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

Magnets and Crushing: Inline or Cross Belt

Concrete recycling is on the rise, as construction and demolition waste is increasingly being diverted from landfills and being crushed and reused for new projects. Consequently, having the ability to efficiently sort through concrete rubble for rebar and other metal...

The Importance of Conveyor Safety

Regarded as the lifelines of any crushing operation, conveyor systems are some of the most valuable machines on the job site as they are designed to quickly transport bulk product from one point to another in order to greatly reduce the time spent manually handling...

Getting The Best From Your Impact Crusher

The crushing market caters to a wide range of material processing industries, like aggregate, asphalt, and concrete and demolition recycling, that handle an even wider range of materials, including limestone, concrete, and gravel, among many others. Yet, all crusher...

Crushing Safely in the Summer Season

As the summer months arrive in North America, operating portable crushing and screening plants on a job site outdoors can become more demanding as exposure to high temperatures introduce new safety hazards to team members. Dangers that are inherent to hot weather like...

Managing Horizontal Shaft Impactor (HSI) Curtain Wear

On a crushing job, every machine and piece of crushing equipment works together to contribute to the success of production. However, it is necessary to recognize that certain components of equipment like portable plants should require extra care to achieve that...

Optimizing Stockpiling on the Crushing Site

Striking the right balance between producing a quality aggregate product and maximizing operational efficiency is a familiar challenge on any crushing site. To achieve harmony, the right equipment needs to be set up and configured to account for any variables that...

Eagle Crusher Company Updates – May 2021

Eagle Crusher Launches New Company Website Eagle Crusher is pleased to announce the launch of our new company website that is designed to better help users find the right crushing and screening products for their operations. An industry leader for more than 100 years,...

Preventing Pinch Points and Finger Hazards While Crushing

Portable crushing and screening plants are engineered with the safety of its operators and others in mind. Just as well, potential safety hazards like pinch points and finger injuries can be prevented on the job site by properly training team members and following...

Screening Plants and Systems for Serious Crushing Projects

The most effective crushing operations are often complemented by an appropriate configuration of screening plants and systems that can best sort and stockpile the material being processed as efficiently possible. Eagle Crusher manufactures a comprehensive range of...

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