Caterpillar begins underground line-up electrification with R1700XE LHD plus banks on fast mobile charging

Underground mining continues to be an early adopter of sustainable mobile equipment solutions. The new Cat® R1700XE LHD, with its 15 t payload and 24,190 kg lift and tilt breakout, features a battery electric design that Cat says delivers superior productivity in underground applications with the benefits of no engine heat or exhaust emissions. It offers an 18 km/h top speed.

The new Cat LHD offers 100% battery electric propulsion, which generates significantly less heat. An Autodig function optimises loading and traction control to extend tyre life. Liquid cooling allows the batteries to be cooled while the machine is put back in operation, increasing machine uptime availability. To maximise runtime, batteries stay on the machine. Using the portable Cat® MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger, the R1700XE can be fully charged in less than 30 minutes using a single charger or in less than 20 minutes using two chargers.

The company told IM: “There is a need for a clean and safe working environment underground, which currently requires installation and maintenance of complex and expensive ventilation systems for clearing exhaust emissions. With less emissions from the machines like the new Cat R1700XE, mines can reduce the dependency on these ventilation systems. The new R1700XE LHD and MEC500 charger are a key part of the vision to an all-electric mine.”

The R1700XE is the first battery powered/zero emissions equipment for the underground hard rock mining LHD (Load Haul Dump) product line. It offers remote control operation capability. MINExpo 2021 attendees will get a first look at the R1700XE this September in the Caterpillar Central Hall exhibit 6229 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Targeted commercial availability for the R1700XE is Q4 2021 with deliveries in early 2022.

Paired with the MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger

A first of its kind in the industry, the new Cat® MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger is designed to charge quickly and safely wherever it is needed. “Unlike static charging stations, the 1,600 kg portable charger can be moved to where it is needed via towing, fork truck, or the R1700XE. It eliminates the need for regular battery handling and swapping, allowing for more efficient charging and production.”

Its 500 kW capability delivers an impressive range of 300-1,000 V and up to 700 Amps. The adjustable output can be used to trickle charge or quickly charge the R1700XE – this fast charger can be used as a single unit to deliver a full charge to the R1700XE in less than 30 minutes or in parallel to charge the LHD in less than 20 minutes. The charger is built rugged meeting ISO2867 rockfall protection and IP66 rating for water and dust protection. Key components are isolation mounted against vibration or seismic activity. It is sealed against humidity with enclosed air conditioning. The MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger will also be on display at MINExpo.