18-07-2019

Boskalis saves 80% fuel using Mini-SunBox for crew wagons

Working sustainably can be very simple. On sunny days our crew wagons are now fully operating on solar energy through the ready-made Mini-SunBox.

Joost van der Linde, technical manager Boskalis

During the past five years Boskalis radically tackled the shore area of the Waal near Afferden, Deest and Druten. This project, commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat, decreases the risk of floods while simultaneously improving the surrounding nature and recreational value. During the final phase, in which the Waal is given free rein, the crew wagons of the staff are dependent on mobile power. “Green power is a logical component of a green project,” said technical manager Joost van der Linde. “Bredenoord’s Mini-SunBox was the ideal solution due to its easy installation and fast delivery.”

Boskalis has already been working on this project for five years. In the Afferdense en Deetse Waarden an additional gully of 4.5 kilometers and thereby the longest of its kind in the Netherlands, was constructed in the Waal. In high water the water can now easily flow through, which reduces the amount of floods in the area. In addition various parts of the floodplains have been deepened and a footbridge was built. “The combination of wet and dry groundwork is Boskalis’ strength,” explains Van der Linde. “We have all expertise in-house for designing these elements, constructing them and properly planning the projects from beginning to end.”

Energy neutral in sunlight

The past half year Van der Linde was looking for a sustainable solution for powering the crew wagons. This would be the Mini-SunBox, which is placed at a high water spot, from where it powers the canteen, offices and Bouwatch security cameras. “The twistlock fastening of the solar panels is ideal for our situation. This allows us to easily attach them to a 20ft container, which we always have standing around somewhere during our projects.” The fast delivery had been the deciding factor. “I wanted to take full advantage of the remaining project time, so I didn’t want to waste weeks waiting for an installation to be completed,” Van der Linde explains. “During sunny weeks our genset only has to run sporadically, and for a very short time. We almost exclusively use solar energy right now, which allowed us to reduce our fuel usage by 80%.”

Charging station as an extra service

Next to the crew wagons is also a Bredenoord charging station for electrical cars. “That is mostly a service to our client and suppliers. They often drive electrical cars. It also serves as a signal towards Boskalis itself. More and more often we use electrical cars. This charging station shows that even on construction sites it’s possible to work without a grid connection and to charge your car in the meantime. This gives people pause for thought.”

Just do it

Electric driving is only one of the sustainable measures taken by Boskalis. “We are working hard to create a sustainable crew wagon and are looking over every single process. In this I notice that sustainable working sometimes seems complicated, considering all the techniques that are involved. You might be inclined to spend a long time discussing it before finally daring to take the plunge. The Mini-SunBox shows that sustainability on the construction site can be quite simple and very effective!”

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