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World’s largest hydrogen-powered mine truck

by Kyle Molyneux  |  Fri 14 Feb 2020

World’s largest hydrogen-powered mine truck

Global mining company Anglo American is working with 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 per cent 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 arrangement, which replaces the existing vehicle’s diesel engine, is controlled by a high voltage power distribution unit delivering in excess of 1,000kWh of energy storage. With significant peak power capability, it will also deliver the robustness seen in industrial diesel engines for harsh environments. 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.

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 extensive 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.

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