Mining contractors in the UK will benefit if they switch over to the newly launched Scooptram ST7 by Atlas Copco. The battery-powered mining equipment is significantly cooler compared to similar equipment operated with a diesel engine.
Atlas Copco Product Manager for Electric Vehicles Erik Svedlund explained that the difference in heat generation between the battery-powered and diesel-powered equipment can be quite significant. This, in turn, has an impact on the cost of underground ventilation.
Svedlund stated that diesel engines generate a lot of heat and can therefore increase the mine’s temperature significantly, by around 19 degrees Celsius. However, the Scooptram ST7 does not raise the temperature that much. He explained that if a mine has air coming in at 20 degrees Celsius, using a diesel-powered engine effectively raises the temperature to 39 degrees. On the other hand, if the Scooptram ST7 is used, it raises the temperature by just 3.5 degrees, thereby keeping the cost of ventilation low and ensuring that the mining crew can work in a more comfortable environment.
Atlas Copco believes that electric vehicles are important for the mining industry. With mines going deeper, it can make them hot, and ventilation can become a problem. As a result, it increases the cost of mining. Svedlund stated that his company believes that electric vehicles can remove a large part of the heat load and the need for underground ventilation. He said that battery-powered mining equipment will play a major role in keeping mines profitable in the future. Also, when diesel engines are removed from mines, there is no risk of diesel particulates, emissions and noise. In the long run, it is more beneficial for the health of workers in the mine.
Svedlund also points out that with lower temperatures inside the mines, mining contractors will have to build smaller tunnels and ventilation tubes. This helps reduce waste from the mine, driving down the cost of mining.