West Australian mining services supplier Murray Engineering and Siemens have collaborated to develop a high-powered electric vehicle charging station (pictured) for use at mines both below and above ground.
The vehicle agnostic charging stations will first be used to power a new light electric vehicle (eLV) being designed and manufactured by Murray Engineering to handle the toughest underground mining conditions in Australia.
The two companies announced the collaboration today at a time when the mining industry is looking at electric vehicles to reduce their CO2 emissions and to protect the health of workers through reduced exposure to diesel fumes.
The first of Murray Engineering’s eLVs will be ready for testing by the end of the year, with potential application at mine sites by mid next year.
Murray Engineering employs 400 globally specialising in the maintenance, refurbishment, automation, manufacture and assembly of a wide range of mechanical and electrical equipment.
Its parent company the Byrnecut Group is the largest underground mining contractor in the country, owning one of the largest fleets of light vehicles used in mines.
Siemens Australia Pacific CEO Jeff Connolly said: “The partnership with Murray Engineering helps address a future need by trialling something that has never been done in one of Australia’s most critical industries.”
Siemens will provide its Sicharge UC high power DC chargers which provide a flexible output range from 125kW to 600kW, with five frontends on each station as well as pantograph charging.
Siemens Sicharge UC200 can deliver 200kW, charging vehicles within minutes, and is already onsite at Murray Engineering headquarters in Pinjarra, Western Australia.
Murray Engineering will design and fabricate a heavy-duty enclosure to protect the unit from the harsh underground conditions and enable ease of manoeuvrability.
The enclosures will be air conditioned to protect the chargers and will have human machine interface (HMI) panels on the outside to control the unit.
Innovation and technology manager at Murray Engineering Dr Max Ong said: “Existing battery and charging solutions have fallen short of miners’ expectations where it matters most.
“Being part of the largest underground mining contracting company in Australia, we understand the vehicle requirements very well and are well placed to develop a solution that not only matches, but also pre-empts the needs of our customers and the industry.”
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