The Anonymous Widower

UK’s First 100mph Battery-Diesel Hybrid Train Enters Passenger Service

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on ITV.

These are the first three paragraphs.

The UK’s first 100mph battery-diesel hybrid train is entering passenger service to cut carbon emissions and boost air quality.

It was developed by adding a powerful battery to a 20-year-old diesel train to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25%, according to owner Porterbrook.

The firm added that the two-carriage train, named HybridFLEX, also provides a 75% decrease in noise and a 70% decrease in nitrogen oxide.

The battery-diesel hybrid transmission is from MTU, who are a Rolls-Royce company and they go further with this press release which is entitled World Premiere: MTU Hybrid PowerPack From Rolls-Royce Enters Passenger Service.

This is the first paragraph.

Rolls-Royce, Porterbrook and Chiltern Railways are making rail history together with a climate-friendly world premiere: A hybrid diesel-battery-electric train that reduces CO2 emissions by up to 25% entered passenger service in the UK today for the first time. The so-called HybridFLEX train is powered by two mtu Hybrid PowerPacks and is operated by Chiltern Railways on the route between London Marylebone and Aylesbury. Together with the leasing company Porterbrook and Chiltern Railways, Rolls-Royce has converted a Class 168 DMU into the HybridFLEX train. The partners are proving that existing rail vehicles can be used in a climate-friendly way without the need to install complex and expensive new infrastructure. It is the world’s first regular passenger operation with mtu Hybrid PowerPacks, of which 13 have already been ordered.

This is significant for the railways of the UK.

The train that has been converted is a Class 168 train, which itself had been converted from a Class 170 train, when it transferred to Chiltern Railways in 2016.

I think this means that all Bombardier Turbostars in Classes 168, 170, 171 and 172 can probably be fitted with MTU Hybrid PowerPacks.

That is the following numbers of trains and cars.

  • Class 168 – 28 trains – 86 cars
  • Class 170 – 139 trains – 372 cars
  • Class 171 – 20 trains – 56 cars
  • Class 172 – 39 trains – 93 cars

Note.

  1. This totals to 226 trains and 607 cars.
  2. As each car has an engine, this will be an order of 607 PowerPacks, if all trains were to be converted.

This could certainly help to meet the Government’s aim of getting rid of all diesel only trains by 2040.

Can The CAF Civities Be Converted?

There are three Classes of CAF Civity diesel multiple units; 195, 196 and 197, all of which have Rolls-Royce MTU engines.

Could these be converted to hybrid operation by the swapping of the current diesel engines for MTU Hybrid PowerPacks?

I would suspect they could, as the CAF Civity trains might have been designed after MTU disclosed plans of the MTU Hybrid PowerPack to train builders prior to its announcement in September 2018.

Conclusion

MTU Hybrid PowerPacks could go a long way to eliminating diesel-only trains on UK railways. They could even run the diesels on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) to lower their carbon-footprint further.

 

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Startup Promises Green Steel By 2025 As Decarbonisation Race Heats Up

The title of this post, is the same as that as this article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This is the first paragraph.

A new player has emerged in the developing field of zero-emissions steel making, promising to deliver commercial quantities of green steel by 2025 without using hydrogen.

It sounds too good to be true.

But.

  • The process uses electricity, which of course can be renewable.
  • The process comes from research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • The process doesn’t use hydrogen, coal or even a blast furnace.
  • Electricity is used to turn iron ore into liquified metal.
  • It is based on a technique called Molten Oxide Electrolysis (MOE), which is used in aluminium refining.

A American startup called Boston Metal is developing the technology.

If it can be made to work, it is truly game-changing technology.

Any area in the world, with large amounts of renewable energy, (Think Scunthorpe and Teesside) can transform their steelmaking to zero-carbon in a few years.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Corrievarkie Pumped Storage Hydro Project

When I wrote ILI Group To Develop 1.5GW Pumped Storage Hydro Project, I noticed that they were also developing a scheme called Corrievarkie at Loch Ericht.

This document on the Highland Council web site gives details of the planning application.

This is said.

Corrievarkie Pumped Storage Hydro Scheme – Construction and Operation of a Pumped Storage Hydro Scheme with generation capacity of approximately 600MW and storage capacity of 14.5 GWh comprising headpond reservoir, surge shaft, tailpond, headrace, tailrace, power cavern, temporary access tracks for construction, permanent access tracks, 12 construction compounds, temporary worked accommodation, switching station, loch based structures and ancillary infrastructure.

Note.

  1. With storage of 14.5 GWh, it is bigger than Electric Mountain, which has only 9.1 GWh of storage.
  2. But with a generation capacity of 600 MW, this is only a third of that of Electric Mountain.

This Google Map shows the area, where the scheme will be realised.

The red arrow indicates Corrievarkie Lodge.

I shall be interested to see the full details of this scheme.

 

 

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 12 Comments

Red John Pumped Storage Hydro Project

When I wrote ILI Group To Develop 1.5GW Pumped Storage Hydro Project, I noticed that they were also developing a scheme called Red John near Inverness.

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Power Technology.

I have also found a web site for the project, which is part of the ILI Group web site.

  • The scheme has an output of 450 MW.
  • The storage capacity is 2,800 MWh or 2.8 GWh.
  • The scheme has planning consent.
  • The project is budgeted to cost £550 million.
  • The construction program indicates that the scheme will be completed by the end of 2025.

This paragraph from this article on Water Power and Dam Construction, describes the head and tail ponds.

The Red John project will be located on the eastern shore of the north end of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. Loch Ness is to be the tail pond for the project, with the head pond to be newly constructed. It will use the natural topography between Loch Duntelchaig, Loch Ashie and Loch na Curra and Lochan an Eoin Ruadha, from where the development gets its Red John name.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note.

  1. Loch Ness is in the West.
  2. Loch Ashie is in the North.
  3. Loch Duntelchaig is in the East.

This second Google Map shows the area between Lochs Ness, Duntelchaig and Ashie in more detail.

Loch na Curra and Lochan an Eoin Ruadha are now named and can be picked out in the previous map.

It looks like there will be a lot of heavy construction works to create the head pond.

Conclusion

This scheme has the output of a large gas-fired power station for just over six hours.

The finances must add up, as no-one would back a scheme like this if they didn’t get an adequate return on their money.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | 5 Comments

ILI Group To Develop 1.5GW Pumped Storage Hydro Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Solar Power Portal.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Clean energy developer ILI Group has begun the initial planning phase for a new pumped storage hydro project in Scotland.

The Balliemeanoch project at Loch Awe, Dalmally in Argyll and Bute will be able to supply 1.5GW of power for up to 30 hours. It is the third and largest of ILI’s pumped storage hydro projects, with the other two being Red John at Loch Ness and Corrievarkie at Loch Ericht.

It is a big scheme at 45 GWh.

The ILI Group has an extensive web site, that is worth a read.

  • This page describes pumped storage.
  • This long document from the company is part of their submission to the Government.

The company seems to be going in the right direction.

This Google Map shows the Loch Awe area.

Note.

  1. Loch Awe is in the North West corner of the map.
  2. Loch Fyne is the large loch in the South East corner of the map.
  3. Balliemeanoch is marked by the red arrow.

I am a bit puzzled as to the layout of the scheme.

But I have now noticed a Ballimeanoch close by Loch Awe.

This is a map of its location.

I suspect that is the correct location of the pumped storage scheme.

I shall be interested to see the layout of the full scheme.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | 11 Comments