Since being named one of eight winning ideas selected to progress to the next stage of the Charge On™ Innovation Challenge in 2022, BluVeinXL has done more than most, assembling a consortium of major mining partners focused on accelerating BluVein’s standardised dynamic charging technology to decarbonise the mining sector.
Late last year, Austmine, which manages the BluVeinXL project, welcomed Rio Tinto, OZ Minerals, BHP, Newcrest Mining, Evolution Mining and Freeport-McMoRan to the consortium of funding members to fast-track the BluVein technology. It has since welcomed Vale to the consortium.
These companies have backed the vision of BluVein, a joint venture between Olitek (Australia) and Evias (Sweden), to dynamically power mixed-OEM haul fleets while in motion, enabling smaller on-board battery packs, faster vehicle haulage speeds up ramp, grid load balancing, elimination of static fast charging, maximum fleet availability and – most importantly – the complete elimination of diesel.
These consortium partners are focused on delivering BluVein’s fleet electrification solution to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 with a minimal viable product (MVP) demonstration, ahead of full commercial deployment of the technology.
BluVeinXL leverages much of what was developed for BluVein1, the primarily underground solution using the BluVein Rail™ slotted power rail system and the on-vehicle BluVein Hammer™ to simultaneously charge and power mining fleets ‘on the go’. The Rail is an enclosed electrified e-rail system mounted above or beside mining vehicles while the Hammer connects the electric vehicle to the Rail.
In underground scenarios, BluVein’s technology completely removes the need for battery swapping or static fast charging while allowing the use of smaller, lighter and lower cost batteries in continuous and high-duty applications, according to the company.
In open-pit operations, BluVeinXL will be similarly transformative, offering a next-generation alternative to what BluVein refers to as “the cumbersome, inflexible and expensive conventional catenary wire trolley systems that are currently hampering mines from fully decarbonising their haulage operations”.
To get the latest on the BluVeinXL open-pit electrification solution, IM caught up with James Oliver, CEO of BluVein.