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

Jan 5, 2021

Recent Posts

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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 Screening Setup Can Optimize Your Crushing Operation?

Portable plants and other crushing equipment can come in many shapes and sizes depending on the needs of a producer. Just as integral to a crushing operation as an impactor or jaw crusher are the screens being utilized to sort product. With so many options and...

Eagle Crusher Company Updates – April 2021

Eagle Crusher Names New Del. and MD. Crushing and Screening Plant Distributor Eagle Crusher Co., Inc. is proud to announce GT Mid Atlantic as the new Eagle Crusher distributor for the states of Delaware and Maryland. The company will represent Eagle Crusher’s full...

Following Lockout-Tagout Procedure to Protect Crushing Personnel

In order to protect team members who are performing maintenance on crushing equipment like portable plants, energy must be completely removed and disconnected from relevant components to make maintenance safe through a process known as an isolation procedure or more...

Optimize Your Crushing with Eagle Crusher’s Configurable Designs

Working in the crushing industry can lead to some unique challenges on the job site. How to best lay out equipment to optimize production? What type of crushers are needed to reduce the material efficiently? Will one crusher be enough for the job? Eagle Crusher is...

Properly Feeding Material for Crushing

On a crushing site, there are many moving pieces and parts that work together to ensure that production is optimized and remains issue-free, like the loaders, the crushers, screening plants, conveyors, etc. Loaders transporting material to the crusher have the...

Reselling Portable Plants & Buying Preowned Crushing Equipment

Portable crushing plants like those that Eagle Crusher manufactures are engineered to be high quality and heavy-duty products in order to withstand the extreme amounts of wear and tear associated with crushing and screening materials like aggregate, concrete, and...

Eagle Crusher Company Updates – March 2021

Eagle Crusher Exhibits at C&D World 2021 The Eagle Crusher sales team exhibited our comprehensive line of crushing equipment and services at the C&D World 2021 Conference & Exhibition, hosted at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center on March 21...

Wearing PPE and Crushing Safely

Heavy material like aggregate and concrete blocks can move around a crushing site quickly, from the loader, into an impactor, and out across conveyor belts. All of this moving material, paired with the site’s heavy machinery, can present job hazards. Crushing teams...

Powerful Portable Crushing Plants for C&D Recycling

Recycling materials like concrete and asphalt collected from construction and demolition waste through the use of crushing equipment like portable plants is an industry that has seen tremendous success for its positive environmental impact and cost-saving results....

Sorting Rebar and Metal Contaminants When Crushing Concrete

In the crushing industry, C&D recycling has grown in popularity in recent years for its significant waste-saving results; millions of tons of concrete and asphalt are able to be diverted from landfills every year which results in big savings for companies and...

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