Potential Economic and Operational Benefits and Impacts of Trolley Assist in Open Pit Mining

CIM Montreal 2015
Daniel Janusauskas (BBA Inc.), Isabelle Leblanc (BBA Inc.), Jean-François St-Onge (BBA Inc.)
In a diesel-electric haul truck, a diesel engine is used to drive an alternator which produces the energy required to power electric wheel motors. Trolley Assist (“TA”) allows a diesel-electric haul truck to bypass the diesel engine entirely when in TA mode so that electric power can be supplied directly by overhead lines. The result is an increase in loaded up-ramp travel speed of approximately 10km/hr as well as substitution of diesel fuel by cheaper and cleaner electrical energy. This improved grade performance can have a significant impact on truck productivity, personnel requirements, fuel consumption and operating and capital costs.
Although TA systems has been available for over 40 years, few operations have ever employed them despite interesting operational and environmental benefits (reduced CO2, NOx, noise emissions, etc.). The decision to install a TA system is heavily dependent on the size and overall mine plan of an operation. In addition, these systems involve significant capital investments and require technical expertise to efficiently design, plan and maintain them. This paper will analyze some of the economic, operational and planning implications and benefits of installing Trolley Assist at large open pit operations in Canada based on studies completed by BBA on TA.
Keywords: trolley assist, green, open pit, haul truck, technology
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