These electric trains never need to be recharged thanks to their regenerative brakes

Image for article titled These electric trains never need to be recharged thanks to their regenerative brakes

Photo: Fortescue

The old and reliable gravity. It is always there for us, keeping us grounded, and now, charging our electric trains indefinitely. A mining company Australia says that four of its electric trains generate as much electricity downhill using regenerative braking that they can get back to the top of the hill with a little energy to spare. Science!

Of course, there is a small problem: it is the additional weight of the load that helps to generate so much energy when braking downhill. When the vehicle goes back up a hill, it is significantly lighter because it is empty. Does not exist free energy, and the laws of physics are inflexible. Yet thus, the net result is an electric vehicle that is essentially self-powered throughout its duty cycle. Brilliant!

NBCnews talk about Fortescue, the mining company that operates 54 locomotives in Western Australia, in a larger article on the big industrial vehicles that have become electrical. What known as “regenerative braking” in cars This is called “dynamic braking” on these heavy vehicles. Y although the contribution dregenerative braking is regular in cars, technology shines in large load-bearing vehicles, as NBC explains:

It turns out that under the right conditions, going far enough downhill at a sufficient angle with a heavy load, electric vehicles can generate a useful amount of power. In fact, they can produce enough to get back up and often generate electricity to spare, once they have released Your load.

“When you have a 10% decline, from top to bottom, you never need to recharge,” said Roger Miauton, CEO of Swiss electric vehicle firm eMining AG. “You generate enough energy going downhill as you need to come back up.”

The Miauton company manufactures the eDumper, a 65-ton dump truck that is said to be the world’s largest electric vehicle. Your diesel engine and tank of fuel have been replaced by electric motors, batteries and cooling machinery, and it is now working in a quarry near Biel in Switzerland, transporting lime and 70-ton rocks down the side of a mountain.

The world’s largest electric vehicle is a huge dump truck that almost never needs to be plugged in to recharge. That’s great, but Fortescue’s “infinity trains” are even bigger and will likely never need a charge. In fact, the trains are expected to be able to make the return trip from the coast to Western Australia’s inland Pilbara with some battery left over, energy the company can use in other ways.

By 2030four “infinite train” routes should have entered in operation, bringing iron oreabout 37.000 tons per tripfrom the heart of the Outback, and generating a little extra electricity in the process.

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