Volvo Construction Equipment has expanded its portfolio of electric machines into the asphalt industry with the addition of the DD25 Electric asphalt compactor.
The DD25 Electric will make its debut at this year’s ConExpo trade show in Las Vegas. The newest addition to Volvo CE’s lineup of electric machines, the DD25 Electric is the first Volvo CE produced electric machine designed specifically for the asphalt industry.
A compact double-drum asphalt compactor, the DD25 Electric is designed for small-scale compaction projects, including street repairs and patching, parking lots, driveways and municipal work.
Ray Gallant, vice president of product management and productivity at Volvo CE North America, said the company will begin taking orders for the DD25 Electric in late 2023 with delivery in some markets in Q1 2024.
“It is very close to production,” Gallant said. “It is right around the corner, so it is the next one that we'll be promoting and putting out there.”
Paving the way
During a recent virtual press event, John Rouse, Volvo asphalt compaction engineer, provided a walk-around of the DD25 Electric.
“The machine did receive a design update from the DD25B, so it looks vastly different than the older machine,” he said.
In addition to exterior improvements, Rouse said, there is a full LED lighting option for night or early morning work.
“We did have to make a few updates to the hydraulic system for the DD25 Electric,” Rouse said. “For the most part, it's very similar to the diesel version of the machine.” Through the development, he said, they were able to pinpoint where all the battery losses were and did everything to save as much as much battery power as possible.
“Moving to our operator's platform we now have a full-color display to keep the operator informed of everything that's going on with the machine,” he said.
Rouse said the electric driveline of the DD25 Electric is based upon the architecture and components found on Volvo CE’s ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader.
Combining Volvo’s asphalt compactor platform with battery power, the DD25 Electric offers 24 kW of available power, 30% more than the conventional Volvo DD25B. Rouse said the machine is more responsive in terms of speed and vibrations, performing better on grade and better at higher elevations compared to its diesel counterpart.
“Talking about the motor allows us to compare and contrast the performance of this machine with its diesel counterpart,” Rouse said. “Due to emissions regulations, the diesel version has 18.5 kW watts of available power. This machine has 24 kilowatts, so that allows it to have better performance on grades, and since it's not relying on natural aspiration, it's able to keep that performance in higher altitudes as well where the diesel performance is going to be knocked off.”
High-frequency compaction allows operators to achieve a smooth finish asphalt surface with speed. Frequency can be adjusted from 3,500 vibrations per minute / 55 Hz to 4000 vpm / 67 Hz to cater to different applications.
Its zero-emission operation makes the DD25 Electric ideal for sensitive or urban environments with strict emission regulations and for organizations that are looking to meet their own sustainability goal. The company suggests that if combined with its other electric offerings, it would help provide a zero-emission jobsite.
“The first question with many electric machines is what is the runtime,” Rouse said, noting that the double-drum compactor is expected to operate for a full shift on a single charge, depending on the type of job and intensity of work cycle.
“This is something we are continually testing both here on site and in the field to continually update our power management strategy, so we get our maximum amount of runtime possible to keep this roller rolling,” he said.
After runtime, with it being an electric machine, operators want to know how to charge it. The DD25 Electric uses the same charging solutions as its forerunners, the EC25 Electric and L25 Electric, allowing customers to choose the right solutions depending on operational requirements.
With the integrated onboard charger, the machine can be charged from 0-100% in as little as three hours depending on the AC power level. Rouse noted that with the optional off-board DC fast charger this can be achieved in a little over an hour, and this also offers a practical solution to top-up the machine's charge during the lunch break.
“We have maintenance-free bearings,” Rouse said. “From our center bearings, there’s no motor oil, no engine or air filters to deal with; everything on this machine is just hydraulic oil and grease points for the articulation joints. With all of that, it adds up to a lower cost of ownership and higher production for the machine.”