Nproxx is developing a new hydrogen fuel tank system for the world’s largest mining truck at an Anglo American PGM mine in South Africa, which would likely be operational later this year, H2 Bulletin reports.
Nproxx will develop a tank system to store hydrogen at high pressure safely and cost-effectively for powering fuel cells. It will be installed within the vehicle’s frame. The company also developed unique pipework and refuelling system to support multiple tanks on the vessel at pressures of up to 350 bar.
The hydrogen-powered truck will the world’s largest mine haul truck. It is 7.5 metres in height with a weight of over 200 tonnes when empty, and the diameter of its front wheels is around four metres. This giant truck would require a significant amount of power to keep operating on highly uneven roads.
Once completed, the truck will be working at Anglo American’s Mogalakwena mine, which is the largest open-pit platinum group metals mine in the world. The trucks will be deployed later at other Anglo American mines around the world.
Anglo American aims to be carbon neutral by 2040. The hydrogen trucks will help the miner achieving the target as mining trucks accounts for 70% of on-site diesel consumption.
Johannes Lorenz, Director Marketing & Sales at Nproxx, said, “The move from diesel to hydrogen power makes perfect sense for Anglo American. Hydrogen-powered drivetrains are capable of generating the power which these vehicles need.”
Lorenz further added, “In a mine, there are uneven roadways, and therefore, the vehicles themselves are very robust, and so, naturally, they require an equally robust system for storing hydrogen.
Nproxx also provided pressure vessels that are used to store hydrogen in the refuelling station. The company supplied two 20 ft tanks which will operate up to 500 bar pressure to store hydrogen produced through electrolysers. Anglo American and Engie are building a demonstration facility in South Africa, including a 3.5 MW electrolyser to produce hydrogen on-site, with a 1 tonne/day production capacity.