Emissions in underground mining are not only a hazard to workers’ health – they are expensive to mitigate. Diesel-powered drilling, anchoring and transport machines produce exhaust gases that have to be siphoned off by large ventilation units via purpose-built shafts, a laborious and cost-intensive proposition.
One solution is to rely on electrically powered machines, which are increasingly being powered by batteries, making them more flexible and maneuverable than equipment that relies on a power cable.
Ontario-based Medatech, a provider of sustainable drive systems for the mining industry, now incorporates AKASOL’s AKASystem AKM NANO lithium-ion battery systems into its designs for electrically powered equipment and drives. Medatech will equip everything from drilling and anchoring machines to heavy transport vehicles with the systems in order to meet the high performance requirements of open-cast and underground mines.
Medatech had strict criteria when it came to selecting the right batteries. “We were looking for a liquid-cooled battery with built-in temperature management that would work consistently and reliably in a robust and safe housing,” says Medatech Business Development Manager David F. Lyon. “We also wanted to see evidence of practical experience and operating data. After much discussion and extensive testing, AKASOL was the only company from the pool of candidate providers that met our requirements.”
AKASOL’s batteries are now used in an anchoring machine produced by Canadian mining equipment manufacturer MacLean.
MacLean’s machine is fitted with the AKASOL liquid-cooled battery system, which has a storage capacity of 30.6 kWh at a nominal voltage level of 666 V, enabling it to reach 77 kW on average (peak: 406 kW/10 s). It can operate at ambient temperatures between -25° C and 45° C, and comes equipped with overload and overvoltage protection.
The AKASYSTEM lithium-ion battery systems are fully scalable and based on a modular design, in order to adapt to the energy requirements of a particular vehicle and application.