"Heavy" Electric Vehicles

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Shomanuchi
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"Heavy" Electric Vehicles

Post by Shomanuchi » Sun, 17 Apr 2011, 00:29

Hi All

Can anyone tell me if there are any heavy vehicles and equipment currently available within the mining, agricultural or construction industries, (e.g. dozers, tractors, excavators, cranes, harvesters, loaders, graders, dump trucks etc).

I am particularly interested in tracking down manufacturers of all electric vehicles, (battery - ? fuel cell) rather than electric drive vehicles which use diesel powered generators.

My sense is that battery storage is still insufficient to drive the larger equipment but I would love to be proved wrong. I am doing some research for BZE (Beyond Zero Emissions).

Cheers
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coulomb
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Post by coulomb » Sun, 17 Apr 2011, 05:14

Shomanuchi wrote: Can anyone tell me if there are any heavy vehicles and equipment currently available within the mining, agricultural or construction industries, ...
The mining industry is full of heavy electrical equipment like drag lines. They operate around the megawatt region I think, which I think qualifies as "heavy machinery". But they're not vehicles in any real sense, mains driven. I recall that our 75/90 kW industrial controller is similar to one that was used to run the cooling fan for the really heavy motor, a rock crusher or similar.
My sense is that battery storage is still insufficient to drive the larger equipment but I would love to be proved wrong.
I suspect that you may be right too. Though I believe that some of the green mini locomotives that run around on Queensland Rail tracks are battery electric. Of course there are plenty of electric fork lifts and the like.

Hopefully others can contribute with better examples.
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T1 Terry
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Post by T1 Terry » Sun, 17 Apr 2011, 18:22

I don't think there is any incentive for mining to even consider such a move. Diesel for them is tax free, fast to recharge an empty tank is easy and if you are in the game of raping and pillaging the environment what's a bit of air pollution going to matter.

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Shomanuchi
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Post by Shomanuchi » Mon, 18 Apr 2011, 02:29

Thanks Coulomb _ I hadn't even considered fans, drag lines and crushers - you're right though there is already a fair bit of heavy 'electric' equipment already operating - and changes still need to be made so that the electricity is supplied from renewables. - I'm more worried though about diesel dependent machines.

"Diesel is tax free (and fast)" - thanks T1 Terry - Yeah we're going to need some external incentives to drive those shifts (as in government policy) - soon!
And unfortunately I think we're all "in the game of raping and pillaging the environment" in that we're all CONSUMERS.

Of course it is important to moderate our own consumption AND given that despite reducing our own consumption we will still be consumers, it is also important to regulate, monitor and improve activities within the mining sector - including use of fuels.

Cheers
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Post by juk » Mon, 18 Apr 2011, 05:42

T1 Terry wrote: if you are in the game of raping and pillaging the environment
T1 Terry


Obviously as a consumer you approve of this otherwise you'd have returned all your possessions for recycling and would now be living off the grid save for one incandescent light made of native copper panned for by virgins from a stream fed by a glacier

What do you do for a living? Perhaps we can poke fun at that?

The haul-pacs are diesel electric too.

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Post by T1 Terry » Mon, 18 Apr 2011, 14:01

juk wrote:
T1 Terry wrote: if you are in the game of raping and pillaging the environment
T1 Terry


Obviously as a consumer you approve of this otherwise you'd have returned all your possessions for recycling and would now be living off the grid save for one incandescent light made of native copper panned for by virgins from a stream fed by a glacier

What do you do for a living? Perhaps we can poke fun at that?

The haul-pacs are diesel electric too.

Touchy Image Ex automotive mechanic, diesel fitter, hydraulics fitter and a few other careers for short periods but now a bludger, cleaned up in a motor vehicle accident. I've been on quite few mine sites, watched the fountain of fuel out the breathers when refueling, seen first hand the "rehabilitation" of a site after what was wanted had been taken and there was no more $$ to be made. The washed out hole in the ground at Lightening Ridge ..... I could go on if you really want but you know exactly what I mean if you are part of the mining industry.
Native copper panned by virgins, there would be a certain special feel about the glow from that light bulb that you just wouldn't get from an LED Image Don't quite live off the grid yet but soon Image

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Post by bga » Thu, 21 Apr 2011, 02:50

Hey wait a minute, is that what they mean by 'virgin copper'Image

I think that about the closest to a heavy vehicle would be battery electric buses and a few garbage trucks.

Potentially, drag lines can be plugged in. Transmitting several megawatts over a long flexible cable is not a particular challenge, but the cord reeling and movement restrictions may be. I believe that this sometimes occurs in coal mines where some of the product is burned to power the mine. Stackers don't move very much and are good candidates.

Buses and garbage trucks are stop-start operations where the average power requirements are low compared to the peak requirements. These types of vehicles often operate with limited length journeys that are compatibles with batteries.

Nearly all large motive machinery, bigger than trucks, have a DC bus and AC drives these days. In principle this makes them relatively easy to adapt to an external electric power feed. The external power feed may be DC (usually 600 Volts), as is the case with trolley buses or AC in most trains, there the AC voltage may be as high as 25,000 volts.

The way to determine if an application is suitable for battery operations is to look at the amount of energy the system requires between recharging opportunities.

Motor cars that we like to run off electricity spend most of their time not moving very fast or cosuming very much energy, so are good battery candidates.

A long-haul truck typically will tow two (B-double) or three trailers (B-triple) in Australia and require a lot of power from the prime mover to keep the rig moving. My memory says 50 to 60 litres per 100km, which would translate to an average power of 150 or 180 kw at 100kph.

We can calulate the size (weight) of battery needed by knowing the specific energy of the battery. A figure of 100Wh/kg (0.1kWh/kg) is probably close for Lithium-ion bateries. This is a bit higher than the popular yellow Thundersky type used in EV conversions.
This would indicate that at least 1.5 tonnes of battery per 100km would be needed, probably sensible up to 300 km or so, but rapidly replaces the payload for longer trips. At 2000km, there would likely be no payload at all after the battery.

However, there is some hope on the horizon. It is looking likely that new chemistries may increase the sprcific energy of batteries dramatically in the coming decade. It is likely to be by a factor of 4 or 5 over that stated above. This would make the battery in a 1000km range truck weigh about 3 tonnes, or about 5% of the GVM.

The issue may then become that recharging the very large batteries. Such a truck battery would require 1500 kWh for a full charge, or the same amount that an average large home consumes in 3 months.
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Post by Shomanuchi » Fri, 22 Apr 2011, 00:51

Thanks heaps 'bga'. This is the sort of background I needed, (clearly demonstrating my 'junior' status in this field of knowledge.)
Now at least I can provide the rationale as to why, CURRENTLY, the proposition of heavy equipment run on batteries (in most scenarios i.e. mobile) is not yet feasible. I guess there are also not yet any production 'fuel cell' (hydrogen) heavy equipment alternatives out there?
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Post by AMPrentice » Fri, 22 Apr 2011, 05:25

I thought the Zebra battery could be useful in this scenario but would need quite some kind of ultra-capacitor setup.
Theoretically if Mining adopted them because their fuel incentives where cut (like thats going to happen!) but then the batteries would be would drop to the prices Zebra initially aimed for, which is from 2-3 thousand dollars a pack. Add some kind of ultra-capacitor in the mix and it beats lithium for availability and not to mention the Zebra battery has been used in submarines and other military applications.
I love the idea of a cheap chemistry that could be improved with modern molecule architectural modifications. If a zebra pack with ultra capacitor allowed for 30kw for around 5 grand (this is double the projected mass produced cost) then it would be hard to look into another direction.
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Post by antiscab » Fri, 22 Apr 2011, 11:58

Shomanuchi wrote:I guess there are also not yet any production 'fuel cell' (hydrogen) heavy equipment alternatives out there?


Not really,
there are many issues with available hydrogen fuel cells.

Theres no effective storage medium (meaning they all leak), so you can't use it at all in enclosed spaces.

hydrogen causes steel to get brittle.

The hydrogen has to be very pure (the 99.9% pure hydrogen used in the WA hydrogen bus trial ruined the fuel cells inside 18 months).

The fuel cells themselves make batteries look *very* cheap.

Theres no cheap or efficient way of getting hydrogen:
either you convert methane into it, or you electrolyze water at ~%50 efficiency.

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Post by marcopolo » Fri, 22 Apr 2011, 20:54

antiscab wrote: Theres no cheap or efficient way of getting hydrogen:
either you convert methane into it, or you electrolyze water at ~%50 efficiency.


Very true, apart from hybrid diesel electric locomotives. The biggest electric self contained vehicles are buses and Smith 12 tonne trucks.

Contrary to some green advocates, the mining industry, would love to avoid the cost of shipping fuel and maintaining diesel engines.

The performance of all independent vehicles, is based around the energy storage facility the vehicle can carry. So far electricity storage capacity is the most viable next to fossil fuel, but basically inferior.

The will continue improve with R&D into new technologies. (unless the guy's at Padua University are not just delusional or scamsters, and cold fusion becomes a reality! )

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