Mining sites are often exposed to extreme climatic changes and rugged conditions. This also means any equipment or vehicles that are used there have to be efficient and rugged too. Not only does this increase the longevity of the vehicles but helps reduce emissions and operating costs as well.
Today, many leading companies design and produce regenerative drives that are specially built for rough and rugged mining vehicles; these enable better overall efficiency and mining companies are able to save a significant amount of money on ventilation systems and energy consumption.
Why Opt For Electric/Hybrid Mining Vehicles?
Today, the mining industry is facing a number of challenges, primarily because there has been a sudden drop in the prices of their products, and companies are now looking for ways and means of cutting costs in any which way they can. Progressive companies have begun recognising the potential of using either hybrid or fully-electric vehicles including front loaders, excavators, drill rigs as well as trucks.
Mining companies as well as OEM vehicle manufacturers have realised that when electric mining vehicles are incorporated as part of a long term strategy, they offer a number of advantages. Of course the primary reason for using electrical/hybrid vehicles in mining operations is the cost saving aspect. While these provide definite financial benefits when times are tough and revenues are low, they are a good option even when the market is brighter. Here, we talk a little more about what this electrical equipment is and how it works:
#1 Greater Efficiency In a Number of Areas
The main reason why these vehicles are so efficient is that they don’t have toxic emissions; they use less energy and help you save money on building and running the ventilation systems. It’s important to keep in view that the upfront cost of electric or hybrid vehicles is considerably higher than ones which use diesel technology. However, the cost benefits that you get within a couple of years make these vehicles a financially viable option.
#2 Better Than Diesel Technology
Diesel engines are the mining industry standard; however, they are extremely inefficient when it comes to converting the energy input into the output for movement. In a best case scenario, and under ideal conditions, they are able to achieve only around 45% efficiency; the rest of the energy gets wasted in the form of heat. In comparison, electric drive trains can easily achieve a 90% or more of energy-efficiency.
#3 Ruggedness For Tough Environments
Even until very recently, diesel engine driven trains were the dominant technology in the mining sector and there are a number of reasons for that. The environment in mining settings is very tough. Diesel engines are extremely robust and are able to withstand very challenging conditions such as:
- Constant vibration
- High ambient temperatures
- Aggressive pressure washing
- Corrosive acidic liquids & gases
- Harsh start/stop load cycles
The good news is that it’s now possible to acquire electric/hybrid mining equipment that has been designed and built from the ground up, specifically to operate and function efficiently in these rugged environment