Eight submissions to progress in global innovation challenge

12th May 2022

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – Mining majors BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale have selected eight technology innovators’ submissions to progress beyond the Charge On Innovation Challenge.

The global challenge is aimed at accelerating the commercialisation of effective solutions for charging large electric haul trucks while simultaneously demonstrating there is an emerging market for these solutions in mining.

The Charge On Innovation Challenge was launched in 2021 and invited vendors and technology innovators from around the world and across industries, to collaborate with the mining industry to present novel electric truck charging solutions.

The challenge received interest from over 350 companies across 19 industries, with over 80 companies submitting expressions of interest . 21 companies were then invited to present a detailed pitch of their solution. The final eight were chosen from these 21 companies.

In a joint release on Thursday, the majors noted that the eight innovators selected are ABB, Ampcontrol and Tritium (Australia), BluVeinXL, DB Engineering & Consulting with Echion Technologies, Hitachi, Shell Consortium, Siemens Off-board power supply, and 3ME Technology.

The technology innovators worked together with the founding patrons and 16 other mining companies to accelerate commercialisation of interoperable solutions that can safely deliver electricity to large battery-electric off-road haul trucks, reducing emissions while enhancing mine productivity.

“The truly global nature of the final eight technology innovators selected, from across industries, demonstrates the level of interest that exists to work closely with the mining industry in seeking solutions to decarbonise mining fleets,” said BHP’s group procurement officer James Agar.

“The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done to reimagine traditional models and relationships, which will enable innovative solutions to be designed, tested and implemented, fast-tracking the adoption of new technology.”

Rio’s chief technical officer, Mark Davies, said that with the group of innovators, miners were taking another step in the right direction towards changing the way haul truck systems operate in the mining sector.

“Through collaborations like this, where we all come together to create change, we can drive long-term benefits for our industry and the environment.

“We know we have a role to play in helping solve the global climate challenge. We’re looking at how we can make changes across our business to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. Initiatives like the Charge On Innovation Challenge can help us reach our targets.”

Vale´s CEO, Eduardo Bartolomeo acknowledged that the decarbonisation challenge was so extensive that the mining industry cannot tackle it alone, but he noted that with partnerships such as these, mining companies were hoping to reach this goal. 

Under its ABB Ability eMine purposeful framework of methods and solutions, ABB has designed a dual charging system solution for stationary and in-motion charging. This is to optimize the electric mine hauling operation with high power, the shortest charging initiation time and limited truck design impacts by leveraging standardised infrastructure and onboard systems and components.

The Ampcontrol and Tritium mining haul truck battery swap solution is an end-to-end ultra-fast modular recharging station that is fully automated, relocatable, scalable and cell agnostic. Drive-in/drive-out, an autonomous transfer robot swap batteries in 90 seconds, significantly reducing safety risks and increasing productivity by excluding personnel from the swap process.

BluVeinXL is a dynamic charging technology solution for heavy battery electric vehicles in open-pit mining and safely enables the full electrification of heavy mining fleets. It enables the ability for grid power to be used to power the electric drive motors and charge the onboard vehicle battery simultaneously.

Meanwhile,  DB Engineering & Consulting and Echion Technologies have collaborated to develop a world-leading solution for the electrification of mining trucks. The Catenary and Advanced Battery Technology system combines proven rail industry technology with cutting edge XNO™ battery chemistry to deliver an unrivalled electric solution.

Hitachi Energy is proposing an innovative haul truck electrification solution which addresses the sustainability needs of the mining industry without compromising the productivity of the mine. Using Grid-eMotion Flash, a pioneering technology for sustainable e-mobility, the proposed solution will rapidly and safely charge the haul trucks’ batteries in just a few minutes.

The Shell Consortium’s submission enables a decarbonised, cost neutral end-to-end interoperable electrification system while minimising operational impact, combining an innovative, high-powered battery solution, with ultrafast charging and a standardised micro-grid energy system.

Meanwhile, Siemens’ patented zero-emission, battery electric haul truck solution combines a proven off-board energy source (trolley substation and overhead catenary) with on-board energy storage capable of dynamic 6C and greater than 400kWh in-cycle charging while simultaneously providing increased power to the wheels to decrease overall cycle time and increase productivity.

3ME Technology is providing the Charge On Innovation Challenge with a purpose-refined version of its novel Bladevolt Battery System to fit the requirements of haul truck operations. The haul truck-specific Bladevolt XL system will be scalable to fit varied truck sizes, composed of the optimum chemistry, cost-effective and compliant with the proposed charging infrastructure, as well as enabled to capture and analyse critical data that will help improve operations going forward.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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