At Teck Coal’s Elk Valley operations as at other major mines, the rope shovels operate off main utility power via a nearby substation but also use a mobile power source during relocation, sometimes referred to as motivators. The existing 30-year old motivator was underpowered and frequently in need of maintenance, with significant downtime costs were significant. To solve the problem, Cullen Diesel, a local power products supplier, designed an innovative replacement specific to the mine needs which relies on a generator set from MTU Onsite Energy.The mining motivator is essentially a generator set on wheels and all of Teck’s Elk Valley sites share a single motivator. Until recently, this was a long-serving unit that had become outdated. “The old motivator was sufficient for some of our older shovels, but it was severely underpowered for a lot of our new shovels,” said Mehul Joshi, Electrical Engineer for Teck Coal. “It ran at 1,400 kW, and whenever we tried to move it, the breaker would trip, sometimes as many as four or five times during a move.”Joshi and his engineering team worked with Cullen Diesel Power in Vancouver, the local MTU Onsite Energy distributor, to design a new motivator specific to Teck’s needs. The power source in the new system is an MTU Onsite Energy generator set that includes an MTU 20V4000 G83L engine, which meets EPA Tier 2 emission standards in accordance with Teck’s specifications. The generator set’s power output is rated at 7,200 v and 2,575 kW at an elevation of 1,300 m. It is about 130% more powerful than the old one — and more than capable of meeting the 1,434 kW peak power needs of Teck’s newest shovels. More detail on this project will be provided in a future IM issue.