WAE Technologies delivers largest battery of its kind
By Julian Buckley13 January 2023
WAE Technologies, which was formerly known as Williams Advanced Engineering, has delivered what is described as the largest battery of its kind to Australian mining company Fortescue. The battery pack will be fitted to a mining haul truck currently being developed by Fortescue and Liebherr.
Electrification of mining machines is ‘integral’ to Fortescue’s $6.2 billion decarbonisation strategy, intended to eliminate the use of fossil fuels across terrestrial iron ore operations. Equipment will also be fitted with hydrogen powertrains.
A team of 50 engineers has been responsible for developing the 1.4 MWh power system. Made up of eight sub packs, the unit weighs 15 tonnes and measures 3.6 m x 1.6 m x 2.4 m (length x width x height). Each of the eight packs is individually cooled and has its own battery management system.
The packs can be fast-charged in 30 minutes, while a regenerative system also delivers power to the packs as the haul truck drives downhill.
Fortescue Future Industries CEO Mark Hutchinson said, “WAE and Fortescue are working together to seek to decarbonise faster and more effectively than any other major industrial company in the world.”
“The battery system, designed for our zero-emission battery electric mining haul trucks is an important part of our strategy to reach real zero terrestrial emissions (Scope 1 and 2) across our iron operations by 2030”
“WAE’s battery expertise compliments FFI’s green hydrogen projects and cements Fortescue as a leader in the technologies needed for the green energy transition.”
Having now arrived at Fortescue’s workshop in Perth, Western Australia, it will be assembled and installed before being transported to the Pilbara mine for testing.
As reported by Diesel Progress, WAE Technologies was bought by Fortescue in early 2022 for £164 million (at that point, $222 million).