Future mining opportunities for fuel cell applications

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 96, No. 1074, 2003

M.C. Bétournay, M. Laflamme, A.R. Miller, D.L. Barnes

A number of successful proof-of-concept projects have been carried out to replace conventional power application, such as diesel and rechargeable batteries, in underground mine vehicles. This has led to the development and testing of the world’s first fuel cell production vehicle, a mine locomotive. A fuel cell loader is being built and tested. This paper provides an insight into other projects that are being carried out. Some are related to further underground applications, and some to further research, such as refueling options, power plant durability, and vehicle automation. Also outlined is an evaluation of the overall mining applications and advantages this technology can bring to underground mining, including the facilitation of automation and tele-remote operation.
Keywords: Fuel cell applications, Underground mining, Automation, Tele-remote operation.