Hydrogen-powered mine truck being developed by WAE & Anglo American12 February 2020
Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) and global mining company Anglo American are to develop a new fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) that is said to be the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine truck.
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 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.
The power units will be designed and built at WAE, in Grove, Oxfordshire, and integrated into an existing mining haul truck, with testing taking place later this year at the Mogalakwena platinum group metals mining operation in South Africa, Anglo American’s flagship PGMs mine.
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.
WAE MD Craig Wilson says: “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.”
Julian Soles, head of technology development for Anglo American, adds: “We have a longstanding commitment as a leader in responsible mining, with numerous examples of our progressive business decisions across many decades and we look forward to working with Williams Advanced Engineering to deliver this important step-change technology, a true world first for a vehicle of this size and load capacity. With their extensive industry experience, we believe Williams can help us to deliver this ground-breaking project, which is part of our plan to create a smart energy mix that moves us closer towards our carbon and energy targets for 2030 and, ultimately, our vision of operating a carbon-neutral mine.”
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