Mine Energy Solutions Claims Up to 90% Diesel Displacement on Caterpillar 789C
With Modified 3516B Engine and 5,000-psi Composite Fuel Cylinders from Quantum
Australia’s Mine Energy Solutions reports diesel displacement of up to 90% on trials of a Caterpillar 789C mine truck fitted with proprietary dual fuel modification gear. MES is using a fuel system trademarked HDCNG, for high density compressed natural gas. updated June 17
Caterpillar 789C HDCNG demonstration mine truck HDCNG fuel capsule prototype with 26-inch-diamter Type IV Quantum cylinders.
MES is a joint venture of Queensland, Australia-based IntelliGas and multinational Sime Darby, which owns the Brisbane-based Caterpillar dealer Hastings Deering.
The MES modification for the Caterpillar 3516B engine is a true sequential port injection system, says U.S. IntelliGas partner John Mitton. The HDCNG system he says, uses 350 bar/5,000-psi fuel cylinders in lieu of the 200 bar/3,000-psi CNG tanks used elsewhere in Australia.
Cold, High-Pressure Gas
The combination of higher pressure, pre-chilling of the gas and other proprietary fill-boosting techniques allows nearly twice as much gas to be stored in the truck’s fuel cylinders, Mitton told HHP Insight. The IntelliGas pre-chilling technology is critical, he says, to prevent heat build-up during rapid fills.
Lightweight 26-inch-diameter all-composite carbon fiber-on-polymer Type IV fuel cylinders for the HDCNG system are supplied by Quantum Technologies.
Quantum announced availability of new 640-liter, 5,000-psi tanks this week, stating that it’s shipped 100 units to a foreign-based virtual CNG pipeline customer. “The customer has a proprietary tank fill technology,” Quantum said. (In addition to equipment for operating mine trucks on natural gas, the MES package includes transfer of the gas to the mine, in HDCNG cylinders – the virtual pipeline principle.)
MES says that its “cutting-edge engine and fuel management technology” for the Cat 3516B has enabled diesel displacement of up to 95% on a dynamometer.
Diesel Tanker Trucks Could Be Displaced, Too
“Average diesel displacement in excess of 80% was achieved over the full range of drive cycle conditions simulated by the trials without loss of torque or power,” MES executive director Craig James said in a release.
Trials of the Cat 789C truck on a test track at Morayfield, north of Brisbane, showed up to 90% diesel displacement, MES says.
MES says it is focused exclusively on mining applications, “initially in Australia, and then internationally.” In central Queensland alone, the company says, “there is the potential to take as many as 8,000 diesel tanker trucks off the roads annually between the fuel depots at Mackay and Gladstone and mine sites to the west.”
‘An End-to-End Fuel Solution Never Before Experienced’
“The engine technology is innovative, can be retrofitted to existing mine fleets including dozers, wheel loaders and diesel shovels and integrated seamlessly with existing manned vehicles or autonomous mining machinery,” James said.
Mine Energy Solutions: big plans
MES says it will offer mining companies “an end-to-end fuel solution never before experienced in the industry.
“Many major mine sites throughout Australia are relatively close to natural gas sources and/or gas transmission pipelines,” the firm says. “MES will source gas supplies, compress it to HDCNG, transport it to the mine and provide either automated or mobile re-fueling systems … a complete HDCNG supply chain.”
Easier to Handle than LNG
MES emphasizes that its HDCNG has approximately twice the energy density of conventional CNG and approximately 65% the energy density of liquefied natural gas. “It has less space and weight claim than CNG and none of the safety in handling and other issues that result from the cryogenic nature of LNG,” the company says.
MES proposes to mount HDCNG cylinders on the mine truck in four fuel cassettes, each containing two lightweight tanks. The cassettes would be robotically exchanged at the fueling station on both sides of the truck simultaneously in less than five minutes. “Alternatively,” the company says, an ‘in-pit’ mobile re-fueling service can be provided.”
The next step? In-mine deployment to for extensive reliability and operational trials “as a prelude to commercialization.”
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The MES concept is for HDCNG cylinder cassettes, each with two 26-inch-diameter Quantum cylinders, to be robotically exchanged at a fueling station ‘in less than five minutes and on both sides of the truck simultaneously.’ Click here for video.
Source: Mine Energy Solutions with HHP Insight follow-up