Mining company Anglo American has put the world’s largest electric vehicle, a 210-ton hydrogen fuel cell dump truck, into service at its platinum mine in the South African municipality of Mogalakwena.
The machine, called nuGen, used to be a Komatsu 930E, in which a 16-cylinder diesel engine served as a generator to drive electric traction motors. Now, the diesel engine has been replaced with eight Ballard 100 kW fuel cell modules and a 1.1 MW Williams Advanced Engineering lithium-ion battery pack, installed by Seattle-based First Mode.
The peak power of the electric motors is 2 MW (2682 hp), and this is enough to work with loads up to 300 tons. That is, when fully loaded, the machine weighs 510 tons. A 3.5 MW electrolyser is powered in turn by a 100 MW solar array. The system capacity is up to 1 ton of hydrogen per day.
Huge dump trucks account for up to 80% of diesel consumption, the mining company said, and they can cause up to 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions. By the end of the decade, the company aims to increase the number of machines so converted to 40, using them both at the Mogalakwena deposit and at six other locations, including copper mines in Chile and an iron mine in the same South Africa.