General Electric creates powerful energy storage device with several benefits for the mining industry

General Electric creates powerful energy storage device with several benefits for the mining industry

BatteryDesign7_03_12The new Durathon Battery is General Electric’s (GE) most recent breakthrough. The energy storage technology promises to improve a lot in the mining field, for instance, by powering underground vehicles that transport mining materials.

The best about it is that the system should help develop cleaner, faster and more efficient machinery for mining activities.

According to GE, the companies who apply the Durathon Battery to its vehicles will be able to save significant amounts of money in operating costs, mainly because the new device is 50 percent lighter, 25 percent smaller and has less 40 percent of operating range when compared to traditional batteries.

Besides, the Durathon is also environment-friendly, because it doesn’t contain lead acid materials, eliminating the release of gases while charging. This also means that the explosive fuel sources that could be inside the battery and underground, putting the miners at risk, don’t exist.

ImageForArticle_841(1)The battery was developed by GE Mining and GE’s Energy Storage, two businesses within the group GE Transportation. The partnership already tested the Durathon by applying it in GE’s Invertex underground mining propulsion system at Coal River Energy, in West Virginia (USA).

About the innovative technology, Prescott Logan, general manager of GE Energy Storage, said that:

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. 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.

Carl Estep, maintenance manager at Coal River Energy, also talked about the new battery and the tests:

The scoop performed well and we are eager to see the final product. 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.

Now it’s just a matter of start applying the battery to real world operations, from the United States to Australia. The new Durathon Battery should be available in 2014.