen-powered crawler excavator. (Photo: Liebherr)

Liebherr employs along with direct injection (DI) for its hydrogen engines. Liebherr’s components product segment reportedly plans to start with the series production of hydrogen engines by 2025.

On a “tank to wheel” basis, i.e. when used on a construction site, the company said a hydrogen excavator emits almost no CO2.

Cradle to grave – or from production to decommissioning – CO2 emissions are 70% lower than those of comparable conventionally powered excavators.

Visitors to the Bauma fair in Munich, Germany, could experience the Liebherr R9XX H2 hydrogen excavator from October 24 to 30.

The excavator is part of a machine show at the Liebherr booth in the outdoor area, where the company exhibited a variety of machines and prototypes with alternative drive systems.

The booth offered a hands-on encounter with the second prototype of the H966 hydrogen combustion engine. It can be found in the InnovationLab, an exhibition area devoted to Liebherr’s approach to alternative drive concepts.

Another prototype of a four-cylinder hydrogen engine, the H964 with direct injection (DI), could be seen at the Liebherr Components booth 326 in hall A4.

Innovation Award rewards innovation

2022 sees the 13th presentation of the Bauma Innovation Award. Its five categories – climate protection, digitalization, mechanical engineering, building and research – reflect political, social, economic and ecological challenges.

The expert jury’s focus on criteria such as practical orientation, economic potential, environmental protection aspects, resource conservation, efficiency and humanization the workplace.

The prize is awarded by Messe München and the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), together with the Federation of the German Construction Industry (HDB), the German Construction Confederation (ZDB) and the German Building Materials Federation.

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