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Rolls-Royce and FLANDERS sign MoU to develop hybrid mining truck retrofit kits

More details have emerged on Rolls-Royce and FLANDERS Electric’s plan to develop a retrofit solution for hybridising mining trucks with mtu engines, batteries and hybrid control systems, and FLANDERS drive train solutions at MINExpo 2021 this week.

As IM revealed last month, Rolls-Royce has been working on concept of a hybrid drive system for mining trucks, with  FLANDERS Inc power electronics and controls to be used for retrofits.

The two companies have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding enabling them to offer a scalable retrofit kit for hybridising mining trucks in a wide range of mining applications.

With its brand mtu, Rolls-Royce says its business unit Power Systems is a leading provider of advanced integrated and sustainable power solutions for a wide variety of applications, including mining equipment. FLANDERS, meanwhile, develops and sells electric motors and generator systems, as well as automation and control systems for heavy industrial applications.

The companies plan to leverage their extensive experience to offer customers hybrid solutions that aim to save fuel and reduce the CO2 footprint of mining trucks as well as optimising vehicle power performance and efficiency, enabling more climate-friendly and safer mining operations, they say.

John Oliver, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Flanders, said: “Improving our customers’ operations, lowering their costs while enhancing their energy footprint, is a win for the mining industry and for the environment as a whole. We are excited to partner with Rolls-Royce Power Systems to deliver an industry leading hybrid power solution that will help our customers achieve their energy or carbon reduction goals.”

Scott Woodruff, Vice President for Mining and Oil & Gas at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We are excited to shape the mining industry’s sustainable future together with Flanders and further leverage our advanced hybrid technologies, which are already proven in the rail industry. Together we will offer our customers integrated, future-oriented, hybrid solutions.”

The mining truck hybrid concept recovers braking energy, using the mtu EnergyPack battery system. This energy is then fed back to power the wheel motors, allowing the diesel engine to be downsized. The smaller engine reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 30%, helping mining customers to achieve their emissions reduction targets, while optimising their operations, it says. The hybrid concept also includes the DC/DC converters which interface the battery system with the DC link of the truck. The system is highly modular and scalable for trucks of any size, working anywhere in the world, according to Rolls-Royce.