The trial is a milestone for GE Mining.
It came out of a collaboration between GE Mining and GE’s Energy Storage, which combined the Durathon battery with GE’s Invertex underground propulsion system to develop a more advanced, efficient mining scoop.
GE Energy Storage general manager Prescott Logan said the company had been encouraged by the Coal River Energy test.
“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 lifecycle cost.”
GE’s Durathon battery has at least 40% more operating range than traditional batteries, is 25% smaller and 50% lighter.
The battery-powered scoop operates more effectively in extreme temperatures requiring no cooling and minimal maintenance.
The battery also contains no lead-acid material, meaning no gases are released during charging, which removes explosive fuel sources underground and reduces mine work exposure to diesel particulate matter.
GE Mining bought Fairchild Underground Mining Equipment last year.
Following the acquisition it initiated a program to combine the Fairchild underground mining scoop with its Intervex propulsion system and Durathon battery technology.
Coal River Energy maintenance manager Carl Estep said the scoop performed well and he and his colleagues were keen 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,” he said.