The world’s major industries continue to be crucial to the world’s marketplace while being extremely difficult to decarbonize. The energy required to transport huge concentrations of heavy raw resources over vast distances is one factor contributing to the sector’s pollutants. Shipping iron ore, for instance, is a difficult and polluting operation. To address this, Fortescue, an Australian mining firm, has designed a zero-emission battery-electric train to haul its iron ore. The train was created in partnership with the UK-based business Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) and incorporates a number of technical advancements. The train’s capacity to refuel itself using gravitational acceleration is the most crucial of them.
When the powered train travels downslope, energy is captured and used to charge batteries. This eliminates the requirement for an independent charging network or renewable energy-producing capability. The train’s ability to regenerate has given it the moniker “infinity train.” Fortescue is aiming to reinvent itself as a green energies and commodities firm, and as part of these efforts, it just revealed the purchase of WAE in addition to investing more in renewable fuels.
The train will refuel its battery power systems using the gravity energy released on the downhill-laden parts of the iron or giant’s train system, avoiding this need for further recharging on the return journey to unload. “The Infinity Train has the potential to be the most effective energy electric train in the world,” stated Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines. “The rejuvenation of power on downward laden portions eliminates the requirement for sustainable power generating and charging equipment, making it a resource-effective alternative for removing fuel and pollutants from our railway infrastructure.”
The Infinity Train will do away with the need for renewable energy production as well as charging stations. This, according to Gaines, will enable it a cost-effective alternative for eliminating fuel and contaminants from Fortescue’s transportation. The two firms will continue to work together to address climate change by creating new, clean technologies, with an increasing demand for high batteries and electrification solutions. After all, increased battery and power systems are critical to their functioning. Fortescue has already indicated its intention to reach net-zero emissions by 2030. When finished, the Infinity Train will join Fortescue’s green fleet, which already includes hydrogen-powered mining vehicles and ammonia-fueled trains.
It’s an ingeniously engineered system because the train is lighter on the way back up, it will create sufficient power on the way down, fully stacked with iron ore, to manage to get back up to the base. In other words, it may appear to be a perpetual energy machine — which, in fact, is impossible — but it is only an innovative application of ordinary physics.