There is a new battery-electric specialist in the underground mining market: Battery Power Industries (BPI) of Pretoria, South Africa. The company said it will specialize in battery energy systems, electrical traction systems and high-speed charging systems for underground mining equipment. Its products will be designed and manufactured in South Africa by local engineers for the South African mining industry.
The company’s origins are with Thuthukani Engineering Solutions, a South African consulting firm that works with mining companies. For several years, Calvin Coetzee, an electrical systems engineer, worked with partners to develop electric-drive systems. This led to the commercial introduction of electric haulers, personnel carriers and other machines, which ultimately attracted the investors that helped Coetzee further develop and commercialize the technology.
The company said its offering will consist of the integration and supply of electric vehicle traction systems, battery-powered mining vehicles, lithium battery systems and charging systems.
BPI said its systems will offer many benefits to mining operations. “The maintenance requirements on an electrical system is half that of traditional diesel-powered machines,” said Coetzee. “In addition to this, our type of systems allows for existing underground infrastructure to be used in order to charge and service this form of equipment. Our systems are also able to address some of the mining industry’s biggest challenges – productivity, costs, fatigue and safety.”