GE Mining and GE’s Energy Storage, two businesses within GE Transportation, collaborated to combine the Durathon battery, an ecomagination-qualified product, with GE’s Invertex underground propulsion system to develop a more advanced and efficient mining scoop.

“We’re encouraged by the test at Coal River Energy and see GE’s Durathon battery technology as a long-term solution for our mining customers,” said Prescott Logan, general manager of GE Energy Storage. “With the Invertex underground propulsion system and our state-of-the-art energy storage solution, GE Mining will deliver higher efficiency and productivity to mining customers worldwide while lowering fuel use, emissions and life-cycle cost.”

GE’s Durathon battery technology features a number of benefits that make the technology faster, cleaner and better than traditional batteries, including at least 40% more operating range. The battery is 25% smaller and 50% lighter than traditional batteries, enabling more energy to be stored in a smaller space. The battery-powered scoop operates more effectively in extreme temperatures and requires no cooling and minimal maintenance.

Additionally, the battery contains no lead acid materials. This eliminates the release of gases when charging, removes explosive fuel sources underground and reduces mineworker exposure to diesel particulate matter–three key safety priorities for the mining industry.

“The Durathon battery powered scoop further underscores GE Mining’s progress towards bringing the next generation of superior underground mining equipment to the industry,” said Geoff Knox, CEO of GE Mining. “We are encouraged by this rigorous testing and look forward to the future benefits this technology will bring to our customers.”

GE Mining acquired the Fairchild line of underground mining equipment in 2012. Following the acquisition, it initiated a program to combine the Fairchild underground mining scoop together with GE’s Invertex underground propulsion system and Durathon battery technology into a state-of-the-art underground mining solution.

“The scoop performed well and we are eager to see the final product,” said Carl Estep, maintenance manager at Coal River Energy, LLC. “The lightweight, high density battery’s ability to reduce maintenance and charging time while allowing for easier maneuverability will provide advantages over today’s lead-acid scoops.”

GE Mining will continue testing this technology to ensure it meets customer needs. The Durathon battery powered scoop is expected to be available in 2014.