Caterpillar’s Underground Mining group is preparing to ship a proof of concept battery electric LHD to a mine site located in Canada.
The initial build and validation testing of the R1300G test unit began in early 2017 at the Caterpillar Peoria Proving Grounds, and will continue through the fourth quarter and into 2018.
The test machine is a proof of concept for packaging and performance of a lithium based energy storage solution Caterpillar plans to bring to the LHD market. After testing, Caterpillar will launch a full-fledged new product introduction program that follows a more in-depth, rigorous design and validation process.
“Our customers are planning for deeper mines with very high ambient rock temperatures where ventilation costs are pivotal to making the mine viable,” said Jay Armburger, product manager with responsibility for underground technology. “One means of reducing ventilation demand is through electrification of the mining equipment.”