Voith’s TurboBelt TPXL product family includes the TurboBelt 800 TPXL fill control fluid coupling drive.

Atlas Energy Solutions selected Voith Turbo to supply a total of 21 TurboBelt 800 TPXL fill control fluid coupling drives (including spares) to power 42 miles of conveyor belt as part of Atlas Energy Solutions’ historic Dune Express project. ELIN Motoren, a Voith company, will also provide 21 customized low noise electric motors for the project, including spares. Once in operation, the overland conveyor system will serve as a low-impact transport system, taking sand from Texas to New Mexico while establishing a new world record for a single conveyor flight without a mid-belt drive at an impressive 16.3 miles overall single flight length.

“As planned, the Dune Express is enormous,” said Roland Hoet, vice president sales, HDC Voith Turbo Americas. “Conveyor CV-004, the last in the system, will be the world-record holder, and combined with the three conveyors earlier in the line, this 42-mile conveyor system will be the longest in North and South America, and the second longest in the world.”

3D image of the complete 900-hp drive package for the Atlas Energy Solutions’ historic Dune Express project, including the TurboBelt 800 TPXL fill control fluid coupling drive which will power the conveyor belts and electric motors from ELIN Motoren.

Once in operation, sand will begin its journey from Atlas’ Kermit, Texas, facility and the Dune Express will carry material into New Mexico for storage or delivery. 

The multimillion-dollar project required significant technical work by Voith, ultimately developing seven different drive package designs for the install. Most significantly, the Voith drives needed to be designed to provide a specified acceleration time of 10 minutes for the conveyors. This extended start-up time was required to maintain belt tensions, especially along the lengthy horizontal curves for two of the system’s four belts. This start-up time is significantly longer than most large conveyors, which typically require 60 to 120 seconds.  

“Voith’s new TurboBelt 800 TPXL fill control couplings are the latest design update to Voith’s TPXL family of fill control models,” said Hoet. “This new TurboBelt technology uses an advanced oil-filling control system which provides continuous fill-level control through a forward and reverse flow pump. It eliminates the On/Off function solenoid fill and drain valves of the previous technology “TPKL” fill control models.”  

Commissioning and installation of the full conveyor system, complete with the Voith TurboBelt TPXL coupling drives, is anticipated in Q4 2024. Once complete, the Dune Express will have more than 75,000 tons of storage space for sand.