Ballard Power Systems has joined the Hydra Consortium, together with Mining3.
The Hydra Consortium will allow heavy-duty mining mobile equipment to operate on renewable hydrogen, replacing diesel and decarbonizing the mining industry. Ballard would have zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell systems to power mining equipment.
The Hydra Consortium is currently working to develop the business case for a hydrogen fuel cell-based powertrain in heavy-duty mining mobility. Several workstreams will be implemented to achieve the goal of replacing diesel, including the design, manufacturing, and testing of a 200-kilowatt fuel cell plus battery powertrain prototype that will operate in mining conditions (altitude, dust, temperature, etc.).
The fuel cell can produce electricity and power a mining vehicle using renewable hydrogen, with the battery allowing for regenerative braking and supplying peak power.
The results of the tests would be used to improve the overall design, which could eventually replace a conventional diesel powertrain. In addition, the project will assist government agencies by developing safety standards for the use of hydrogen at scale in the mining industry. At the end of the day, it will be known if Consortium members are willing to consider scaling up the solution.