Bowmer & Kirkland switches site power to batteries and flywheel

AMPD Enertainer batteries supported by Punch Flybrid are powering the whole West Bar development

Bowmer & Kirkland is using just two batteries to power a tower crane, mast climbers, hoist and temporary site supply to two buildings.

This has saved 27 tonnes of CO2 in just the first two weeks of using this energy source, it has calculated.

Bowmer & Kirkland has also used an AMPD Enertainer ‘smart battery’, hired from Select Plant, to power two tower cranes on its £60m Goods Yard development in Stoke-on-Trent. [See our previous report here.]

In addition, also as previously reported, it has also pioneered the use the Punch Flybrid kinetic energy recovery system, exploiting flywheel technology to specify smaller generators. [See The flywheel finds its moment.] The same technology also gives batteries extra juice for when power demand surges.

On average Bowmer & Kirkland runs 20 tower cranes and 200 mast climbers on its sites at any one time. Traditionally, they are powered by generators. The crane team conducted months of research into Flybrid feasibility and testing its supply chain and instigated a first year roll out of the technology nationally, making Bowmer & Kirkland the first UK contractor with multiple Flybrid units on one site.

Between January and July 2023 using the Punch Flybrid Power 200 has saved Bowmer & Kirkland 172,000 litres of diesel and 450 tonnes of carbon.

Pushing the boundaries further led the team, in conjunction with equipment supplier Select, to investigate the possibility of battery power to further enhance sustainability on site. As a result it reckons that it is the first company to power two tower cranes from one battery unit on trickle charge using a mains grid connection. This saved 98 tonnes of CO2 in just three months.

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That pilot scheme was so successful that on the West Bar site in Sheffield it is powering the tower crane, mast climbers, hoist and temporary site supply to two buildings via only two batteries on trickle charge. It is now looking into using green renewable power to trickle charge the batteries, which would reduce carbon emissions even further.

Using both Punch Flybrid and battery power saved Bowmer & Kirkland 488,000 litres of diesel and 1,270 tonnes of carbon between January and July this year.

Flybrid and battery technology is now a standardised offering across Bowmer & Kirkland sites.

Director Matthew Cruttenden said: “As the company strives for our zero by 40 target, our group crane team has been instrumental in changing attitudes and increasing awareness and understanding of sustainable energy sources available. Traditionally, construction sites have powered plant with diesel-guzzling generators. Our operational staff now understand the possibilities open to us to protect the environment, reduce our emissions and save money.

“Our development and collaboration with specialist suppliers has revolutionised the way we power our site operations – who would have thought we could power an entire site by plugging into a couple of battery units on trickle charge? Within the construction industry we are leading the way with our research and innovations.”

The West Bar development comprises 368 build-to-rent to apartments across two separate buildings of 15 and 19 storeys respectively. The form of construction will be a traditional concrete in-situ frame bearing on piled foundations. The buildings will be wrapped in rainscreen brick slip facades and aluminium windows.

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