First Battery-Powered Mine

Goldcorp has launched the world's first all-electric mine, meaning machines will work with batteries instead of diesel. Sounds like good news to me. Much less noise, much less dirt from the diesel engines. I'm just wondering how much the batteries cost and how durable they are. Goldcorp says it will save $9 million from the switch.

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8 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

Goldcorp has launched the world's first all-electric mine, meaning machines will work with batteries instead of diesel. Sounds like good news to me. Much less noise, much less dirt from the diesel engines. I'm just wondering how much the batteries cost and how durable they are. Goldcorp says it will save $9 million from the switch.

Probably saves a fortune in fortune liability claims. 

Diesel particulate and NOX from diesel exhaust are significant health hazards in mines and tunnels. With NO2 you can't filter it out so unless people wear SCBA / have air lines they have to breath it in. 

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Excellent news for their business from a financial point of view and also for the health of their employees. More and more mines will go all-electric, which is great.

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I really want to know what batteries they use. These are heavy machines, right? They have got to be were very powerful and durable, I guess. Bit of a battery fan, me.

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On 6/24/2018 at 11:08 PM, Marina Schwarz said:

I really want to know what batteries they use. These are heavy machines, right? They have got to be were very powerful and durable, I guess. Bit of a battery fan, me. 

I would bet the same batteries used in EVs. 

For one thing, batteries already last a long time.  Tesla batteries regularly did 300k+ miles, and that was before Tesla's life-extension research.  Here's a starting point on that:
https://forums.tesla.com/forum/forums/2170-battery-life-expectancy

On top of the already-exceptional battery life, we need to understand why "heavy duty" applications might require different equipment.  When you make an ICE, you design it to handle expected stresses.  E.g. trash trucks (stop-and-go) and some offroad equipment rapidly cycle between idle and full power.  Cycling is hard on ICE's for mechanical reasons, so these engines are exceptionally expensive & durable.  However, batteries don't suffer from the same mechanical problems.  It's possible "heavy duty" batteries could be no different than regular car batteries. 

It's possible mining equipment has other problems, such as intense vibration - but it's also possible they suffer less vibration.  We'd have to ask the engineers who design them. 

Without a compelling reason for expensive, purpose-built batteries, the obvious choice is to use commercial-off-the-shelf components: automotive batteries. 

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For this all electric underground mine Goldcorp uses Mac Lean Engineering and Sandvik vehicles.

In the 2018 Mac Lean report I've found this good explanation of the reason why they choose to switch to EV for underground mining  :

We moved rapidly into the EV propulsion space because we saw the business drivers the industry was facing – heat and ventilation requirements becoming a prohibitive cost with a diesel combustion fleet, where the only economic way to access increasingly hard-to-reach ore bodies is through the introduction of electric vehicles, reducing ventilation and equipment maintenance costs and providing a work environment free of diesel fine particulate matter.
 

http://www.macleanengineering.com/images/support/innovation-report/Innovation-Report-2018_v001_r0.pdf

https://www.rocktechnology.sandvik/en/products/underground-loaders-and-trucks/electric-underground-lhds/

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