The Anonymous Widower

ITM Power and Ørsted: Wind Turbine Electrolyser Integration

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release from ITM Power.

This is the introductory paragraph.

ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, is pleased to share details of a short project sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in late 2019, entitled ‘Hydrogen supply competition’, ITM Power and Ørsted proposed the following:  an electrolyser placed at the wind turbine e.g. in the tower or very near it, directly electrically connected to the DC link in the wind turbine, with appropriate power flow control and water supplied to it. This may represent a better design concept for bulk hydrogen production as opposed to, for instance, remotely located electrolysers at a terminal or platform, away from the wind turbine generator, due to reduced costs and energy losses.

Some points from the remainder of the press release.

  • Costs can be saved as hydrogen pipes are more affordable than underwater power cables.
  • The proposed design reduces the need for AC rectification.

After reading the press release, it sounds like the two companies are performing a serious re-think on how wind turbines and their links to get energy on-shore are designed.

Will they be using redundant gas pipes to bring the hydrogen ashore?

I think, that they could go further than that!

  • Imagine a very large wind farm built over a cluster of redundant gas-fields that are suitable for the storage of gas.
  • The wind farm will produce hydrogen, which could be either sent to an onshore terminal or stored in one of the redundant fields.
  • When hydrogen is needed onshore, it can come from the turbine/electrolysers in the wind-farm or from offshore storage.
  • The pipeline to the shore would probably also be reversible and used to take carbon dioxide offshore for storage.
  • If more electricity is needed onshore, the hydrogen is used as fuel for a gas-fired power station.

It sounds complicated, but hydrogen gives a lot of flexibility, as it is easily converted to and from electricity.

Controlling this network is a classic problem for Control Engineers and sophisticated computers will make sure, there is both enough electricity and gas.

The other application for combined wind turbines and electrolysers is where there is a need for moderate amounts of gas in the middle of nowhere.

Uses could include.

  • Large farms all over places like East Anglia, much of North America, Australia and Serbia, where it would be used for motive power and heating.
  • Islands like the Orkneys to decarbonise heating and transport and especially aviation and small ships like tugs and ferries.
  • Hydrogen filling stations for trucks and other vehicles in places like the Mid West and large parts of Africa and Asia.
  • Large transport depots, that switch from diesel to hydrogen might install their own combined wind turbine and electrolyser.
  • Ports of all sizes will switch to hydrogen and smaller ports may well use combined wind turbines and electrolysers.
  • Will isolated villages and small towns have their own combined wind turbines and electrolyser to bring a much needed gas supply?

I used to own a farm and I would certainly have looked at the technology to see, if it was worth installing.

It is my view, that combined wind turbines and electrolysers are one of those enabling technologies, that will find lots of different applications.

April 7, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, World | , , , , | 7 Comments

HyDeploy

I could have called this post; What Do You Do With Surplus Electricity?.

Believe it or not, one thing you can do is inject it into the gas main, by converting it into hydrogen first.

The Project

The concept is being tested in a project called HyDeploy at Keele University.

  • The project has its own web site, from where I have obtained much of the information on this post.
  • Keele University has its own gas network.
  • Keele has a campus population similar to a small town.
  • Keele University has a reputation for research excellence.

This paragraph outlines the project.

HyDeploy is a pioneering energy demonstration to establish the potential for blending hydrogen, up to 20%, into the normal gas supply so that we can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

A 10 month live demonstration of blended gas is taking place on part of the Keele gas network and will finish in August 2020.

HyDeploy will help to determine the level of hydrogen which can be used by customers safely and with no changes to their existing domestic appliances.

The HyDeploy project has been split into the following phases.

  • Phase One will be live test using the Keele University gas network to learn about injecting hydrogen into a natural gas network.
  • Phase Two will move to a larger demonstration on public network in the North East.
  • Phase Three will be another large demonstration in the North West.

Once the evidence has been submitted to Government policy makers, we very much expect hydrogen to take its place alongside other forms of zero carbon energy in meeting the needs of the UK population.

The Electrolyser

ITM Power are providing the 0.5 MW electrolyser to turn electricity into hydrogen.

It’s only a small one, but this is about proving the technology.

 

 

April 7, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, World | , , , , | 7 Comments

A New Slide From Today’s COVID-19 Press Conference!

A new slide was shown in today’s COVID-19 press conference at Downing Street today.

It showed the total number of ICU beds available by region.

Would the Government have showed this slide, if they didn’t have enough ICU beds to cater for all possible scenarios?

April 7, 2020 Posted by | Health | | 1 Comment

Hiring More Female Lorry Drivers Would Cut Accidents

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Times.

A study by the University of Westminster has shown that women drivers have less accidents.

This is a paragraph from the article.

Academics called for more women to be recruited to driving jobs in light of their better road safety record. They said that greater gender equality in positions that rely on motoring skills such as driving taxis, HGVs and delivery vans was needed to help cut deaths.

The article didn’t give any prediction about what will happen in the future.

So here goes!

We are already seeing taxis and delivery vans going zero carbon and I think within twenty years or even less, a large proportion of taxis, HGVs and delivery vans will be either battery-powered, or more likely, in my view, hydrogen-powered.

Look at the LEVC black taxi and compare it to its diesel forerunner.

  • It is more environmentally-friendly.
  • It has a lot of driver and passenger-friendly features.

But it is more expensive.

I suspect that the capital cost of a zero-carbon HGV bus or delivery van, will also be more expensive, than the current diesels.

  • As to the fuel costs between diesel, battery and hydrogen, this would depend on the application, but fuel costs tend to even themselves out.
  • There could be a saving with battery- and hydrogen-powered vehicles in terms of maintenance, just because they are less complicated.

Summing up I could say the following.

  • I am fairly sure, that a zero-carbon taxi, HGV bus or delivery van will have an acquisition cost, that is higher than a diesel version.
  • I also think that if the vehicle was run on a twenty-four hour basis, that the fuel costs would be comparable per mile, but maintenance costs would be less.
  • So I think it likely, that vehicle owners would be more likely to want to run vehicles on a twenty-four hour basis, to get a better return on their capital.

Surely, this would require more drivers.

Consider.

  • A lot of black taxis in London are shared between two drivers.
  • There have been several instances, where I have read that a couple have both been London Underground drivers, as they can arrange shifts to fit in with child care and domestic duties.
  • The partner of a driver, will surely know what the job entails.
  • Driving a modern HGV or bus, is a lot less gruelling than it used to be.

Will more family-friendly methods of working emerge, that allows partners of existing drivers to join the profession?

London Underground certainly changed working conditions to get enough driver for the Night Tube.

Conclusion

Would employing more female drivers cut accidents?

It all depends on the quality of the drivers; both male and female.

But, I suspect that improvements in all vehicles in the future, will cut accidents anyway!

 

April 7, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment