Xuzhou, China—Frey New Energy, a low-profile lithium-ion battery manufacturer located in Xu Zhou, China, is celebrating its custom-made lithium battery pack used for underground mining for 3 years without any reported technical issue.
The 3 years milestone boosts the mine industry’s confidence on the safety and reliability of lithium-ion battery, it is the testimony of the bright prospect of global mining electrification for China, and global.
In August 2018, Frey New Energy custom built 12 units of 96kWh li-ion packs for Hunan Yutong Mining Equipment Co., Ltd, one of the leading Chinese mine equipment manufacturers. The batteries were used in Yutong’s 12 Tonne trolley locomotive, pulling a capacity of 90 to 120 tonne’s rock daily in underground gold mine in Silingrad, Inner Mongolia China.
The temperature in Silingrad is as low as -30°C , while humidity underground gets as high as 90%. The condition is very harsh, the lithium batteries installed 3 years ago, continue to serve today.
Each 96KWh battery back was assembled with 300 pcs of lithium LiFePO4 cells with rated capacity of 3.2V100Ah. The battery cell was tested explosion-proof under the test criteria by Mining Products Safety Approval and Certification Centre (MA Centre) in Beijing. The enclosure of the rugged case was also explosion-proof, it is IP67 rated, which means totally protected against dust and protected against the effects of temporary immersion between 15cm and 1m. Duration of test 30 minutes.
‘The switch from lead acid to lithium is a right move. We are lucky we did it early with Frey New Energy. If we continue using the lead acid, we would already needed to replace batteries twice in 3 years. Our mine customer will never go back to lead acid. Once it’s switched to lithium it’s almost impossible to go back.” Said Kaibang Guo, the sales director of Yutong.
Yutong’s 12T li-ion battery powered Trolley Locomotive Running in Inner Mongolia, China.
When asked how many more years the batteries are expected to serve, the VP of engineer at Frey New Energy Zhenghai Hu said “The packs were designed to have at least 5 years’ service life before the end of life, which is 76.8KWh, according to current condition, at least another 3 years.”
Compared with lithium-ion battery giants of CATL and BYD, Frey New Energy is a boutique company with annual production capacity of 0.5GWH lithium batteries. It focuses on only making customized battery packs for specialty industries like mining and heavy-duty material handling. This unique service gave mine equipment makers a unique opportunity to electrify their custom-made mining vehicles and machines in small batch.