The use of electricity as an energy source for mains-powered mobile machinery in underground mines is common for equipment associated with mining activities. Support equipment, such as personnel transports and loaders, have been dependent on the use of diesel engines to ensure the vehicles can cover the necessary distances and work in remote locations. Lead acid batteries have been used as an alternative energy source, but the size and weight, along with charge and discharge cycle times, have limited the operational capabilities of these machines.
The development of new types of batteries, using alternative chemistries, has enabled significant increases in the energy that can be stored in a battery. These new types of batteries are smaller in size and lighter in weight. New electronic controls incorporated into the battery management systems have enabled significant improvements in the charging times and discharge/operational times.
Vehicles fitted with these new batteries are now being introduced at mine sites as replacements for diesel powered vehicles.
While battery electric vehicles manage risks to workers from exposure to hazards such as diesel particulates, noise and vibration, they introduce other risks that must be managed.
Last Updated: 23/01/2023 02:58:33pm