The Anonymous Widower

Are There Any Medical Application For Large Amounts Of Electricity?

I ask this question, as an eminent medical researcher has just thanked me by text for my energy posts.

It could be that he sees some benefit in having lots of energy available from wind.

I have a few thoughts.

Are Electricity Bills Getting To Be A Larger Proportion Of The Running Costs Of Hospitals Or Medical Research Establishments?

We are all suffering to some extent from higher electricity prices, but some of the latest medical equipment with large electromagnets and powerful X-rays must be expensive on electricity.

Proton Therapy

Does proton therapy use very large amounts of electricity and is this one of the reasons, that these seemingly-powerful machines are thin on the ground?

So if electricity is much more plentiful and hopefully more affordable, is this going to mean that proton therapy is used more often?


The Diamond Light Source is described like this in Wikipedia.

Diamond Light Source (or Diamond) is the UK’s national synchrotron light source science facility located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. Its purpose is to produce intense beams of light whose special characteristics are useful in many areas of scientific research. In particular it can be used to investigate the structure and properties of a wide range of materials from proteins (to provide information for designing new and better drugs), and engineering components (such as a fan blade from an aero-engine) to conservation of archeological artifacts (for example Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose).

There are more than 50 light sources across the world. With an energy of 3 GeV, Diamond is a medium energy synchrotron currently operating with 32 beamlines.

When the history of the pandemic is written, Diamond may well turn out to be one of the heroes.

This page on the Diamond web site, lists some of the applications of a particular analysis, that Diamond can perform.

Under Life Sciences and Bio-Medicine, this is said.

One of the remarkable exploits of SRIR microspectroscopy is probing single isolated cells and tissues at sub-cellular resolution, collecting broadband molecular information with excellent spectral quality via the diffraction limited microbeam. Studying individual cells is important because it reveals the cell-cell differences (e.g. due to cell cycle or biological variability) which are averaged together in conventional IR imaging or spectroscopy. This is important for identifying the subtle underlying spectral differences of interest in the research.

Applications include developing spectral biomarkers for disease diagnosis – particularly cancer research, location of stem cells within tissues, following effects of natural and synthetic chemicals on stem-cell differentiation and quantifying drug sensitivity.

A key development recently achieved is moving from fixed and dried samples to ex vivo, living conditions in the natural aqueous environment and time-dependent studies of biological processes. The combined requirements of high spatial resolution, rapid data acquisition and high photon flux (due to strong IR absorption by water) make synchrotron radiation an invaluable microanalysis tool.

In the THz part of the spectrum, very bright (coherent) synchrotron radiation (CSR) is useful in the study of low energy modes, especially in highly absorbing samples. The THz properties of biological materials is a rapidly growing field, from the organism level (imaging) down to fundamental spectroscopy at the biochemical level, where, for example, the solvation shell around proteins can be studied via changes in low energy hydrogen bonds.

That all sounds impressive.

As with NMR, which I used in the 1960s and as since been developed into MRi, I wonder if important hospitals and universities will have their own mini-Diamonds to do the analyses described above.

Again what will be the electricity bill?


I suspect that electricity may be a significant cost of the running some of these new machines and an abundance of wind power, which reduces the cost of electricity, may improve medical research and treatment.



May 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Health | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Clean Air Power Adds Hydrogen To Class 66 Fuel Mix

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the International Rail Journal.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Fuel injection technology developed by Clean Air Power that enables a class 66 locomotive to run on a combination of diesel, biogas and hydrogen has successfully completed nine months of trials with British freight operator Freightliner.

This is the first time that the injection technology has been tested by the rail freight sector and, according to Clean Air Power, paves the way for reducing the emissions of other class 66 locomotives.


  1. There are 450 Class 66 locomotives in service in the UK, with more in service in Europe.
  2. Freightliner was Clean Air Power’s main project partner.
  3. Nothing was disclosed about carbon savings.
  4. The trial was backed by £400,000 of Government money.
  5. The locomotive has completed a nine month trial.

This would appear to be a good professional start to decarbonisation of rail freight.

It’s also rather ironic, that this successful trial of a diesel-saving locomotive was announced on the day of Vlad the Mad’s big parade.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

London Underground’s Northern Line Bank Branch To Reopen Next Monday

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

The closed bank branch of the Northern line will reopen to passengers from Monday 16th May, TfL has confirmed.

The line has been closed since earlier this year to allow a new tunnel and platform at Bank tube station to be connected to the existing Northern line tunnels, work that could only be done by closing the tunnel to trains. When the line reopens, the new and much wider southbound Northern line platform and spacious new customer concourse at Bank station will open at the same time.

When, I found out, I was on a 21 bus to my home and I showed the other passengers Ian’s article.

All seemed pleased and I did get the impression, that one or two passengers were fed up with the closure.

I also think, that as Transport for London promised mid-May for the reopening, then they can’t get any closer than the 16th.


  1. The picture was taken just before closure on the 9th of January, which was a Sunday.
  2. TfL predict mid-May and then promise the 16th of May.
  3. I suspect that the public would even accept a few days late, as most reasonable people accept that odd things go wrong in complex projects.
  4. It’s also eight days before Crossrail opens, so hopefully, the Bank station Upgrade will be out of the way before Crossrail is opened.

Now that’s what I call good project management.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Could Fortescue Future Industries’ Green Hydrogen Help Europe Ditch Russian Energy?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Motley Fool Australia.

This is the first paragraph.

Green hydrogen may help interrupt the Kremlin’s ability to conduct “war games”, says Fortescue chief Andrew Forrest.

I very much think that Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is right.

My last three hydrogen articles were.

If the projects in these articles don’t blow the bottom out of the market for Russia’s bloodstained gas, with a little bit of help from Twiggy’s hydrogen kanganaut, then I’ll be very surprised. Especially, as countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Jordan, Japan, Kenya, Namibia, Morocco, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United States are all planning to produce green hydrogen in large quantities.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poland May Become A Green Hydrogen Tycoon

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

In 2050, Poland may become one of the most competitive producers of green hydrogen in the European Union. In addition, we could export it to other countries, using the already existing infrastructure – e.g. the Yamal gas pipeline.

According to analysts of the Polish Economic Institute (PIE), in the next three decades Poland could become a very competitive producer of green hydrogen. Particularly economically beneficial in Polish conditions would be the production of hydrogen based on energy from onshore wind energy.


  1. The Yamal pipeline comes all the way from Siberia.
  2. The Baltic pipeline will connect Norway and Poland.
  3. Poland currently has over 7 GW of wind power.
  4. Wikipedia says this “In 2019, wind was the second most important source of electricity produced in Poland, after coal, and accounted for about 10% of the electricity production.”
  5. I have been to quite a few parts of Poland and it seems that it can be flat and windy.
  6. 1.2 GW of offshore wind is under development near Slupsk.

I very much feel that the conclusion of the article could be right.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | 3 Comments

Will Orkney Become A Major Green Hydrogen Production Centre?

Two projects seem to be coming together to the West of and on Orkney.

The West Of Orkney Wind Farm

This map shows the awarded leases in the latest ScotWind round, which I analysed in ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations.

Note the wind farm numbered 13 to the West of Orkney.

  • It is now called the West of Orkney wind farm.
  • It has its own web site.

This page on the web site describes the project.

The West of Orkney Windfarm is being developed around 30km off the west coast of Orkney and around 25km from the north Caithness coast. With an expected capacity of 2GW, and first power scheduled for 2029, the project will be capable of powering the equivalent of more than two million homes.

The West of Orkney Windfarm lies wholly within the “N1” Plan Option, which is one of 15 areas around Scotland which the Scottish Government considered suitable for the development of commercial scale offshore windfarms. The Scottish Government published the Sectoral Marine Plan for Offshore Wind Energy in October 2020 following over two years of extensive analysis, consideration and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders.

In January 2022 OWPL were successful in securing an Option Agreement from Crown Estate Scotland for the project in the ScotWind leasing process.

The West of Orkney Windfarm has a grid connection agreement with National Grid for a connection in Caithness. Additionally, the project partners are exploring an option to power the Flotta Hydrogen Hub. There is the potential for both power export options to be utilised.

The project is currently considering both fixed-bottom foundations and floating substructures for the wind turbines.

The West of Orkney wind farm will be one of the largest offshore wind farms in Scotland.

The Flotta Hydrogen Hub

The Flotta Hydrogen Hub is described on its web site.

This section describes the low carbon ambition of the Flotta Hydrogen Hub.

This potential £multi-billion project would utilise a repurposed area of the existing Flotta Terminal to create a green hydrogen hub powered by offshore wind projects in the seas to the west of Orkney.

If successful, this ambitious plan – which could be realised in the later years of this decade – would deliver a new wave of renewable employment alongside significant quantities of green hydrogen.

This hydrogen could be exported to Europe or other destinations, blended into the gas grid at St Fergus and drive forward an international maritime green hydrogen refueling hub.

If realised, the Flotta Hydrogen Hub would contribute significantly to the UK’s low carbon ambitions, sustain and create long-term skilled jobs and place Scotland at the front of the global hydrogen revolution.

The proposal is supported locally by EMEC Hydrogen which has spearheaded Orkney’s leading position in green hydrogen production.

It is certainly a comprehensive vision.

I have my thoughts.

Will The West Of Orkney Wind Farm Have Fixed Foundations Or Floating Substructures?

If you look on the map earlier in this post, you will notice a cluster of wind farms at the North of Scotland.

  • 7 – DEME Concessions Wind – 200 km² – 1.0 GW – Floating
  • 8 – Falck Renewables Wind – 256 km² – 1.0 GW – Floating
  • 9 – Ocean Winds – 429 km² – 1.0 GW – Fixed
  • 13 – Offshore Wind Power – 657 km² – 2.0 GW – Fixed or Floating
  • 14 – Northland Power – 390 km² – 1.5 GW – Floating
  • 15 – Magnora – 103 km² – 0.5 GW – Floating

Given that floating wind farms outnumber those on fixed foundations, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the West of Orkney wind farm, built as a floating wind farm.

Where Is Flotta?

This Google Map shows the North of Scotland and the Southern part of Orkney.


  1. Flotta and its Oil Terminal in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. John o’Groats in the South-East corner of the map.
  3. The ferry between Scrabster and Orkney.
  4. Dounreay in the South-West corner of the map.

The West of Orkney Windfarm web site says that the wind farm is being developed around 30km off the west coast of Orkney and around 25km from the north Caithness coast.

This Google Map shows the island of Flotta.


  1. The oil terminal is clearly visible.
  2. Will it get tight for space on the island of Flotta, if they need a tank farm for all the hydrogen?
  3. I suspect that a pipeline to deliver hydrogen elsewhere, would have a high priority!

This Google Map shows the Caithness coast in more detail.


  1. Thurso and Scrabster are at the East of the map.
  2. The former nuclear research at Dounreay, is in the South-West corner of the map.

This article on the Stornaway Gazette is entitled SSE Plan To Bypass Isles Condemned and has this sub-title.

The Western Isles could be massively disadvantaged for decades to come if Scottish and Southern Energy are allowed to take power from offshore windfarms direct to a hub at Dounreay in Caithness.

This appears to indicate that West of Orkney wind farm and others in the area could be connected to the National Grid using a sub-station at Dounreay.

What Will Be The Capacity Of The Flotta Hydrogen Hub?

As I said previously, if the Flotta Hydrogen Hub is well-designed, possibly with a pipeline to take hydrogen out, that the Flotta Hydrogen Hub will have limitations on how much hydrogen it can produce due to the site size.

So the limitation of the capacity of the Flotta Hydrogen Hub will depend on the size of the electrolyser and how much electricity can be fed from the West of Orkney wind farm and possibly other wind farms to the site.

The West of Orkney wind farm has a capacity of 2 GW.

The other site that could possibly be connected would be Northland’s 1.5 GW wind farm in ScotWind N2.

Note that the combined area of these two wind-farms would be a 33 km square.

This Google Map shows the North of Scotland, Orkney, Shetland and the Faroe Islands.


  1. The distance between Cape Wrath and John o’Groats is just over 100 km.
  2. There is nothing to the West of Orkney, except a few rocky stacks, sea, fish and sea-birds.
  3. I could see the West of Orkney wind farm and the one Northland are building in the ScotWind N2 being extended further out.

A 100 km square would hold about 13.5 GW of floating turbines, so lets say that a round 10 GW could be cabled to Orkney.

Could The West of Orkney Wind Farm And ScotWind N2 Use Identical Technology?

I wouldn’t be surprised if this happened and a massive floating wind farm expanded to the North and West.

The capacity of the wind farm could be upwards of 10 GW.

How Much Hydrogen Could Be Produced In The Flotta Hydrogen Hub?

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

A GW of electricity for a year is 8760 GWh, which would produce over 150,000 tonnes of hydrogen.


This plan could generate huge amounts of green hydrogen on Orkney.



May 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | 5 Comments