GE Mining Unveils New Durathon Battery Powered Underground Mining Propulsion System

Most people have heard of and know the GE brand, but did you know that GE Transportation and Mining (A division of GE) actually invented electric drive systems for mining trucks back in 1963? And has continued to be at the forefront of mining drive system design, manufacture and support ever since.

The strong GE tradition of innovation in the mining sector continues today with the announcement of its breakthrough energy storage technology, the Durathon battery. However, GE are not just unveiling the technology, they know what customers in the worlds' toughest transportation industries require, and that is proven applications of new technology. With this in mind, GE have done just that by unveiling the new Durathon battery technology by successfully powering one of GE's own Mining Scoop trucks at Coal River Energy, LLC in Alum Creek, West Virginia.

Watch the new Durathon Battery Technology in action...

Run time - 1:10mins

This successful trial signifies a massive milestone for GE Mining in the development of the next generation of mining truck power systems designed to increase productivity, availability, reduce maintenance and improve through-life performance.

Innovative Durathon Battery

The innovative design of the Durathon Battery offers designers a power storage system that will help develop faster, cleaner and quieter mining machinery.

A joint development initiative between GE Mining and GE’s Energy Storage, two businesses within GE Transportation, collaborated to combine the Durathon battery, an ecomagination-qualified product with GE's Invertex underground mining propulsion system.

The new Durathon Battery design offers significant savings and operational benefits due to a 50% reduction in weight, 25% reduction in size and a 40% increase in operating range over traditional battery designs.

“We’re encouraged by the test at Coal River Energy and see GE’s Durathon battery technology as a long-term solution for our mining customers,” said Prescott Logan, general manager of GE Energy Storage. “With the Invertex underground propulsion system and our state-of-the-art energy storage solution, GE Mining will deliver higher efficiency and productivity to mining customers worldwide while lowering fuel use, emissions and life-cycle cost.”

Image credit - GE Transportation

Another added benefit of the new Durathon Battery powered scoop is that it can operate more efficiently and effectively in extreme environments and temperatures requiring no cooling and minimal maintenance.

Alongside this, the new design features no lead acid materials thus eliminating the release of gases during charging and also reduces the risk of operating underground by removing explosive fuel sources and diesel fumes and particulates (traditional combustion powered trucks) from underground work environments.

So what did the first trial customer think of this exciting technology?

“The scoop performed well and we are eager to see the final product,” said Carl Estep, maintenance manager at Coal River Energy, LLC. “The lightweight, high density battery’s ability to reduce maintenance and charging time while allowing for easier maneuverability will provide advantages over today’s lead-acid scoops.”

GE Mining will continue testing this technology to ensure it meets customer needs. The Durathon battery powered scoop is expected to be available in 2014.

About GE Mining

GE Mining makes mining work. Every day we help our customers solve their biggest challenges by helping them become safer, more productive, more energy efficient and deliver better returns on their investment. The businesses that comprise GE Mining - Mining Equipment and technology from the Fairchild and Industrea product teams, Propulsion Systems and Mining Solutions - work together to provide integrated power, water, productivity and service solutions across the mining industry, globally. To learn more visit http://www.ge.com/mining.

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