THE FUELCELL MINING VEHICLES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: AN UPDATE

CIM Montreal 2003
Gaetan Desrivieres, Pierre Laliberte, Arnold Miller, Marcel Laflamme,
Abstract Over the last four years, an international initiative, championed by the Fuelcell Propulsion Institute and Natural Resources Canada, has been active in carrying out research projects to prove out the concept of applying fuelcell technology to underground mining vehicles. These have been carried out by a consortium consisting of mining companies, equipment manufacturers, technology developers, national laboratories and consultants, with the participation of Canadian and U.S. mine regulatory agencies.

This clean technology, which produces only water and electricity, would allow several advantages to be registered, in the health area (by eliminating diesel emissions and reducing noise generation), in lowering production costs (such as reducing ventilation required) and lowering green house gas emissions.

This presentation will outline the results obtained in several key areas, such as the operation of fuelcells in underground conditions, risk issues related to underground and surface operation of hydrogen vehicles and hydrogen production and delivery systems, and the design and mining performance of the world’s first hydrogen mining vehicle, a mine production locomotive. The work to date on the fuelcell loader, designing the power plant and power transmission systems and operational requirements, will also be covered. A detailed cost-benefit analysis for mine operations will be presented.

There will also be an evaluation of the overall mining applications and advantages this technology can bring to underground mining, including the facilitation of automation and tele-remote operation.
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