The PFL 8 E and PFL 15 E LHDs from Paus are new electric models designed specifically for high-altitude applications where lower air density, high ambient temperatures and other challenges make the use of diesel-powered units difficult. The two loaders have bucket volumes of 0.8 m3 and 1.2 m3, respectively, and feature compact design.
Paus noted that although the procurement cost of electric loaders is slightly higher, the additional cost can be worthwhile for small mines in particular: electric loaders work emission-free, eliminating the need for additional mine ventilation, and fuel breaks are unneeded. In addition, electric motors generate minimal noise, operating and maintenance costs are claimed to be lower than for diesel-powered vehicles, and low vibration levels put less load on components.
A main feature of the new loaders is an innovative drive concept incorporating a high-performance powerMELA STW engine. The concept provides intelligent interplay of frequency inverter and bridge rectifier, and the machines can compensate for natural voltage fluctuations from the mains. Both loaders can be adapted to 50-Hz or 60-Hz power networks in mines. One of the side effects of electric vehicles is often that voltage is returned to the grid when braking or reducing acceleration. Paus engines do not dissipate power, thereby protecting the mine power network. Both machines are fitted with a cable drum and 120-m-long cable.
The loaders’ Z-kinematics linkage and optimized bucket shape enable the bucket to be filled and emptied faster, according to Paus. The machines can be controlled easily using ergonomically friendly joysticks. All controls are conveniently arranged within the cab and are within easy reach of the operator. Both loaders are fitted with an ROPS/ FOPS protective cab roof, Posi Stop braking system and a dead man switch integrated in the driver’s door. They can optionally be equipped with a semi- or fully-automatic fire extinguishing system. LED lights at the front and rear, along with a beacon light, enhance visibility and serve as an alert to others in the vicinity. A display with a simple CANbus connection is integrated into the driver’s platform for rapid fault analysis, transmitting key vehicle data and fault codes to the driver or service personnel.