The Anonymous Widower

News Of The Day From Rolls-Royce

This press release from Rolls-Royce is entitled Rolls-Royce Advances Hybrid-Electric Flight With New Technology To Lead The Way In Advanced Air Mobility.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Rolls-Royce is officially announcing the development of turbogenerator technology, which includes a new small engine designed for hybrid-electric applications. The system will be an on-board power source with scalable power offerings and will complement the Rolls-Royce Electrical propulsion portfolio, enabling extended range on sustainable aviation fuels and later as it comes available through hydrogen combustion.

This paragraph outlines the use of the new small engine.

Current battery technology means all-electric propulsion will enable eVTOL and fixed wing commuter aircraft for short flights in and between cities and island-hopping in locations like Norway and the Scottish Isles. By developing turbogenerator technology, that will be scaled to serve a power range between 500 kW and 1200 kW, we can open up new longer routes that our electric battery powered aircraft can also support.

There is also a video in the press release, which gives more information.

  • The turbogenerator is compatible to their electric power and propulsion offering.
  • The turbogenerator has a power of 500-1200 kW to serve different aircraft platforms.
  • The system is modular and can be tailored to different applications.
  • The turbogenerator can either power the aircraft directly or charge the batteries.
  • The system can be configured to provide primary power for other applications.
  • Rolls-Royce are designing all the components; the turbogenerator, the gas turbine, the generator, the power electronics, so they all fit together in a compact and lightweight solution.
  • Rolls-Royce intend to manufacture all components themselves and not rely on bought-in modules.
  • Every gram of weight saved is important.

I suspect that one of the keys to making this all work is a very comprehensive and clever control system.

I have a few thoughts.

Weight Is Key

Rolls-Royce emphasise weight saving in the video. Obviously, this is important with any form of flying machine.

An Example System

Let’s suppose you want an electric power system to power a railway locomotive or one of those large mining trucks.

  • The locomotive or truck has an electric transmission.
  • Power of 2 MW is needed.
  • A battery is needed.
  • Fuel will be Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) or hydrogen.

A series hybrid-electric power unit will be created from available modules, which could be very fuel efficient.

What Will Rolls-Royce’s System Be Able to Power?

Although the system is aimed at the next generation of electric flying machines, these systems will be used in any application that wants an efficient zero- or low-carbon power source.

Consider.

  • Some large trucks have diesel engines with a power of almost 500 kW.
  • A Class 68 bi-mode locomotive has a 700 kW diesel engine.
  • A Class 802 train has three 700 kW diesel engines.
  • Rolls-Royce subsidiary MTU are a large supplier of diesel engines for rail, road and water.

It looks to me that Rolls-Royce have sized the system to hoover up applications and they have MTU’s experience to engineer the applications.

Class 43 Power Cars

The iconic Class 43 power cars running on UK railways are an interesting possibility for powering with Rolls-Royce’s new system.

  • Despite being over forty-years old, there are over a hundred and twenty still in service.
  • They were upgraded with new 1.7 MW MTU diesel engines in the early part of this century.
  • Rolls-Royce is based in Derby.
  • The Class 43 power cars were developed in Derby.
  • Hydrogen-powered Class 43 power cars, hauling GWR Castles or ScotRail Inter7Cities would be tourist attractions.
  • The Class 43 power cars need to be either decarbonised or replaced in the next few years.

Decarbonisation using Rolls-Royce’s new system would probably be more affordable.

This all sounds like a project designed in a pub in Derby, with large amounts of real ale involved.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened.

Will The System Be Upgradable From Sustainable Aviation Fuel To Hydrogen?

This is an except from the introductory paragraph.

The system will be an on-board power source with scalable power offerings and will complement the Rolls-Royce Electrical propulsion portfolio, enabling extended range on sustainable aviation fuels and later as it comes available through hydrogen combustion.

This would appear that if used in aviation, it will be possible to upgrade the system from sustainable aviation fuel to hydrogen, when a suitable hydrogen supply becomes available.

But all applications could be upgraded.

A truck, like the one shown in the picture could be delivered as one running on sustainable aviation fuel and converted to hydrogen later.

Conclusion

Rolls-Royce have put together a modular system, that will have lots of applications.

 

 

June 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Step-Free Provision On Elizabeth Line West Of Paddington

The stations may be step-free between street and platform, but West of Paddington, there does not appear to be step-free access between the platform and the train.

These pictures show a selection of stops.

Compare these steps of a few inches, with those I showed in Step-Free Access Between Train And Platform On The Elizabeth Line.

These pictures were taken between Woolwich and Paddington stations and show first class step-free access between train and platform.

The step-free access on the Western branch of the Elizabeth Line does not appear to be up to the standard expected of a world class railway.

Is The Current Arrangement Only Temporary?

I took these pictures at Padding Station today of a Class 345 train alongside Platform 10.

Note.

  1. There are large gaps.
  2. I had a chat with a station guy, who’d just unloaded two wheelchair passengers from the train using a ramp.
  3. He felt things could be improved.
  4. I feel that level access for the Elizabeth Line at Paddington is important.

But when the Elizabeth Line is fully connected, it will be connected to a series of Central London stations, including Paddington, that will have full step-free access between the train and the platform.

So the current arrangement will be improved dramatically in a few months.

The Visitor To London In A Wheel-Chair

The Central London section of the Elizabeth Line between Paddington and Whitechapel or Woolwich stations is step-free between street and train.

So a visitor to London in a wheel-chair might choose to stay in a hotel on this easy section of the Elizabeth Line to make the most of their stay.

But because of the lack of step-free access between train and platform outside of the Central London section, would they have trouble visiting places like Windsor, which would require a change of trains at Slough?

Would It Be Possible To Separate Elizabeth Line and Great Western Railway Services?

Consider.

  • Great Western Railway services between Paddington and Didcot Parkway use the Elizabeth Line platforms at Ealing Broadway, Hayes and Harlington, West Drayton, Slough, Maidenhead, Twyford and Reading.
  • In addition, some express trains stop at Slough and Ealing Broadway.
  • There are also freight trains passing through.

It might be sensible to move the Paddington and Didcot Parkway service to the Elizabeth Line and adjust platform heights appropriately.

June 22, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 7 Comments

Australian Mining Billionaire Touts A Green Revolution In U.S. Coal Country — With Skepticism Trailing Close Behind

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

It is a definite must-read about Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, making one of the most difficult hydrogen pitches in the world, to coal miners in West Virginia.

Perhaps we need Mr Forrest to convince the RMT, that their views are wrong and so nineteenth century.

June 22, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crocheting On The Lizzie Line

I saw a lady crocheting on the Lizzie Line yesterday!

June 22, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , | Comments Off on Crocheting On The Lizzie Line

Gravity—Yes, Gravity—Is the Next Frontier for Batteries

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

This is the first paragraph.

When the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t howling, suspended weights can step in to generate power.

The article goes on to explain Energy Vault and Gravitricity.

It is certainly an endorsement of the technique from one of America’s popular magazines.

June 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , | Leave a comment