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Developing Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) for use in mines

Published: 13 February 2020 - Rachael Morling

Global mining company, Anglo American, has engaged Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) to develop its new Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV): an ultra-class electrically powered mining haul truck, which is set to be the world’s largest hydrogen powered mine truck.

As part of its FutureSmart Mining programme, which applies innovative thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major sustainability challenges, Anglo American has committed to reducing its global greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

Putting electrified vehicles into mines – from large haul trucks to passenger vehicles and employee buses – will help Anglo American reach these ambitious decarbonisation targets, set out in the Sustainable Mining Plan.

Set to revolutionise mining machinery, the FCEV haul truck will be powered by a hydrogen Fuel Cell Module paired with a WAE scalable high-power modular lithium-ion battery system. This remarkable arrangement, which replaces the existing vehicle’s diesel engine, is controlled by a high voltage power distribution unit delivering in excess of 1,000 kWh of energy storage.

Through regenerative braking, the battery system will be capable of recovering energy as the haul truck travels downhill. For the project, WAE has drawn on its experience as the sole battery supplier to the FIA Formula E global motorsport series for the first four seasons. WAE is also the sole battery supplier to the new FIA Extreme E racing programme, which begins in 2021. 

In line with Anglo American’s commitment to sustainable mining, studies will take place after the initial trials to understand how these power units can be used to provide energy storage in second life applications.

Craig Wilson, MD of Williams Advanced Engineering, commented: “We are delighted to be involved in this innovative and exciting project which showcases the scalability of battery technology from automotive and motorsport to ;heavy duty; industrial applications. Operating within a harsh environment is something we are familiar with as sole battery supplier for the Extreme E programme and we remain committed to supporting long-term sustainability projects.”

 



 
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