Transport

Fortescue looks toward greener mining with 240-tonne electric truck

Fortescue looks toward greener mining with 240-tonne electric truck
A 1.4-MWh battery system is to be installed in a 240-tonne electric mining haul truck being developed by Fortescue and Liebherr
A 1.4-MWh battery system is to be installed in a 240-tonne electric mining haul truck being developed by Fortescue and Liebherr
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A 1.4-MWh battery system is to be installed in a 240-tonne electric mining haul truck being developed by Fortescue and Liebherr
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A 1.4-MWh battery system is to be installed in a 240-tonne electric mining haul truck being developed by Fortescue and Liebherr
The prototype power system comprises eight sub packs, each containing 36 battery modules
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The prototype power system comprises eight sub packs, each containing 36 battery modules
A 1.4-MWh prototype power system will be installed in a Liebherr mining haul truck ahead of testing at a facility in Pilbara, Western Australia, during 2023
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A 1.4-MWh prototype power system will be installed in a Liebherr mining haul truck ahead of testing at a facility in Pilbara, Western Australia, during 2023
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Australian mining company Fortescue has taken delivery of a 1.4-MWh prototype battery that's heading for a 240-tonne electric mining haul truck developed in partnership with Liebherr, and will begin testing later in the year.

The monster battery was developed by a 50-strong engineering team at the UK's Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), which was acquired by Fortescue in March last year.

The battery has now arrived at Fortescue's workshop in Perth, and is actually made up of eight individually cooled sub packs, each containing 36 battery modules.

When assembled, the power pack measures a whopping 3.6 x 1.6 x 2.4 m (11.8 x 5.25 x 7.8 ft). It's reported to be the first mining haul truck battery with energy storage of 1.4 MWh, and is also the first capable of fast-charging in just 30 minutes. A regenerative braking system will also recoup energy as the truck moves downhill.

A 1.4-MWh prototype power system will be installed in a Liebherr mining haul truck ahead of testing at a facility in Pilbara, Western Australia, during 2023
A 1.4-MWh prototype power system will be installed in a Liebherr mining haul truck ahead of testing at a facility in Pilbara, Western Australia, during 2023

In June 2022, Fortescue inked a deal with German/Swiss multinational Liebherr to integrate zero-emission technologies into the latter's T 264 mining truck – which currently runs a 2,700-hp diesel engine. And this vehicle is to be the recipient of the 15-tonne prototype power system, before being transported to a facility in Pilbara, Western Australia, for testing later in the year.

Fortescue is one of the largest producers of iron ore in the world, and is aiming for "real zero terrestrial emissions" from its operations by 2030 and replacing its diesel fleet with battery electric or green hydrogen vehicles is a big part of the company's US$6.2 billion decarbonization plan.

"This system is the first of many technologies that can help enable Fortescue to realize its industry leading 2030 net-zero target," said WAE CEO, Craig Wilson. "Powered solely by renewable energy, it will help prevent enormous amounts of fossil fuel from being used in the mining industry, with the goal to not compromise the vehicle’s load capacity."

Source: WAE

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3 comments
3 comments
paul314
I wonder how much solar (with battery to back the charger) will be needed to top each one of those up.
-dphiBbydt
Next up, farm tractors, harvisters etc. Perfect candidates for conversion to battery electric propulsion.
claudio
Any number on expected operating hours on a charge etc...?