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Laing O’Rourke adopts battery-powered generators

27 Jan 23 Laing O’Rourke has been using Chinese ‘smart batteries’ to power cranes London’s Olympia Redevelopment for the past six weeks.

The Enertainer energy storage system
The Enertainer energy storage system

Laing O’Rourke’s plant division, Select, has teamed up with Hong Kong-based Ampd Energy to trial the Enertainer, a plug and play device designed for the electrification of construction.

The Enertainer (…energy…container…) is powering three tower cranes at Olympia rather than traditional 500kVA diesel generators, thus reducing emissions on site.

According to the companies involved, the Enertainer is the first energy storage system in the UK able to power such large construction equipment.

Select is now offering the Enertainer to customers across the rest of the UK.

AMPD Energy chief executive and founder Brandon Ng said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate the Enertainer’s compelling environmental and commercial impacts, right here in London.

“We’re excited by the platform’s ability to transform construction and are proud to be partnering with industry leaders like Select and Laing O’Rourke, as we continue our journey towards making this a reality. We look forward to building on this first deployment over the course of 2023, powering cleaner, cheaper construction in the UK and across the world.”

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Ian Fleming, Select Site Services product leader at Olympia Redevelopment, said: “The Ampd Enertainer is a game changer for site electrics and its infrastructure. Not only does it enable us to power the crane on a small grid connection, but the innovative design allows us to feed it with small power cables and charge it when site demand for power is low. It has the capacity to run additional equipment so we are looking at other applications for it already.”

While Laing O’Rourke and Select are the first UK customer for the Enertainer, it has already been used in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia by the likes of Gammon, Lendlease and Multiplex.

While Ampd Energy says that the Enertainer can power any type of electrical equipment, it is most effective when powering high power equipment with intermittent loads, such as cranes and hoists.

It is recharged by plugging in to the mains. If your site happens to be off grid, you can charge it using a diesel generator. While that may seem to defeat the whole point of switching to electricity, Ampd says that there would still be “significant” carbon and cost savings compared to a diesel generator attached directly to the equipment.

Select Plant has also been an early adopter (along with Bowmer & Kirkland and John F Hunt) of the Punch Flybrid flywheel technology to reduce diesel consumption. [See our previous reports here and here.]

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