What’s Powering Your Portable Plants This Year: Diesel or Electric?

Jan 5, 2021

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Portable crushing plants are powerful machines with many moving parts that rely on diesel or electric power to operate. Historically, diesel power has long fueled the crushing industry, but lately, electric power is rapidly becoming popular, even when plants move from jobsite to jobsite.

When it comes to crushing material like aggregate, concrete, and asphalt, what are the benefits between using diesel and electric power to run a portable plant’s impactor, conveyors, and other components?

What's Powering Your Portable Plants This Year: Diesel or Electric?

Crushing and screening plants generally have three options when it comes to how the equipment is powered: diesel, electric generator, or line power.

Diesel power typically refers to a diesel engine and electrical generator onboard the crusher itself. The diesel engine supplies mechanical energy to run the crusher while also powering the electric generator in order to run the conveyors, magnets, screens, and other components.

Diesel engines are the most compact choice as they typically require no additional items to be transported since they are installed on the plant itself. However, with the engine being on the plant, they are exposed to all the vibration and dust a plant may produce while crushing, possibly affecting uptime due to hoses that may shake lose, or air filters that may get clogged more frequently.

Another option is the electrical genset-powered plant. This option uses an off-board diesel generator to provide direct electrical power to the plant as well as using an electric motor to drive the crusher.

Genset-powered plants can provide some benefits over direct diesel plants. Because the diesel engine of the genset is removed from the plant, it is isolated from the vibration and much of the dust, allowing the generator to likely see fewer issues than a diesel mounted on the plant itself. Also, electric motors are generally more reliable in the long term given their simpler construction.

Yet, gensets do have some downsides that must be factored in. The biggest issue is that an additional piece of equipment, the genset, must always be brought along to each job site, increasing transportation costs. Also, even though the plant is electrically powered, the genset will still require diesel, meaning fuel costs will remain.

Finally, operators can choose line power to run their plants. This option directly connects the plant to the power grid and removes diesel and genset from the equation. Line power will generally be the cheapest, since it is not subject to fluctuations in fuel costs and will have minimal to no maintenance concerns since there are no moving parts to it, aside from the electric motors.

However, there are some major disadvantages to line power to be concerned with. First, if not already prepared at a job site, installation of utility hookups at the scale required to power a crusher can take months of planning and can easily run into the six figures.

Also, while diesel and genset options can be hampered by issues onsite, line power can be susceptible to issues offsite as well, like a car crashing into a utility pole 20 miles away knocking out power to your operation.

Finally, by connecting to line power, moving the plant to another site is more difficult. Not only will the power have to be disconnected, a genset will have to be acquired to run the plant offsite, if the new site is not also prepared with line power hookups.

Like with many decisions for a crushing job, the choice between diesel and electric power for your portable plant will likely depend on the nature of the project, so it is especially important to consider the advantages of each.

For additional information about the benefits of diesel and electric power sources for portable plants, we invite you to contact our sales department to speak with a Team Eagle representative.

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Previous Posts

Which Blow Bars Are Right For You?

Which blow bars are right for your job? Blow bars are thick slabs of metal, typically some mixture of chrome, that are cast for the purpose of effectively breaking apart material like asphalt, concrete, limestone, etc. Often in sets of 3 or 4, blow bars are inserted...

Mobile Vs Portable Rock Crushers: The Pros and Cons

Mobile Vs Portable Rock Crushers: The Pros and Cons We all know that different material processing jobs present unique challenges and with the current world market, buying the right crushing equipment is critical to keeping your company up and crushing. One of the...

Staying Safe During Warm Weather Crushing

Staying Safe During Warm Weather Crushing As the summer months roll in, bringing higher temperatures and more sun exposure with it, operating portable crushing and screening plants at outdoor locations can become more demanding and introduce new safety hazards to team...

Why It Is Important To Have Critical Spares On Hand

Why It Is Important To Have Critical Spares On Hand Downtime is the enemy to productivity when you have a job to do, so you want to be prepared by keeping critical spares on hand. Having critical spares on hand allows for the minimal downtime of replacing the part in...

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What Are Crushers? Crushers are machines designed to reduce large materials, typically rocks, concrete or asphalt, into smaller materials for purposes of sizing, recycling, reduction, and more. These crushers are typically found in quarries, mines, recycling...

Eagle Crusher at World of Asphalt / AGG1 2022

Did you miss Eagle Crusher at World of Asphalt / AGG1? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Eagle Crusher was one of the 440 companies showing at the record-breaking World of Asphalt / AGG1 in Nashville, Tennessee this year. With over 11,000 attendees, Eagle Crusher was...

How To Startup Your Crushing Equipment This Spring

How To Startup Your Eagle Crusher Crushing Equipment This Spring Now that Spring is officially here, that means warmer temperatures to help with the startup of the plants that were inactive over the winter. Your service manuals and vendor books have more detailed...

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All you need to know about the UltraMax® 69X in one place. From horizontal shaft impactors to jaw crushers, Eagle Crusher manufactures some of the toughest and most powerful crushing equipment on the market, empowering producers to conquer any size crushing project....

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At Eagle Crusher, we pride ourselves in developing products that meet our customers needs. That’s why we’ve taken our popular RapiDeploy® 500 plant and enlarged it: Introducing the RapiDeploy® 1000 The RapiDeploy® 1000 features our powerful Ultramax® UM-15 impactor...

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