Atlas Copco ZBP energy storage system optimizes electric crane use in hospital construction site

Experiencing the energy

29 November, 2023

Atlas Copco has supplied a reliable ZBP energy storage system (ESS) to efficiently power cranes at a construction site of a hospital in Alentejo, in southern-central Portugal. ACCIONA, the Spanish multinational company managing the project, has used the battery-based storage system to set up a hybrid solution with a power generator to optimize the environmental footprint of the crane’s electric motor, achieving significant fuel, energy and lifecycle savings.

ZBP energy storage system powering crane in Alentejo, Portugal

ZBP energy storage system powering crane in Alentejo, Portugal

ACCIONA, Atlas Copco’s partner in the region, had been using a diesel-driven generator as the sole source of power for the crane at the construction site of a hospital. While the unit was able to effectively handle the load profile, and peaks in power demand when the crane was turned on, it became evident that the solution was oversized.


Having a variable load profile, with the crane’s high current spikes and low loads, the power generator needed to work 24 hours a day, five days a week, and most of the time out of its optimal operational range. This resulted in excessive fuel consumption, which also impacted costs, additional CO2 and noise emissions, and a higher risk of malfunction and unexpected failure ― since the generator’s engine was operating under very demanding conditions.


After several months of using the diesel-driven generator, ACCIONA looked for a more energy-efficient solution to power the crane’s electric motor.

An efficient solution

Atlas Copco ZBP energy storage system

Atlas Copco ZBP 45-60 energy storage system

The energy storage system benefits from long-life, low maintenance, and high-density Lithium-ion (Li-on) batteries. When set up in a hybrid solution with a diesel-driven generator, the systems have proven to be ideal for companies operating in low-emission and noise-sensitive applications like metropolitan construction.


The ZBP energy storage system is used to cover the low loads, freeing the generator from working in undesirable conditions. As the working day begins and the power demand increases, the generator starts delivering power while the batteries are recharged. When the crane is turned on and power demand peaks, the charged batteries are used to complement the generator’s supply to efficiently power the electric motor.


The 75-kilowatt generator only runs for four hours every two days, when the ZBP needs recharging. As a result, ACCIONA was able to increase its productivity levels onsite while limiting the environmental impact, dramatically reducing daily fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and noise.


Additionally, since the generator’s running hours are reduced from over 50 hours per week to less than 10 hours per week, and it is always working within the optimal operational range, the diesel-driven unit is better protected, and its overhaul and maintenance requirements are minimized. This energy-efficient setup not only extends the generator’s lifetime but also optimizes its overall performance.

Reducing operational costs and CO2 emissions

Based on the results obtained during the three months that the Atlas Copco ZBP energy storage system has been in use, ACCIONA estimates savings of 5,000 litres of fuel per year to power the crane. Also, the associated operating costs and operating hours of the generator have been reduced by up to 80%. This will significantly extend the generators' life cycle and reduce substantially their maintenance costs and environmental impact. In this case, the emission of approximately 15 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year will be avoided.

Battery-based hybrid energy solutions are essential in the power supply transformation of an increasing number of industry sectors, which demand more sustainable alternatives. Integrating the ZBP system into the solution has enhanced the project’s profitability while significantly reducing the environmental footprint. Additionally, the plug-and-play installation, reduced maintenance needs and the remote monitoring system provide the end-user with peace of mind.

Victor Ghete , Technical Sales Support Energy Storage Systems and Hybrid Solutions at Atlas Copco

Setting the standard in Southern Europe

While standalone energy storage systems and emission-free hybrid solutions ― featuring the power grid and/or renewables ― are proliferating in areas with more stringent emission regulations, like the Nordic region, the tandem ESS-power generator is becoming a broadly integrated power supply solution in Southern Europe, especially in construction sites, metropolitan areas and events.

We are proud to be working with ACCIONA and at the forefront of the energy transition in the power supply sector. We are proud to have supplied equipment to this project, which has clearly demonstrated the advantages of the hybrid system and proven that they are integral to work sites looking to operate more efficiently.

Diego Moreno , Business Line Manager South Europe at Atlas Copco

ACCIONA’s project in Alentejo

In addition to the construction of the ten-story main building, ACCIONA is also carrying out the development of 127,000 m2 of green areas, the construction of a heliport and parking areas for 1,560 parking spaces, as well as the construction of the interior roads and a connection with the main distributor road connecting the EN 114-Estrada de Lisboa and EN-380. The construction of the Alentejo Hospital, which will have a capacity of 400 beds, is scheduled for completion in 2024.

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