A further two companies have been declared finalists in the Charge On Innovation Challenge. Joining the quest to decarbonise mining operations are global tech company Hitachi Energy and Australian electrical engineering company Ampcontrol, who have presented their solution in collaboration with Tritium.
Ampcontrol and Tritium joined forces to develop a solution for charging large electric haul trucks. The companies described their haul truck battery swap solution as an “end-to-end ultra-fast modular recharging station that is fully automated, relocatable, scalable and cell agnostic”. The drive-in/drive-out ninety-second swap process is completed autonomously, significantly decreasing safety risks while boosting productivity by removing the need for human intervention.
Tritium’s rich history in developing advanced solutions for complex problems proved valuable as they aided Ampcontrol in the development of the battery swap solution; they were able to apply their proficiency in power electronics and DC charging in producing something reliable and ultramodern.
Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol Managing Director and CEO, explained, “Technological breakthroughs are vital to our decarbonisation journey as we work toward zero emissions. Collaborative partnerships with organisations such as Tritium are critical to our research and development as they bring together innovative thinkers to deliver safer, cleaner, electrically operated solutions to the mining industry.”
Hitachi Energy did not shy away from the challenge, producing an innovative solution projected to save billions of litres of diesel and associated carbon emissions. The judges’ meticulous criteria were met by the company’s solution that addressed both environmental and productivity concerns.
The design allows the safe delivery of electricity to battery-powered off-road electric haul trucks via an end-to-end solution that attaches the mine’s electrical grid straight to its vehicles. Key components of the design are the advanced power electronics and digital technologies. The company explained, “At the heart of the design is Grid-eMotion™ Flash – a pioneering solution for sustainable e-mobility, enabling the haul trucks’ batteries to be rapidly and safely recharged in just a few minutes”. The full solution will be delivered and further optimised by Hitachi Energy’s innovative e-mesh™ digital solutions for e-mobility.
CTO of Hitachi Energy, Gerhard Salge, said, “The Charge On™ Innovation Challenge is another great example of how we are collaborating with whole industries to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future…Hitachi Energy’s proposal is for an innovative haul truck 24/7 electrification solution that will help the world’s mining industry to decarbonize without compromising on productivity. Electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system and together with customers and partners, Hitachi Energy is pioneering technologies and software for advancing a sustainable energy future for all.”
BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale have recognised companies’ commitments to electrifying the industry with the Charge On Innovation Challenge. The global challenge has been making waves by pushing the industry closer to reaching net zero emissions by 2050; via solutions in surface mining operations, safety, operational improvements and productivity.
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