CASE STUDY | Brokk
Delivering an on-board charging solution to guarantee the operation of remote-controlled demolition robots in nuclear disaster sites
Brokk is a manufacturer of remote-controlled demolition machines. Established over 40 years ago, Brokk has earned a reputation for delivering safe, powerful and effective demolition solutions.
Their intelligent demolition machines have dramatically improved the working conditions for thousands of people around the world and provided critical service when it was needed most. Brokk machines helped to clear Ground Zero after 9/11. They assisted in containing the nuclear disaster at Fukushima NPP after the devastating tsunami. And every day, they work at thousands of jobsites, keeping people safe while making businesses more profitable.
The remote-controlled nature of Brokk’s machines means workers can operate them from a safe distance. Brokk has been awarded ISO 9001 by Lloyd’s for the company’s quality management system for the manufacture of remote-controlled demolition robots.
In the case of nuclear disaster sites, machines undertake dangerous tasks involving radioactive waste and understandably these tasks need to controlled remotely (a minimum of 100M away). Operators cannot physically enter onto the site to retrieve a machine should it fail out in the field – Brokk needed a solution to protect against failure of the main starter battery to ensure continuous operation.
Brokk machines also have a dedicated recovery system to help retreive the machine, should its main system fail. This critical part of the machine is powered by a second back-up battery – any charging solution therefore needed to ensure that the recovery system had sufficient power from the back-up battery so that it was always fully operational.
“We were looking for a charging solution to guarantee that our vehicles always had starting capacity. CTEK was the ideal partner for us”
- Anders Labba, Head of Nuclear Sales
With vehicle reliability and starting capacity a priority, CTEK recommended an on-board charging solution linked directly to the starter battery set, to maintain a 100% charge whilst on the move, guaranteeing starting capacity. CTEK specified the D250TS, a 24V fast, fully automatic, 4-step battery charger and conditioner - a completely standalone unit that doesn’t need any additional diodes or VSR relays. This highly effective unit prioritises the starter battery set, delivering up to 10A of charge.
When the starter battery set is fully charged, the D250TS will automatically redirect maintenance charge power to the back-up battery set. Power is delivered through a dual 12V output that equalises the battery set, maximizing capacity and significantly extending battery life.
Should the recovery system fail, the D250TS has the capacity to accept power from almost any DC power source. This enables the starter battery to be charged using an AC/DC power supply or from the DC provided by a tow vehicle.
The charger is IP65 classified – designed to work in harsh conditions, is water jet and dust protected and approved for outdoor use.
Whilst the D250TS formed the basis of the solution, CTEK worked in partnership with Brokk to ensure compliance with Brokk specifications & standards. CTEK also undertook rigorous testing to test compatibility with machine systems and reliability of the D250TS unit.
Following successful compliance, compatibility and reliability tests, Brokk has introduced this solution into their range of machines and is also working with leading manufacturers to develop other solutions that would incorporate the CTEK D250TS.
“The CTEK solution is helping us to deliver the first-class, reliable service that we are renowned for.”
- Anders Labba, Head of Nuclear Sales
The use of this system means that Brokk machines are fully operational at all times, helping their customers to undertake critical disaster recovery work. Since the introduction of this charging solution Brokk has not been advised of any battery related failures with their machines – helping them to deliver the first-class, reliable service that they are renowned for.