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Shell electrifies off-road mining vehicles

Thursday, October 13th, 2022

Shell’s new nine-member consortium will create a pilot program of electrification solutions for mine sites.

The consortium will see SkeletonMicrovastStäubliCarnegie RoboticsHelioxSpiraeAlliance AutomationWorley, and Shell come together to introduce Shell’s mining electrification solution for off-road vehicles.

Shell announced the consortium during an online press briefing held on Tuesday October 11.

The solution features an end-to-end electrification system that reduces emissions without compromising on efficiency or safety, while aiming to be cost-competitive versus diesel-powered operations.

By combining a high-powered battery solution with ultrafast charging and a standardised micro-grid energy system, Shell’s new solution can be complemented with renewable electricity generation on-site or through the grid.

Electrification also offers off-road industries the immediate potential to shift away from a long-standing reliance on diesel.

This shift will be critical for hard-to-abate sectors like mining, as mobile equipment comprises 40–50 per cent of mining’s CO2 emission.

“It is increasingly clear that no one single organisation can solve decarbonisation alone,” Shell sectoral decarbonisation and innovation vice president Grischa Sauerberg said during the press briefing.

“The need for a collaborative effort is particularly evident within carbon-intensive industries like mining, where the challenges are great but the opportunities are even greater.

“To overcome these challenges and unlock these opportunities, Shell is helping to bring together some of the sector’s most innovative companies – with electrification proving an important first step towards the shaping of a clear decarbonisation pathway.”

Shell’s mining electrification solutions for off-road vehicles consists of:

  • power provisioning and microgrids, with an aim to provide a consistent and reliable supply of renewable power in a safe and stable manner
  • ultra-fast charging, taking approximately 90 seconds via flexible, hard-wearing, and resilient on-site, ultrafast charge-points, which provide assets with continuous operations in the most challenging of environments
  • in-vehicle energy storage through a combination of advanced battery and capacitor technologies that aim to deliver long lifetimes, ultra-fast charging, and high performance.

“The challenge of decarbonisation is immense, but not impossible, providing collaboration and innovation go hand-in-hand at all times,” Sauerberg said.

“(Collaboration and innovation) were on show during the recent Charge On Innovation Challenge, which saw the Shell-led consortium of equipment manufacturers, technology partners, industry experts and Shell Energy – our in-house supplier of renewable power – push the boundaries of what is possible for hard-to-abate sectors like mining.

“Our winning solutions are proof of how together the industry can help power progress by realising the full potential of the technologies available to us, whether that is through electrification, digital tools or low-carbon fuels.”

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