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Hitachi, ABB to jointly develop zero-emission, full battery dump trucks

Staff Report,

1 Dec 2021

Zero-emission solution to offer low-cost maximum load capacity and high operation rate with dynamic charging system through trolley

Hitachi Construction Machinery and ABB are going ahead with the development of an engineless, full battery rigid frame dump truck, with a customised on-board energy storage system, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and offering a solution towards a net zero emission pathway.

The heavyweight Japanese equipment manufacturer and the Swiss engineering and technology company signed a collaboration agreement to this effect earlier this year to develop the zero-emission haulers utilising ABB’s innovative battery technology, which can transform the Hitachi haulers from diesel to full electric battery operation.

The dump trucks will operate by utilising a new onboard electrification system – drawing energy requirements from an energy supply system with dynamic charging, allowing simultaneous charging of the on-board energy storage system while providing energy to power the truck. The system will provide extended battery longevity by reducing the load and discharge during each haul cycle, offering a cost-efficient industry solution that allows continuous operation so as to maintain high productivity and performance.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed between the two companies, Hitachi and ABB have formed a partnership aimed at realising net zero emissions and this joint development is the first project where the two companies will apply their complementary skills to achieve this goal. ABB will develop the on-board energy storage systems by customising an existing product and Hitachi CM will lead the overall design and development of the dynamic charging battery dump truck utilising the technology of its existing rigid dump truck with trolley as its base, effectively allowing the accelerated development of this solution.

A statement from the companies said: “Hitachi CM and ABB understand there is a growing interest in the electrification of mining operations and machinery, as environmental awareness grows within the industry and community. Technology continues to be further developed in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while taking into consideration the demands of mining operations.

By utilising Hitachi Construction Machinery’s dynamic charging battery dump truck systems and ABB’s battery technology, the joint collaboration will not only help tackle the challenge of solving the issues involved in dump truck electrification, but also provide a real-world climate change solution.”

Edgar Keller, president of ABB’s Motion Traction Division, said: “We are honoured to collaborate with Hitachi Construction Machinery, combining extensive industry expertise and innovative technologies to improve efficiency and accelerate the transition to all-electric mine operations. By co-creating solutions, we can help mine operators achieve their production and sustainability goals.”

Sonosuke Ishii, senior vice president and executive officer, president of Mining Group at Hitachi Construction Machinery, commented: “ABB highly values our superiority with respect to electric ultra-large hydraulic excavators, AC drive dump trucks, and diesel engine rigid dump trucks with trolley. The strengths and knowledge of both companies will be utilised to realise the early development of dynamic charging battery dump trucks. In addition, ABB’s energy storage solutions can also be used for static charging dump trucks and the technology is ready for future fuel cell electric vehicles, the basic technologies required for net-zero emissions from mining machinery can also be established as part of the current development. Both companies will continue with the development while looking ahead to the future.”

Features of the dynamic charging battery dump truck being jointly developed:-

Controls the initial and lifecycle costs

By drawing the electrical power from the dynamic charging system required during operation will limit the volume of batteries on the trucks, providing a sustainable solution. In addition, the system aims to reduce the lifecycle costs by drawing electrical power from the overhead system while connected, simultaneously charging the battery in an appropriate manner to reduce the load and depth of discharge, maximizing battery life.

Reduces the vehicle weight and maximizes the load capacity
Limiting the battery volume lessens the weight of the battery solution on the vehicle, maximizing the battery dump truck’s payload capacity.

Dynamic charging solution to provide a higher rate of operation over static charging
The solution draws electrical power from the dynamic charging system during operation while simultaneously charging the battery, removing the need to stop the vehicle for recharging. Therefore, achieving a higher rate of continuous operation to maintain productivity at site.

Hitachi Construction Machinery and ABB’s joint solution will contribute to net zero emissions of greenhouse gases from mining machinery, utilising ABB’s strengths in mining facility control systems, power grids, and overall mining processes, paired with Hitachi Construction Machinery’s extensive trolley truck delivery record and engineering capability in providing a rigid dump truck platform with power-receiving dynamic charging system.


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