Analysis of a Battery Powered Loader for an Underground Mining Application

Publikationen: Thesis / StudienabschlussarbeitMaster Thesis (Universitätslehrgang)Forschung

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to research the latest lithium-ion battery technologies that are available in the market and then to evaluate the feasibility in implementation of a battery power pack solution for Sandvik underground mining loaders. The research was conducted to understand the potential benefits of electric motor driven battery powered loaders against traditional diesel engine powered loaders and electric cable reel loaders which Sandvik currently has in the product offering. Technical data of both diesel engines and electric motors was compared to illustrate performance improvements and emissions reduction with the use of battery powered loaders in underground applications. Disadvantages and other short comings of battery powered loaders were also identified, in order to give better understanding of the limitation in battery technologies and application challenges. Potential working environments and mining applications that battery powered loaders can be applied in underground mining were discussed. In order to create a solid understanding of the battery drive system, this thesis reviewed a typical battery drive system for a loader and illustrated the main drive components in the system, plus briefly explained of their functions. Then there was discussion on different Lithium-ion battery chemistries in the market and their pros and cons in terms of energy density, power capacity, safety…etc. Risk assessments were done to evaluate potential hazards associated with the proposed battery loader. Last, this thesis illustrated a case study from Lilou Iron Mine in China with a proposal for a battery powered loader solution and comparison of operating cost, maintenance cost and downtime study against diesel powered loaders and electric cable reel loaders. The intended outcome of this thesis was to examine the new battery technology which can potentially help Sandvik to capture more market share in the underground mining loader sector. The new proposal may also help resolve existing underground loaders related engine performance and EHS issues that customers are currently facing. The results of this thesis will help serve as a starting point for future development projects of a battery powered loader solution. The results of this thesis research have shown that a battery powered underground mining loader will help reduce ventilation requirements in mines, improve EHS of underground workers and reduce electricity consumption in the mine. However, current lithium-ion batteries are still not sufficient to provide good cycle life, quick charging time and good life span when compared against diesel loaders and cable reel loaders. Customers may have to compromise these short comings by purchasing extra battery packs so a spare battery can be charged while the loader is working. Further performance breakthroughs in battery chemistry are needed before battery loaders can be widely accepted by mines.

Details

Titel in ÜbersetzungAnalysis of a Battery Powered Loader for an Underground Mining Application
OriginalspracheEnglisch
Betreuer/-in / Berater/-in
StatusVeröffentlicht - 2016