Skip to main content

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

Learning from tornados: novel electric street sweeper boasts powerful suction

Powerful suction technology is at the heart of an innovation that promises efficient, 100 % electric-powered street cleaning.

Industrial Technologies

Local authorities and street cleaners have to navigate ever-stricter environmental requirements. Bans on diesel engines in city centres as well as limits on emissions have forced a rethink on street cleaning vehicle fleets. “Diesel-powered sweeper machines are typically used to clean outdoor areas,” explains TIMAN262O project coordinator, Henning Pedersen, co-founder and technical director at Timan, Denmark. “Depending on their size and age, these tend not to be very environmentally friendly.” Authorities therefore need to work out how to perform cleaning operations in a more ecological yet cost-effective way. Automated street sweeping tends to be highly energy-consuming, and very noisy. The job is also daunting: every year, some 500 million citizens living in the EU throw away more than half a tonne of waste each. Around 15 % of this waste lands on the streets.

Tornado power

“The challenge for authorities is to achieve lower energy consumption, less noise and fewer emissions,” adds Pedersen. “At the same time though, you need a highly efficient machine that can sweep large areas in a short time, at an economically attractive price.” Some manufacturers have developed electrically powered machines. Pedersen points out however that these tend to consume a great deal of energy and require large battery packs. This makes the machines very expensive and heavy. Danish firm Timan addressed this challenge by developing the Timan 262O. This innovative street cleaning concept focuses specifically on the nozzle. The patented solution is efficient and requires far less energy than existing cleaning machines. “What makes this innovation unique is that it harnesses the power of the tornado,” says Pedersen. “Nature is able to lift houses and trucks with large tornados.” A ‘tornado’ is recreated via special air ducts in the machine’s suction nozzle. Just like a tornado, these create very high rotating wind speeds, which creates a large vacuum inside. Rotating air flows at a speed of over 650 km an hour. “This power is achieved with significantly less energy consumption than traditional suction nozzles,” notes Pedersen. “This made it possible for us to develop an efficient hybrid and a 100 % electric sweeping suction machine, with a much lighter battery pack.”

Going electric

The 4-month EU-funded project was launched to help the company bring a 100 % electric street cleaning machine to market. “EU funds enabled us to refurbish and test our machine so that it is ready for the market,” he explains. “At the same time, we were also able to carry out market analyses, in preparation for our launch.” The company was able to identify 22 specific customer groups worldwide. The machine is targeted at both public and private sectors, since it is operational in urban areas such as shopping malls, amusement parks and car parks. It can also be used for garden and park management. While the firm’s current machine meets European diesel engine regulations, a 100 % electric version would represent a significant step change in the street cleaning market. Within a 5-year period, the company expects to have established sales in 26 countries. “It is our hope that Timan can contribute to a cleaner planet,” says Pedersen. “We can create cleaner cities, by using cleaner energy.”

Keywords

TIMAN262O, cleaners, suction, diesel, energy, street, waste, vehicle

Discover other articles in the same domain of application