How big can a battery be in a vehicle? We’ve seen what is the biggest prototype ever 1.4 mw battery acquired by Australian mining company Fortescue, which will mount a 240 ton electric mining truck Developed in partnership with Liebherr. It aims to start testing this year
This massive monster battery was developed in the UK by the 50-strong engineering team at Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), which was acquired by Fortescue in March last year. Now it has reached the company’s workshop in Perth (Australia).
It is composed of eight individually cooled subpackages, each containing 36 battery modules. When put together, this huge pile is huge 3,6 x 1,6 x 2,4 Metropolis, It will be able to store those 1.4 MWh of energy and it supports fast charging which allows it to recharge in just 30 minutes. The regenerative braking system will recover energy when the truck is traveling downhill.
In June 2022, Fortescue signed an agreement with German/Swiss multinational Liebherr to integrate zero-emission technologies into mining trucks. t 264, which is currently powered by a 2700 hp diesel engine. This Is The Vehicle That Will Get This Prototype Power System 15 tons, before being moved to a facility in the Pilbara, Western Australia, for on-site testing.
Fortescue is one of the world’s largest iron ore producers and aims to achieve “virtually zero emissions” from its land operations by 2030. To do this, it intends to replace its fleet of diesel trucks with battery electric vehicles or green hydrogen. Hence his billionaire ($6.2 billion) decarbonization plan.
It seems improbable that a battery with an energy density a hundred times less than that of fossil fuels could move these masses. But be careful, mining trucks travel very short with steep slopes and loads. Electric motors provide the torque needed to climb at low speeds. In fact, the largest trucks are often electric, with diesel generators providing the power. And yes, the battery weighs a lot, 15 tons, but less than those diesel generators.
We are talking about a run of a few hundred meters (the deepest open pit mines are about 250 meters deep), autonomy is not critical. And the fact that they can regenerate energy on the descent is important. If the electricity they are charged with is cheap, produced from renewable sources, it may make sense.
“This system is the first of many technologies that will help Fortescue achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2030,” said Craig Wilson, CEO of WAE. “Powered solely by renewable energy, it will prevent huge amounts of fossil fuel from being used in the mining industry without compromising the vehicle’s cargo capacity.”