Mining3 and Engie are exploring the development of a new hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for heavy-duty mobility within the mining sector.
Under the Hydra Consortium, the mining industry research organisation and energy company are aiming to decarbonise the mining sector and have identifed the utilisation of hydrogen for heavy-duty mobility as a key factor to achieve this target.
Should this target be achieved, it could enable heavy-duty mining mobile equipment to run on renewable hydrogen, displacing diesel, allowing for zero-emission mining operations around the world.
The Consortium will work on a pre-feasibility and engineering study of a powertrain and the renewable hydrogen value chain.
Included within this is the design, manufacturing and testing of a 200kW fuel cell as well as a battery powertrain prototype which will be tested under mining conditions.
The data from this could prove to be valuable in hopes that it will optimise the design to displace diesel powertrains.
Michèle Azalbert, CEO of Engie’s Hydrogen Business Unit, said, “Renewable hydrogen can provide the flexibility that the mining sector needs. Beyond the obvious advantage of being emissions-free, hydrogen solutions offer an economically viable alternative to fossil fuels, while ensuring the operational performance of mining operations.”
As well as research into a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, the project will additionally support government entities, such as Chile, by establishing safety protocols for the wider use of hydrogen within the mining industry.
It is believed that this could be critical to the wider integration of new hydrogen solutions.
Finally, the project will complete the competitiveness analysis for the validation of the business case, which will determine whether the consortium members could consider a scale-up of the hydrogen solution.
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