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A new battery driven mining vehicle solution provider has entered the market. Battery Power Industries (BPI), is a proudly South African OEM specialising in the development of battery energy systems, electrical traction systems and high speed charging systems for underground mining equipment. All of BPI’s products are designed and manufactured locally http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/south-africa, by local engineers, for the South African mining industry.

BPI has its origins within consulting engineering firm Thuthukani Engineering Solutions. Over the past five years, Thuthukani Electrical Systems Engineer Calvin Coetzee has been working with key partners to develop advanced electric drive systems for mining vehicles, as well as battery and charging systems. This led to the commercial roll-out of electric hauler systems, electric personnel carriers, and electric low profile load haul and dump machines.

                 BPI's battery-electric drive system for an LHD.

These patented electric vehicle and battery systems designs developed by the team at Thuthukani captured the attention of the IDC who have provided BPI with a working capital facility to fund further commercialisation, R&D, and potential future manufacturing capabilities. Alongside the existing commercial systems, BPI is in the process of securing additional R&D funding.

BPI’s offering will consist of integration and supply of electric vehicle traction systems, battery powered mining vehicles, zero emissions technologies, EV-Lithium battery systems, and charging systems. BPI’s capabilities include the design, manufacturing and integration of all necessary components for a full electrical traction system and related charging infrastructure. This includes the integration of all auxiliary systems and battery storage units, including traction, cooling, electrical management, and distribution systems.

According to Coetzee, BPI’s systems will offer a number of benefits to mining operations. “Compared to traditional machines, the maintenance requirements on an electrical system is half that of traditional diesel powered machines. In addition to this, our type of systems allow for existing underground infrastructure to be used in order to charge and service this form of equipment. Our systems are also able to address some of the mining industry’s biggest challenges – productivity, costs, fatigue and safety,” he says.

“Our designs are able to outperform traditional diesel-fuelled vehicles on the market through their ability to eliminate diesel particulate emissions and achieve considerable energy cost savings and lower overall machine costs. We aim to remove all emissions and harmful equipment from use in mining operations as part of our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining. This approach applies innovative thinking and cutting edge technologies to address mining’s major challenges.”

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