Bauer’s eBG 33 is its first electric drilling rig, may reduce costs enormously

Bauer's eBG 33 stands tall in front of a tree-lined, blue-skied, background

The eBG 33 is the first electric drilling rig manufactured by Bauer. The equipment relies on electrical power instead of a diesel engine. Bauer claims it operates extremely quietly, which could make it well-suited for use in cities.

“We have been working with electrification for some time now,” explains Christian Heinecker, Head of the Drilling Equipment division at Bauer. “In the past, however, this was tailored to specific customer requests or projects.”

Previously, the electrification of Bauer equipment has only been present in specific cases such as the Dive Drill, an underwater drilling rig. “Electrification has entered our standard portfolio in the form of individual products as well as deep drilling technology,” says Heinecker.

The new eBG 33 falls in the mid-range segment of the drilling rig series. It has a drive power of more than 400 kW, which puts it on the same scale as a BG 28 to BG 36.

Bauer claims that apart from classical Kelly drilling, the eBG 33 is ideal for high-performance methods. Double-head system drilling and soil-mixing techniques are examples of such methods. It is even possible to attach a Bauer trench cutter.

Same structure, better long-term value

From the outside, the eBG 33 does not look any different from its Bauer relatives, besides the colour. However, on the inside is an electric engine, with power distribution where the fuel tank would be. A transformer supplies various voltages for the electric control components. The engine requires a full 690 volts, while air conditioning and heating require 400 volts. In addition, a 230 V socket provides the option of plugging in additional attachment parts, like percussion tools, on site. The on-board controls require 24 volts as usual.

Bauer's eBG 33 with its side panel flipped up, exposing its electric-based innards.


Starting with the transfer case, the structure of the eBG 33 remains the same. The hydraulic system, control elements and software design are implemented in the established, conventional manner. According to Bauer, the operator won’t need to adapt due to its similarities to all other Bauer BGs.

In preparation for development of the electric drilling rig, Bauer claims its analysis revealed that average diesel consumption is significantly higher for the BG 28 and larger equipment when compared to smaller equipment types. “And this is exactly where we focused,” says Christian Heinecker. “In fact, our analysis also demonstrated that specifically in this range, the operating costs could be enormously reduced for the long-term operation of an eBG compared to a diesel-operated drilling rig.”

“During project preparation, the total initial expenditure is higher, but the customer can reduce overall operating costs thanks to the highly-efficient electric drive system,” continues Heinecker.

Cable guidance

Cable guidance for a secure power supply poses a particular challenge. Once again, the idea comes from deep drilling technology. The solution is a power loop; a thick hose with a firm protective sheath. Inside the sheath is a total of seven cables.

Also, Bauer is working toward releasing the first eBG 33 with a trailing cable. In this configuration, the equipment is primarily suitable for operating in the same location for long periods of time. Thus, making it suitable for things like soil mixing.

This machine needs to be able to move and rotate for alternating drilling and emptying operations. For that reason, this electric BG model has a patented cable guidance arm. “All in all, cable guidance will continue to pose certain challenges because every project has different requirements, and the solutions will be as diverse as the projects themselves,” remarks Heinecker.

“Development was possible due to close collaboration with our customers and above all due to the enormous dedication of our project team – we cannot thank them enough,” explains Heinecker. The company emphasizes that its team is excited that the eBG can execute various methods for the construction of excavation pit walls as well as drill large-diameter foundation piles.