The Anonymous Widower

SSE Issues €650M Green Bond As It Ramps Up Net Zero Acceleration Programme

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from SSE.

This is the first two paragraphs.

SSE plc has successfully issued a €650m 7-year green bond maturing 1 August 2029 at a coupon of 2.875 per cent.

Today’s issuance is SSE’s fifth green bond in six years and reaffirms its status as the largest issuer of green bonds from the UK corporate sector. It remains the only UK corporate to offer up multiple green bonds and this latest issuance brings SSE’s total outstanding green bonds to over £2.5bn.

It’s good to see that a company can raise money by issuing bonds to finance its green ambitions.

A few years ago, green investments were derided by many, but it now seems that SSE have made hem mainstream.

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce To Play Key Role In US Department Of Defense Nuclear Microreactor Program

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This paragraph outlines the program.

Rolls-Royce has been an industry leader in developing reliable sources of energy to help the Department of Defense and other customers be resilient using various energy sources. We pioneer cutting-edge technologies that deliver clean, safe and competitive solutions. We are excited to be part of the winning BWXT team along with Northrop Grumman, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Torch Technologies, and expand our capabilities in nuclear power generation.

There is also a link to this web press release on the BWXT web site, which is entitled BWXT to Build First Advanced Microreactor in United States.

This is the first paragraph.

BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) will build the first advanced nuclear microreactor in the United States under a contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO). The Project Pele full-scale transportable microreactor prototype will be completed and delivered in 2024 for testing at the Idaho National Laboratory.

These three paragraphs outline the design.

The high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) will operate at a power level between 1 and 5 MWe and will be transportable in commercially available shipping containers. It will be powered by TRISO fuel, a specific design of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel that can withstand extreme heat and has very low environmental risks.

The transportable reactor core and associated control system is designed to maintain safety under all conditions, including transitional conditions throughout transport. The fuel has been tested and verified to temperatures far exceeding the operating conditions of the reactor.

The transportable design consists of multiple modules that contain the microreactor’s components in 20-foot long, ISO-compliant CONEX shipping containers. The reactor is designed to be safely and rapidly moved by road, rail, sea or air. The entire reactor system is designed to be assembled on-site and operational within 72 hours. Shut down, cool down, disconnection and removal for transport is designed to occur in less than seven days.

Note.

  1. This Wikipedia entry describes the HTGR.
  2. One of the advantages of the HTGR is that it can be built in relatively small unit sizes.
  3. These reactors can also produce heat as well as electricity.
  4. Some designs of HTGR use both nuclear and gas-turbine technology.

The last paragraph of the specification, sounds to be particularly challenging.

There is also an Anglo-Dutch design from the Universities of Manchester and Delft, which is called a U-battery.

  • Their flyer is particularly informative.
  • Two of their supporters are BWXT and Rolls-Royce.

Do the two projects share technology?

 

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Is The Morocco-UK Power Project Just A Taste Of The Future?

After writing WSP Lends Hand On Morocco-UK Power Link, about WSP’s involvement in the ambitious project to create a 3.6 GW interconnector to bring power from Morocco to the UK, I’m now certain, that this major project will come to fruition.

Out of curiosity, I created this Google Map of North-West Africa.

Note.

  1. Morocco is at the North edge of the map.
  2. The map is filled with the Sahara Desert.
  3. The Caqnary Islands are off the coast of Africa.
  4. Three of the least developed countries in the world; Western Sahara, Mauritania and Mali, circle the desert to the South-West and South.

I do wonder if the Morocco-UK Power Project is a success, if other developers and countries will decide to developer their renewable energy resources.

  • France, Portugal and Spain may want to get involved.
  • High-Temperature Electrolysis boosted by solar energy,  could be used to generate hydrogen for shipment to Europe.
  • The interconnectors to Europe will be upgraded.

Given the size of the desert, I’m sure that several GW of electricity could be delivered to Europe.

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WSP Lends Hand On Morocco-UK Power Link

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

These introductory paragraphs detail WSP’s role.

Xlinks has appointed engineering consultancy WSP to provide technical advisory services for the tendering process for converter stations for its Morocco-UK power link.

WSP will support the procurement process for four HVDC converter stations in the UK and also Morocco, as well as UK grid connection works, connection to the generation assets in Morocco, and an interface between the converter stations and the HVDC cable systems in the UK and Morocco.

When I wrote my first post on this project in September 2021, which was  entitled Moroccan Solar-Plus-Wind To Be Linked To GB In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Xlinks Project, I was a bit sceptical that this project would be completed.

With the appointment of WSP, I am now very much happier that this project will be carried through to a successful conclusion.

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | 2 Comments

The 38 Bus And The Lizzie Line

London’s 38 bus is very convenient for me.

  • It is a frequent route, running most times every few minutes.
  • The stops are about a hundred metres from my house just round the corner.
  • To the East it goes through Hackney to the romantic Clapton Pond.
  • To the West it goes to Angel and across Central London to Victoria station.
  • The route connects to the new entrance at Hackney Central station, which makes it easy coming home from the East with heavy shopping.

Yesterday, I used the 38 bus to go to and from the Lizzie Line for a trip to Paddington station.

The Outrun

These pictures show the change to the Lizzie Line at Tottenham Court Road station.

Note.

  1. It was a walk of about a hundred metres.
  2. I took pictures of the entrance to the new @sohoplace theatre, which is still behind barriers.
  3. The walk could improve, once the works around Centre Point are finished.

It’s certainly a viable route from where I live and the Angel to the Lizzie Line, if you’re going West.

The Return

I took these pictures on my return.

Note.

  1. It was a walk of about a hundred metres.
  2. The two stops for the 38 bus are opposite each other.
  3. The walk could improve, once the works around Centre Point are finished.

It would certainly be a viable route to get from the Lizzie Line to the Angel, if you’re coming from the West.

It would also be a viable route for me to get to my house.

Although taking a 21 or 141 bus from Moorgate is a better route, as I suspect it is quicker.

Unfortunately, that route won’t be viable if Transport for London have their way and execute The Great Bus Robbery.

Which Route Does Transport for London’s Journey Planner Recommend?

Whoever wrote the current version of this is not a Londoner, as it recommends a route with three changes and doesn’t use the Lizzie Line.

If I type in my home address, it does recommend going via Dalston Junction and Whitechapel, which is better, but the walk is too much for me on some days.

I Wouldn’t Be Surprised To See Improvements To The Positions Of Bus Stops

They are not best placed at the moment, but the construction in the area is still going on.

So after construction finishes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some stops moved to better places.

 

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BP To Charge Up Vehicle Battery Research

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

This is the title on a stock picture at the top of the page.

BP, whose profits benefited from soaring oil and gas prices, plans to invest heavily in research to develop solutions to help to decarbonise the transport sector.

I’m unsure about the picture, but it could be a number of buses or trucks connected to a large battery.

This press release on the BP web site, is the original source for The Times article and it is entitled BP To Invest Up To £50 million In New Global Battery Research And Development Centre In Britain.

The press release starts with these bullet points.

  • bp continuing to invest in the UK, with new investment of up to £50 million for new electric vehicle battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in Pangbourne.
  • Aims to advance development of engineering, battery technology and fluid technology and engineering into new applications such as electric vehicles, charging and data centres.
  • New facilities at its Castrol headquarters and technology centre expected to open in 2024, supporting the technology, engineering and science jobs housed there today.

I find these sentences interesting.

new applications such as electric vehicles, charging and data centres

This sentence is a bit of a mess as electric vehicles are not new, charging is well established and what have data centres got to do with batteries.

I have a friend, who runs a large fleet of electric buses and charging is a problem, as getting the required number of MWhs to the garage can be a problem in a crowded city.

But could it be, that BP are thinking of a battery-based solution, that trickle-charges when electricity is affordable and then charges buses or other vehicles as required, throughout the day?

I believe that a battery based on process engineering like Highview Power’s CRYOBattery could be ideal in this situation.

  • Effectively, the bus garage or transport parking would have its own high capacity battery-powered charging network.
  • The storage capacity of the battery would be geared to the daily charge load of the vehicles.
  • It would reduce the cost of electricity to the operator.

Such a battery might also be ideal to power a battery charging station.

I don’t know much about data centres, except that they need a lot of electricity.

Would driving data centres from a battery, that was trickle-charged overnight mean that the cost of electricity was reduced?

bp today unveiled plans to invest up to £50 million (around $60 million) in a new, state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK

There are a lot of battery ideas in the pipeline, so will one of the tasks be to find the best batteries for BP’s needs?

The site already undertakes research and development of fuels, lubricants and EV fluids and aims to become a leading hub for fluid technologies and engineering in the UK

You don’t think of lubricants being associated with electric vehicles, but obviously BP thinks it’s a serious enough topic to do some research.

The new facilities will help advance the development of leading fluid technologies and engineering for hybrid and fully battery electric vehicles, aiming to bring the industry closer to achieving the key tipping points for mainstream electric vehicle (EV) adoption.

This is self-explanatory.

Castrol ON advanced e-fluids manage temperatures within the battery which enables ultra-fast charging and improves efficiency, which help EVs to go further on a single charge and extend the life of the drivetrain system

Lubrication helps the world go round.

In addition, the advanced e-fluid technologies and engineering can be applied to other industries such as thermal management fluids for data centres where demand is rising exponentially

This is an interesting application and it will become increasingly important.

The growth of EV fluids is a huge opportunity, and we aim to be the market leader in this sector

I didn’t realise that EV fluids were so important.

The press release says this about the current status.

Two thirds of the world’s major car manufacturers use Castrol ON EV fluids as a part of their factory fill and we also supply Castrol ON EV fluids to the Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E team.

This press release on the Castrol web site is entitled CASTROL ON: Range Of Advanced E-Fluids For Mobility On Land, Sea And In Space.

This is the Castrol ON E-Fluids home page.

Where Will BP Need Batteries?

I can see the following applications are in BP’s sight from this press release.

  • Charging fleets of buses and trucks at their garage.
  • Powering battery-charging stations at filling stations.
  • Providing uninterruptable electricity feeds.
  • Powering data centres.

I will give a simple example.

Suppose a bus company wants to electrify the buses in a town.

  • They will have thirty double-deck buses each with a 500 kWh battery.
  • Wrightbus electric buses charge at 150 kW.
  • Charging all buses at the same time would need 4.5 MW
  • Each bus will need to be charged overnight and once during the day.
  • This means the bus company will need 30 MWh of power per day.
  • The largest wind turbines today are around 12 MW and have a capacity factor of 30 %.
  • A single turbine could be expected to generate 86 MWh per day.

It looks to me, that a battery in the garage which could provide an output of 5 MW and had a capacity of 100 MWh would link everything together and support the following.

  • A fleet of thirty buses.
  • All buses charged overnight and at one other time.
  • A 12 MW wind turbine.
  • Power for the offices and other facilities.
  • The battery would provide backup, when there is no wind.
  • There would also be a mains connection to the battery for use, when the wind turbine failed.

The size of the battery and the turbine would depend on the number of vehicles and how often, they were to be charged.

BP could replace diesel sales to the bus or transport company, with leasing of a zero-carbon charging system.

Simple systems based on one or two wind turbines, solar panels and a battery would have several applications.

  • Charging fleets of buses and trucks at their garage.
  • Powering battery-charging stations at filling stations.
  • Providing uninterruptable electricity feeds.
  • Powering data centres
  • Powering farms
  • Powering new housing estates
  • Powering factories

I can see this becoming a big market, that big energy companies will target.

Are BP planning to develop systems like this, as many of those, who might buy a system, are already their customers?

Choosing the best batteries and designing the system architecture would appear to be within the remit of the new Research Centre at Pangbourne.

Supporting Wind Farms

BP could certainly use a 2.5 GW/30 GWh battery at each of the three large wind farms; Mona, Morgan and Morven, that they are developing in the Irish Sea and off Aberdeen. These wind farms total 5.9 GW and a battery at each one, perhaps co-located with the offshore sub-station could mean that 5.9 GW was much more continuous.

The wind farms would be like virtual nuclear power stations, without any nuclear fuel or waste.

It would also mean that if the wind farm wasn’t needed and was told to switch off, the electricity generated could be stored in BP’s battery.

How many of BP’s other developments around the world could be improved with a co-located battery?

Process Technology

I am very keen on Highview Power’s CRYOBattery, but I do think that some parts of the design could benifit from the sort of technology that BP has used offshore and in the oil industry.

So will BP’s new battery research include offering advice to promising start-ups?

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments