Caterpillar updates AC electric drive system

Cat 7495 electric rope shovel loads Cat 797F truck.

Caterpillar has released an update to the AC electric drive system for Cat 7495 and 7495 HF Electric Rope Shovels.

The update is set to deliver greater reliability, improved maintenance access, enhanced safety and expanded ability to perform at high altitudes and in extreme temperatures.

The system has also been designed to easily integrate with advanced technologies.

Caterpillar product manager of electric rope shovels Dale Blyth said the most recent advances in AC drives were “integrated in this update and demonstrate how we apply our experience to help customers lower cost per ton and bolster safety”.

“Caterpillar and our predecessor in shovel design and manufacturing, Bucyrus, have supplied more than 300 AC electric rope shovels,” Blyth said.

The updates include a liquid-cooled motion regulator cabinet for more efficient dissipation of heat generated by electrical components, and enables shovels to operate at temperatures of -40 degrees C/F to +50 degrees C and altitudes of 5250 metres without derating.

The reliable system is also set to eliminate airborne contaminants in the cabinet and lengthens service intervals — for reduced costs and greater uptime.

Additionally, a faster propel transfer switch cuts lag time by 75 per cent for improved productivity.

The Cat rope shovel electric drive system still features proven elements such as fuseless insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules, and the on-board maintenance station still aids technicians in identifying faults and resolving issues.

Caterpillar’s updated electric drive system will be on all new production 7495 and 7495 HF shovels beginning in late 2020.

The system is not intended for retrofit, though some elements, such as the fast propel transfer switch, are available as upgrades to machines already in service.

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