The Anonymous Widower

A Video Of The Alstom Coradia iLint

This video of the Alstom Coradia iLint has been uploaded to YouTube.

I must go and get a ride!

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Ballard Receives Order From Porterbrook for Fuel Cell Module to Power UK HydroFLEX Train

The title of this post is the same as this article on Cision.

The article says that the copy has been provided by Ballard.

This is the first paragraph.

VANCOUVER and DERBY, U.K., Dec. 13, 2018 /CNW/ – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) today announced that it has received a purchase order from Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited (“Porterbrook”; http://www.porterbrook.co.uk), a leading participant in the rail leasing market, for an FCveloCity®-HD fuel cell module and related support to power a HydroFLEX train in the U.K.

The article says this about the HydroFLEX train.

The HydroFLEX will be the U.K.’s first fully sized hydrogen demonstrator train. It will showcase how hydrogen can be used to power a train that retains the ability to operate across existing electric routes, on either 3rd rail or 25kV overhead power. Testing and demonstration runs are planned for the summer of 2019 at RailLive, which will take place at Long Marston in Warwickshire.

That sounds like it could be a date for my diary.

Strictly A Demonstrator

In this article on Rail Engineer, which is entitled Hydroflex – The Next Iteration Of The Flex Concept,there is a section entitled Strictly A Demonstrator, from which this was taken.

In response to Rail Engineer’s questions, BCRRE said that the demonstrator version focuses on delivering an electric/hydrogen bi-mode to UK gauge.

So the HydroFLEX is more about research., which I believe is a good route.

  • My feelings on seeing the Alstom Coradia iLint in Germany, was that they had launched too early!
  • Getting a University to run a demonstrator might show up the smaller problems associated with a complex project.
  • Birmingham University may also have access to better mathematics and computing.
  • The interior of the train can be used for test equipment and hydrogen tanks.

I also suspect that a well-designed demonstrator could help with the repurposing of Porterbrook’s extensive fleet, by doing appropriate research.

The Fuel Cell

The Ballard fuel cell is a HD variant of their  FCveloCity family.

This page on the Ballard web site is the data sheet.

  • The fuel cells come in three sizes 60, 85 and 100 kW
  • The largest fuel cell would appear to be around 1.2 m x 1 m x 0.5 m and weigh around 400 Kg.
  • The fuel cell has an associated cooling subsystem, that can provide heat for the train.

It would appear that mounting the fuel cell under the train floor would be a feasible proposition. I would assume that the cell would be placed under one of the driver cars.

If you search the Internet, you’ll find there is a lot of fuel cell companies out there innovating like crazy and fighting for market share.

I don’t think there will be any problem with the fuel cell in the HydroFLEX train.

The Electrical System

The electrical system of the Class 319 train is simple.

  • There is a 750 VDC busbar, which connects to all four cars.
  • The busbar is fed by the 25 KVAC overhead or 750 VDC third-rail electrification.
  • One of the middle cars has the pantograph and the other has four 247.5 kW traction motors, which power the whole train.
  • There is no regenerative braking capability.
  • The two driver cars are only differentiated, by the seats installe by the operator.

It looks to me that this was a sensible piece of 1980s engineering by British Rail to create a low-cost dual-voltage train.

I do wonder, if the originator of this system is still hale and hearty. I suspect they are, as they certainly know how to design for a long life.

When Porterbrook commissioned the Class 769 train, the two diesel generators under the driver cars were connected into this busbar.

They didn’t add any energy storage to the train, although as I said in Brush Traction Signs Contract With Skeleton Technologies For Modules For Class 769 Trains, they have added SkelStart capacitors to start the diesel generators.

Effectively, the Class 769 train is an electric or diesel train, just like the Class 319 train is an overhead or third-rail electrificsation train.

Will the fuel cell of the HydroFLEX train be connected to the electrical system of the train in the same way?

Or will energy storage, we added to the drive train?

In a more advanced design, batteries or capacitors could be in the motored car.

  • They would be charged from the busbar.
  • They would power the traction motors.

If the traction motors, were to be changed to modern ones, that could perform regenerative braking, then this energy could be used to recharge the battery.

The Fuel Tank

I suspect as the train is for research, that a standard off-the-shelf hydrogen tank will be used.

This page on the Fuel Cells And Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, is entitled Improved Hydrogen Tanks For Fuel Cell Cars Of The Future.

This is the first paragraph.

The EU funded COPERNIC project, supported by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), succeeded in improving the quality of materials and design of hydrogen storage tanks for cars. It also made the manufacturing of these tanks more cost efficient, helping to make hydrogen cars a more viable and competitive option.

I think it is highly likely, that s well-designed hydrogen tank, could probably share the space under the driver car with the fuel cell.

If it can’t then as it’s a research project a few seats can be taken out.

 

 

 

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Harry Redknapp And Stacey Dooley

With Harry Redknapp winning I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here and Stacey Dooley winning Strictly Come Dancing are we seeing a reaction to the gloom that pervades everyday life and especially politics.

I’ve never met either, but both seem likeable characters, to whom not many would object.

 

December 16, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

The Problem With Britain’s And Probably Other Older Railways

This post on IanVisits is entitled West Hampstead Overground Station’s New Footbridge.

Ian had intended to report on the finish of a station rebuilding project at West Hampstead station.

But like many other projects it is running several months late.

Ian says this.

It’s reported that the delay stems from an unexpected massive slab of concrete that was added to the bridge that runs over the railway tracks, and supports the old station entrance.

Plans to pull the old building back and release more space on the pavement may now need to be revised as that would require the pavement to be reinforced to the same level as the road, in case a heavy lorry were to swerve onto the pavement by accident.

The old Edwardian era station building was due to be turned into a “retail opportunity”, although that may now be in doubt if the pavement issue proves intractable.

How many of us have renovated old buildings to find that what is actually there, has little relation to what the surveyors/architects believed was there?

Years ago, I was rebuilding a Listed house and the Listed Building Inspector from English Heritage was very practical. When she asked the Council Planner, if he thought that the house should be like it was built in the 1840s, he said yes!

To which she replied, “So you think there should be outside toilets?”

Everybody except one laughed!

A couple of months later, she came back to see the work and told me of a very rich man, who was rebuilding a Grade II Listed Building, that was several times over budget. Her advice at the time had been knock it down or move, as she felt preservation was impossible. But the neighbours and the wider area, felt that the building should be saved.

I suspect that, if Transport for London had known what they know now, they would have demolished the inadequate station. I don’t think the station is Listed!

Conclusion

We have a preserve all buildings regardless of the cost attitude in this country and it exists in other countries as well.

Look at my post Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof, which outlines the problems there.

Imagine Crossrail with lots of tunnel construction problems and angry protestors!

December 16, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments