Advanced underground Vehicle Power and Control: The locomotive Research Platform

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Develop a fuelcell mine locomotive with metal-hydride hydrogen storage. Test the locomotive for fundamental limitations preventing successful commercialization of hydride fuelcells in underground mining. During Phase 1 of the DOE-EERE sponsored project, FPI and its partner SNL, completed work on the development of a 14.4 kW fuelcell power plant and metal-hydride energy storage. An existing battery-electric locomotive with similar power requirements, minus the battery module, was used as the base vehicle. In March 2001, Atlas Copco Wagner of Portland, OR, installed the fuelcell power plant into the base vehicle and initiated integration of the system into the vehicle. The entire ... continued below

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149 pages

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LLC, Vehicle Projects January 28, 2003.

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Description

Develop a fuelcell mine locomotive with metal-hydride hydrogen storage. Test the locomotive for fundamental limitations preventing successful commercialization of hydride fuelcells in underground mining. During Phase 1 of the DOE-EERE sponsored project, FPI and its partner SNL, completed work on the development of a 14.4 kW fuelcell power plant and metal-hydride energy storage. An existing battery-electric locomotive with similar power requirements, minus the battery module, was used as the base vehicle. In March 2001, Atlas Copco Wagner of Portland, OR, installed the fuelcell power plant into the base vehicle and initiated integration of the system into the vehicle. The entire vehicle returned to Sandia in May 2001 for further development and integration. Initial system power-up took place in December 2001. A revision to the original contract, Phase 2, at the request of DOE Golden Field Office, established Vehicle Projects LLC as the new prime contractor,. Phase 2 allowed industry partners to conduct surface tests, incorporate enhancements to the original design by SNL, perform an extensive risk and safety analysis, and test the fuelcell locomotive underground under representative production mine conditions. During the surface tests one of the fuelcell stacks exhibited reduced power output resulting in having to replace both fuelcell stacks. The new stacks were manufactured with new and improved technology resulting in an increase of the gross power output from 14.4 kW to 17 kW. Further work by CANMET and Hatch Associates, an engineering consulting firm specializing in safety analysis for the mining industry, both under subcontract to Vehicle Projects LLC, established minimum requirements for underground testing. CANMET upgraded the Programmable Logic Control (PLC) software used to monitor and control the fuelcell power plant, taking into account locomotive operator's needs. Battery Electric, a South Africa manufacturer, designed and manufactured (at no cost to the project) a new motor controller capable of operating the higher rpm motor and different power characteristics of the fuelcells. In early August 2002, CANMET, with the technical assistance of Nuvera Fuel Cells and Battery Electric, installed the new PLC software, installed the new motor controller, and installed the new fuelcell stacks. After minor adjustments, the fuelcell locomotive pulled its first fully loaded ore cars on a surface track. The fuelcell-powered locomotive easily matched the battery powered equivalent in its ability to pull tonnage and equaled the battery-powered locomotive in acceleration. The final task of Phase 2, testing the locomotive underground in a production environment, occurred in early October 2002 in a gold mine. All regulatory requirements to allow the locomotive underground were completed and signed off by Hatch Associates prior to going underground. During the production tests, the locomotive performed flawlessly with no failures or downtime. The actual tests occurred during a 2-week period and involved moving both gold ore and waste rock over a 1,000 meter track. Refueling, or recharging, of the metal-hydride storage took place on the surface. After each shift, the metal-hydride storage module was removed from the locomotive, transported to surface, and filled with hydrogen from high-pressure tanks. The beginning of each shift started with taking the fully recharged metal-hydride storage module down into the mine and re-installing it onto the locomotive. Each 8 hour shift consumed approximately one half to two thirds of the onboard hydrogen. This indicates that the fuelcell-powered locomotive can work longer than a similar battery-powered locomotive, which operates about 6 hours, before needing a recharge.

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149 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00816032

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  • Other Information: PBD: 28 Jan 2003

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  • Report No.: FC36-99GO10458
  • Grant Number: /GO/10458
  • DOI: 10.2172/816032 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 816032
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc736838

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  • January 28, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • Aug. 9, 2016, 8:22 p.m.

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LLC, Vehicle Projects. Advanced underground Vehicle Power and Control: The locomotive Research Platform, report, January 28, 2003; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc736838/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.