Rolls-Royce and Flanders to hybridize mining trucks

By Ian Cameron14 September 2021

Two companies sign MoU to develop retrofit solution

Rolls-Royce and Flanders Electric have agreed to develop a retrofit solution for hybridizing mining trucks with mtu engines, batteries and hybrid control systems, and Flanders drive train solutions. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding enabling them to offer a scalable retrofit kit for hybridizing mining trucks in a wide range of mining applications.

Rolls-Royce and Flanders Electric have agreed to develop a retrofit solution for hybridizing mining trucks.

With its brand mtu, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems is a provider of advanced integrated and sustainable power solutions for a wide variety of applications, including mining equipment. Flanders develops  and sells electric motors and generator systems, as well as automation and control systems for heavy industrial applications. The companies plan to leverage their experience to offer customers hybrid solutions that aim to save fuel and reduce the carbon dioxide footprint of mining trucks as well as optimizing vehicle power performance and efficiency, enabling more climate-friendly and safer mining operations.

John Oliver, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Flanders, said: “Improving our customers’ operations, lowering their costs while enhancing their energy footprint, is a win for the mining industry and for the environment as a whole. We are excited to partner with Rolls-Royce Power Systems to deliver an industry leading hybrid power solution that will help our customers achieve their energy or carbon reduction goals.”

Scott Woodruff, Vice President for Mining and Oil & Gas at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We are excited to shape the mining industry’s sustainable future together with Flanders and further leverage our advanced hybrid technologies, which are already proven in the rail industry. Together we will offer our customers integrated, future-oriented, hybrid solutions.”

The mining truck hybrid concept recovers braking energy, using the mtu EnergyPack battery system. This energy is then fed back to power the wheel motors, allowing the diesel engine to be downsized. The smaller engine reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30%, helping mining customers to achieve their emissions reduction targets, while optimizing their operations. The hybrid concept also includes the DC/DC converters which interface the battery system with the DC link of the truck. The system is highly modular and scalable for trucks of any size, working anywhere in the world.

The mtu range of diesel engines power vehicles for underground and surface mining, including loading vehicles such as excavators and wheel loaders; transport vehicles such as haul trucks or blast hole drilling rigs; and other mining machines – diesel-mechanic, diesel-electric or diesel-hydraulic.

Hybrid solutions are already part of the mtu portfolio. The mtu Hybrid PowerPack is set to enter rail service in the UK and helps customers cut fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25%. The drive solution and its mtu batteries – which can also be used on hybrid mining trucks – offer high performance, reliability and maintenance friendliness while conforming to the highest safety standards, said Rolls-Royce.

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