Komatsu forms alliance to decarbonise mining trucks
Japanese manufacturer Komatsu and several of its customers have formed the Komatsu Greenhouse Gas Alliance to jointly drive electrification in the mining sector. The founding members of the alliance are Rio Tinto, BHP, Codelco and Boliden.
Komatsu’s GHG partners will collaborate with Komatsu on product planning, development, testing and deployment of the next generation of zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure. The alliance aims to further Komatsu’s power agnostic truck concept for a heavy-duty haulage vehicle that can run on different power sources including diesel-electric hybrid, purely electric, trolley electric (with overhead powerlines), and hydrogen fuel cells.
Last month Komatsu announced a partnership with Honda to jointly developed electrified micro excavators with replaceable batteries. A battery swapping system for the construction industry is also being developed in the partnership.
Komatsu says it has worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for decades in many areas including electric diesel dump trucks, electric power shovels, regenerative energy storage capabilities and fuel saver programs. The company’s initial concept for a haulage vehicle that can run on a variety of power sources is set to make its official debut at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas.
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They could make the battery much like they have for electric fork trucks today, where the battery is the ballast on the rear of the excavator, front end loader, or other vehicles. Normally they could keep the same battery, and just recharge it for a few minutes during the meal and coffee breaks. They could use a 120 or 240 volt cord, and then plug into a electric stove receptacle, or electric dryer receptacle found in many homes. Adapters could be produced to connect to the 40 amp A/C disconnect, and while you can’t run the A/C while charging the equipment, it would be possible to charge the tractor a bit during breaks in needing the equipment.
For mining, a large battery and overhead lines on the road to the dump station can be three phase 2,500 VAC and the truck can detect and connect to the three lines spaced about 3 feet apart, and about 8 – 10 feet above the top of the dump vehicles. Three poles and wheel on the end of each pole could carry the 100 amps per hour needed to run the drive motors, while an additional 3 poles would be used to run a battery charger with another 100 amps per hour going to the charger. San Francisco has run bus system with two overhead lines since the 1980’s on the steep hills where a diesel bus would not have enough power to make it up the hills.