25 Aug Modine Manufacturing to contribute to DOE's fuel-cell vehicle
RACINE, Wis. — Modine Manufacturing Company announced Wednesday it has been awarded a contract with Vehicle Projects, LCC, of Denver to supply thermal management hardware for a U.S. Department of Energy vehicle development and demonstration project. The nearly $8.6 million project will develop, manufacture and demonstrate a mine loader powered by a fuel cell, along with associated metal-hydride storage and refueling hardware.
The project was conceived by the Fuelcell Propulsion Institute and is managed by Vehicle Projects. Working with the DOE Golden Field Office in Golden, Colo., the group will develop a 23 metric-ton, 160 kW fuel cell-battery hybrid mine loader. In the course of this three-and-a-half year project, Vehicle Projects and its subcontractors, including Modine, will manufacture this fuel cell-battery hybrid mine loader that will eventually be used in various North American mines. The mine loader will be used in tight spaces as much as 1,000 feet underground.
“We are pleased to be part of the team working with the Department of Energy on this project. This effort will allow us to continue meeting the thermal challenges presented by fuel-cell systems, and push the envelope of this technology,” said Mark Baffa, director of Modine’s fuel-cell products group.
Racine-based Modine, a company specializing in fuel-cell systems research and development, also sees this program as a beginning to the application of even more fuel cell technology.
“It is exciting to be involved with some key industry leaders in developing this ‘first-of-its-kind,’ full-scale fuel cell vehicle. Not only will it complement our efforts in the mobile and stationary sectors, but it will provide an opportunity for us to demonstrate our thermal management systems in the pioneering stages of the program—a program aimed at the commercialization of fuel cell power plants in the mining industry,” Baffa said.
In the mine-loader project, Modine will supply thermal management hardware to cool the fuel-cell engine and maintain appropriate temperatures of the fuel-cell feed gases. The on-board electronics and vehicle hydraulics of the mine loader will also be cooled by Modine components. The first use of the loader will be in a ramp-style mine near Carlin, Nev. where Newmont Mining Corp. is mining for gold. The second demonstration will also be at a gold mining operation in Nevada at a Placer Dome Mine near Winnemucca. The final demonstration will occur in Canada in a shaft-style mine at an Agnico-Eagle gold mine in Quebec.