Climate change is a huge driver of innovation in the global mining sector. Ferrit’s R&D investments are focused on its environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments by producing a range of electrically-powered machinery and equipment.

No one is more aware of the benefits of electricity and battery-powered machinery than Ferrit, the Czech mining equipment manufacturer. These benefits – lower energy costs, cleaner air, and a smaller environmental impact to name a few – have led the company to move more deeply into this field in pursuit of attaining sustainability goals.

Here, we talk about its impressive list of new products that will help both Ferrit and its clients achieve their green credentials.

Accumulator Suspended Monorail Locomotives

Ferrit has two of these types of battery-operated locomotives in their range – the DLZA90F, which is a suspended monorail track model with autonomous traction equipment for moving different load types through underground mines and on the surface.

There is a list of auxiliary equipment that can be bundled with them to satisfy the needs of most modern mines. With eight 7.5kW drive units moving them at a speed of more than 7km/h, they have a tough 120 kN of pulling power so they can work up or down inclines of ± 30°.

The second is the DLZA30F. It is also similarly a traction vehicle system with a range of modular configurable add-ons available but is limited to inclines of no more than 20 degrees owing to having a lower 60kN of traction power.

The battery container can have a liquid-electrolyte lead cell or a solid-electrolyte lead cell (gel cells), with a REM-CON-** remote control option. One important difference is that this model is certified as a Group I device, category M2, and can be installed in mines with risks of gas and coal dust explosions. It is a lighter system, so needs only two of the 7.5kW drive units to reach the same speeds.

Electric Manipulators

The DME30F Electro-Hydraulic Manipulator is a traction unit that can move a combination of different mining cars and trucks on a monorail track, and it can be adapted to roll on a rack track. It uses one or two 30kW drive units (producing 25 to 50 kN traction) and can move at speeds of up to 3.2 km/h on inclines of up to 30%.

It is particularly suitable for mine load haulage and underground material reloading depots. Its drives are electric motors with a hydraulics unit, that can power the manipulator’s drive or lifting equipment, such as the NZH2/4 and/or other small auxiliary mechanical equipment, like bolt drills, impact wrenches, pick hammers, pumps, etc. and can be configured to be operated by remote control

The SA-MAN-01 is a similar system but is powered by a single 5.5kW – 7.5kW drive unit that can move loads at up to 3 km/h.

Accumulator Ground Rail Locomotives

The DLPA44F and its sister battery-powered locomotive system, the DLPA2x44F-K, are for moving material or personnel on 550mm – 900 mm gauge rail tracks at gradients of up to ± 35‰.

The DLPA44F can be split into three sections for easy transportation to its destination where it can be easily reassembled quickly. The DLPA2x44F-K however, is a two-sectioned unit that is connected by a single rod, enabling the unit to navigate a 10m-radius turn with ease.

Using a 1067 mm track gauge, the DLPA90F locomotive can move up or down gradients of up to ± 50‰. It is also a modular system in three parts for ease of transportation and installation.

Electric Trolley Locomotives

The TLP120F is ideal for moving loads in horizontal tunnels where there is no risk of coal dust or gas explosions. It runs on 750mm – 900 mm gauge tracks with a maximum inclination of 35 ‰. It has two sections, again for easy disassembly and reassembling. The TLP90F is only available for a 750mm gauge track, but it can navigate inclinations of up to 50‰.

The cabins of all accumulator and Electric Trolley locomotives are equipped similarly with control, monitoring, safety and other equipment for safe operations, providing robust personal and environmental protection, and with wide wraparound viewing angles, the operator maintains excellent track and tunnel lookout

Mining Chairlift

This system is for self-service and bidirectional individual personnel transport of workers around a mine. The people sit on a single seat which is fixed on a suspension rod, that is clamped to a fixed, endless powered cable and pulley circuit.

It takes a worker from an embarking station, perhaps to a middle station, and eventually, to a disembarking station. The cable moves at a maximum of 1.4 m/s in direct horizontal or inclined routes that are level, or of variable inclinations that cannot be more than 40%.

Ferrit Lithium-ion batteries

Li-ion batteries are in great demand at the moment. Ferrit’s R&D department has been working on its own models that will be an ATEX-certified design for Zone 1 M2 (coal dust and methane explosion hazardous environments). They will be able to replace gel- and lead-type cells in use with Ferrit’s current equipment and machinery ranges, modular master boxes, necessary slave units and a universal charging station also certified to operate in ATEX Zone 1 area.

They will be lighter and have the capacity to absorb and store higher amounts of energy through a higher number of charge cycles, therefore attracting lower energy costs. Ferrit’s, like all Lithium-ion batteries, also have no memory effect (Batteries that are recharged repeatedly after being only partially used gradually lose usable charge capacity owing to a reduced working voltage and cause the battery to ‘memorise’ the decreased life cycle. This phenomenon is called a battery’s ‘memory effect’).

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