December 15, 2017

Engineered for rugged duty

A rugged alternator made for the mining environment (Courtesy: Delco Remy)

New alternators are designed with a wide range of output capabilities, suitable for modern mining operations.

It is hard to fail to notice remarkable developments in off-road vehicle industry alternators from various OEMs, which can benefit mines that operate in harsh environments, through substantial savings and improved efficiency. The alternators are designed to help mining operations cope with inevitable challenges – mainly falling turnover and rising business running costs – that have arisen as a consequence of a depressed business atmosphere.

Output capabilities

What can be considered most remarkable about the alternators is that models are designed with a wide range of output capabilities.

  1. Brushless alternator technology

The most groundbreaking development in alternators is brushless technology, which is designed to handle most demanding applications. In the brushless design, the stationary field coil removes the need for brushes and slip rings that wear and need intermittent replacement to relay power to a rotating field. Mainly, bearings are the only components of the design that wear.

  1. Savings

 Laudable attempts, which, cumulatively, can bring substantial savings to the companies operating in off-road sectors, have been undertaken. Prominently, the lightweight and design which uses less engine horsepower and translate into substantial engine fuel savings.

  1. Efficiency

Brushless design is considered more durable than brush alternatives. It has fewer moving parts, which means less wear, which translates into low downtime.    With low downtime, save for routine maintenance, the alternators improve the efficiency of vehicles for various tasks in a mine.

  1. Low life cycle costs

Low fuel costs and low maintenance costs both contribute to low life cycle costs through of the alternators.

  1. Performance

Remote sense technology in some alternators can reduce battery charge time by up to 50%, reducing downtime.

  1. Rugged

Alternators are designed to withstand to withstand the chaff, dust and corrosive agents of mining environments. Additionally, the design in some products on the market has eliminated internal arcing, making them ideal for harsh environments.

  1. Flameproof

Going further, some OEMs have produced certified flameproof brushless alternators specifically for volatile environments like mining, oil and gas.

Additional options

Some OEMs have catered for specific needs of industries include: soft start protection, overvoltage protection, temperature and voltage sensing, battery-specific charge capabilities and multi alternator installations.

All in all, as demands of industries that use off-road vehicles evolve, accordingly, OEMs will continue investing in research and development to innovate.

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