Feb 10, 2020

  • WAE has joined forces with global mining company, Anglo American, to support the development of its hydrogen powered ultra-class electric mining haul truck.
  • Set to be the world’s largest hydrogen powered mine truck , it is a key part of Anglo American’s innovation-led approach to sustainable mining, FutureSmart MiningTM .
  •  Following initial concept work, WAE will develop the world’s first high voltage battery system for the company’s Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle machine.
  • This scalable high-power modular lithium-ion battery will replace the existing vehicle’s diesel engine and be retrofitted, with testing beginning in South Africa later this year.

Global mining company, Anglo American, engaged WAE (“WAE”) to develop the battery module for its proof-of-concept new Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV): an ultra-class hydrogen-electrically hybrid 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 its Sustainable Mining Plan.

The proof-of-concept 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.

The power units will be were designed and built at WAE in 2020 and have been integrated into an existing mining haul truck, with testing taking place   later this year at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena platinum group metals mining operation in South Africa.

For the proof-of-concept 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.

Craig Wilson, MD of WAE, 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.

Julian Soles, Head of Technology Development for Anglo Americanadded: “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 WAE 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.

For more info, visit: https://www.angloamerican.com/

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