A 240-tonne mining haul truck is about to be fitted with a 1.4 megawatt-hour (MWh) prototype battery system that global green energy company Fortescue has developed with equipment maker Liebherr.
UK-based engineering company WAE Technologies, which was acquired by Fortescue in March 2022, completed and delivered the battery system to Fortescue’s workshop in Perth, Australia. The battery will be assembled and installed in the mining haul truck before it’s transported to the Pilbara in Western Australia for onsite testing this year.
The battery system marks several firsts for an electric mining haul truck battery: In addition to having energy storage of 1.4 MWh, it also has the ability to fast-charge in 30 minutes, and it can regenerate power as it drives downhill.
A team of 50 engineers and technicians developed the power system, which weighs 15 tonnes and measures 3.6m (11.8 feet) long, 1.6m (5.2 feet) wide, and 2.4m (7.9 feet) high. It’s made up of eight sub-packs, each with 36 modules, all individually cooled and each with its own battery management system.
Top comment by ctromley
In some applications, mining trucks like this don't have to recharge at all. If the mine is sufficiently higher than the off-load location, the truck is simply charged enough to climb the hill empty. It loads at the top, regenerates all the way down, which is where the bulk of the charging comes from. All you need is enough capacity to drive around at the lower off-load site and climb back up the hill empty. The massive loads these things carry, eased down a long incline, is what makes it possible.
Fortescue says the battery system will ultimately be integral to its US $6.2 billion strategy to eliminate fossil fuels from its terrestrial iron ore operations. That includes replacing its diesel fleet with battery electric and green hydrogen-powered haul trucks.
WAE Technologies CEO Craig Wilson said:
Today marks the latest milestone in the rapid development of state-of-the-art zero emission technology for Fortescue’s mining trucks.
This high-performance power system not only boasts the highest energy storage of its kind, but will also be the first to offer 30-minute fast charging.
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