The ability to charge a vehicle mid shift or during its cycle through the underground mine is something that I have spoken about on several different occasions. As a fall back for vehicles that have missed charging cycles across a shift change or similar, it will be essential to have charging facilities for BEVs in the underground mine.
The marketing material for the Safescape Bortana highlights how it can be charged using a conventional 1000V jumbo box. This means less reliance on specialist infrastructure, yet could possibly cause congestion in busy mining areas (as jumbo boxes are often found close to active mining fronts). A series of designated jumbo boxes away from the action could be a good idea though, especially around workshops, lunch rooms and toilet facilities in the underground.
Further to this, it was great to see the JTMEC MineCharger portable charging station pop up on my LinkedIn feed last week. This is a specially designed piece of mining infrastructure for the transition to BEVs in the underground environment. Due to its small size and easy to use display, miners can quickly charge their BEVs over a mid shift break or lunch. With full cycle charging times being highlighted as taking between 1-3 hours dependent on model.
There is nothing worse than arriving at a fan starter/jumbo box having not used one for some time and being confused by the layout! This system should hopefully assist miners with a safe & simple to use charging point within the underground mine, reducing the requirement to swap out cabling for BEV charging.
With AS/NZS 2081, AS/NZS 4871 and AS/NZS 61439 compliance already organised it will be able to be seamlessly integrated into mine power infrastructure systems. Whilst still in the prototype phase, it is fantastic to see mining service businesses looking forward and solving new problems ahead of industry requirements.
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