WAE joins Anglo American hydrogen-powered mining truck project

WAE joins Anglo American hydrogen-powered mining truck project

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) has joined forces with global mining company Anglo American to support the development of its hydrogen-powered 290-tonne hybrid electric 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% 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 the Sustainable Mining Plan.

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Set to revolutionise mining machinery, the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) 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.

Offering significant peak power capability, it will also deliver the robustness seen in industrial diesel engines for harsh environments.

The power units will be designed and built at WAE, in Grove, Oxfordshire, and integrated into an existing mining haul truck, with testing taking place later this year at the Mogalakwena platinum group metals mining operation in South Africa, Anglo American’s flagship PGMs mine.

Through regenerative braking, the battery system will be capable of recovering energy as the haul truck travels downhill.

For the project, WAE has drawn on its extensive experience in battery design and supply for challenging environments including the FIA Formula E global motorsport series for the first four seasons.

In line with Anglo American’s commitment to sustainable mining, studies will take place after the initial trials to understand how these power units can be used to provide energy storage in second life applications.

Craig Wilson, Managing Director of WAE, commented, “We are delighted to be involved in this innovative and exciting project with Anglo American which showcases the performance and scalability of our battery technology from motorsport through automotive to ‘heavy duty’ industrial applications.”

“Operating within challenging environments is something we are familiar with and I am proud of our battery team’s achievements in a growing list of innovative and successful programmes.”

Julian Soles, Head of Technology Development for Anglo American, added, “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.”

“With their extensive industry experience, we believe WAE 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.”


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