Anglo American, ENGIE, and Williams Advanced Engineering have announced plans to develop and fuel the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck, a 290-tonne behemoth with a high voltage battery system.
Global mining company Anglo American announced back in October a partnership with French energy company ENGIE to develop and fuel the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck, part of the company’s sustainable mining effort which will see the company reduce its global greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
At the time, it was expected “first motion” of the hydrogen powered truck would take place some time in 2020 followed by a testing and validation programme at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine in South Africa.
Fast forward to earlier this month, and UK-based technology and engineering services company Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) announced that they had been engaged by Anglo American to help develop a new Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) – an ultra-class electrically powered mining haul truck which, upon completion, would emerge as the world’s largest hydrogen powered mine truck.
The intended mine haul truck will be powered by a hydrogen Fuel Cell Moule paired with a WAE scalable high-power module lithium-ion battery system.
Intended to replace the existing vehicle’s diesel engine, this new hydrogen/battery arrangement will be controlled by a high voltage power distribution unit delivering in excess of 1,000 kWh of energy storage.
WAE expect the resulting vehicle will deliver “significant” peak power capability” and provide the “robustness” usually reserved for diesel powered mine haul trucks. Including regenerative braking – which will allow the battery system to recover energy as the haul truck travels downhill – testing will begin later this year at the Mogalakwena platinum group metals mining operation in South Africa, Anglo American’s flagship PGMs mine.
“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,” said Craig Wilson, MD of Williams Advanced Engineering.
“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.”
“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,” added Julian Soles, Head of Technology Development for Anglo American.
“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.”