Nasta electrifies heavy construction machinery with ABB motors and drives

Norwegian company Nasta upgrades construction machines by replacing the original diesel engines with ABB’s electric powertrain. Benefits include emission-free operation, lower noise levels and better responsiveness.

Nasta AS is based in Larvik, around 100 kilometers southwest of Oslo, and distributes Hitachi heavy construction machinery in Norway. As a leading provider, Nasta also redesigns and rebuilds diesel-driven construction machinery and converts it for electrically powered operation. The conversion procedure includes removing the existing fuel tank and diesel engine, and fitting an electric motor and drive, together with an energy management system, battery and charging solution, and a power connection. ABB supplies the electric powertrain components and provides technical advice.  

“Nasta’s electrification journey started in 2019, when we won the contract to provide emission-free construction machines for a roadbuilding project in central Oslo,” says Sjur Wethal Helljesen, senior consultant at Nasta. “This was the first time the City of Oslo had required zero-emission construction operations, and we had a lot to learn about electrification. After this project we started talking to ABB, and we immediately realized they could provide us with powertrain components and valuable know-how.”

Powertrain specially designed for heavy vehicles

ABB’s electric powertrain solution consists of the AMXE motor and HES880 drive, which are specially designed for electrification of heavy vehicles. Rugged construction ensures they withstand harsh environments such as dust, moisture, heavy vibrations and shocks. Both products cover a wide power range and liquid cooling keeps the size of the units down, which makes for easier installation.

“Nasta’s redesign approach is a perfect match for our electric powertrain,” says Magnus Nordstrand, global product manager at ABB Motion. “The HES880 is an extremely versatile drive, and it can be installed as a motor inverter, bi-directional line converter for grid connectivity, or DC/DC converter for the battery interface. Nasta’s current redesign solution includes a battery capacity up to 300 kWh, which enables the vehicle to operate for 4-6 hours.”

Electrification of heavy vehicles provides clear environmental benefits. A diesel-driven 24-tonne excavator typically uses about 18,000 liters of fuel per year, which produces an annual total of around 48 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. After the upgrade, these CO2 emissions are eliminated, as are sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions, and the machines produce much less noise. These factors improve the environment, both for workers on the construction site and for people who live or work nearby. In addition, operators have told Nasta that the electrified machines are much more responsive when excavating.

Nasta is a family-owned company with an annual turnover of around NOK 1.2 billion. Its experience in the field of heavy electric machinery means that it is often called on to advise about policies and regulations for zero-emission construction sites. The Nasta team has undertaken around ten electrification projects, and they believe they can now streamline the process and reduce the time required.

“Working with ABB, we not only get rugged and reliable powertrain components, but also the technical support we need to complete the electrification projects,” says Sjur Wethal Helljesen.

In Norway, heavy vehicle distributor Nasta is converting diesel-powered machinery to electric power, increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions. Watch the interview here.

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