Hard rock mining company Fortescue Williams has adopted electric trains that can generate enough power to never need recharging. The company recently explained that four of its trains can generate enough electricity to power their operations through a regenerative braking system. The system relies on gravity, in which the trains generate sufficient power as they go downhill just to use it when climbing uphill.
The company is using the same approach over several new projects across Australia. It will be exploiting gravity to power trains and heavy tracks that go downhill carrying heavy loads and ascend uphill with light cargo. The added weight of the cargo plays an important role in the entire system. When going downhill, the weight helps the vehicles generate much energy, which can be harnessed through regenerative braking.
The energy collected in this model is not free and does not break away from the laws of science. The vehicles simply power themselves through the cycle of duty. To make this possible, the vehicles are equipped with unique electric motors that can generate and use electricity. This allows them to generate power to recharge the batteries while driving downhill.
A project that started as an experiment turned out to be a huge success. It turns out that driving downhill at the right angle with a heavy load can help heavy trucks and trains to generate enough power to climb back up. As a matter of fact, some of the trains power back uphill with some reserved energy.
The mining ore for the company is at the top of a mountain. The trains power themselves to the top of the mountain, where they are loaded with rock ore. The trains then roll downhill by gravity with the engineer riding the regenerative brakes.
There are other vehicles in Australia that operate on the same principles. The EDumper is a massive all-electric mining truck that operates on the same principles. It rolls down the hill loaded with cargo, allowing it to generate sufficient electricity for the way back up.
Experts say that the trains can function on any landscape with a 10 percent descent from the top to the bottom as long as they carry a heavy load from the mountain top and ascend with light cargo.
Lead image via Pexels
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Mining company adopts electric trains that never need recharging is written by Bonface Landi for inhabitat.com