The Anonymous Widower

The Development of Liverpool Street And Paddington Stations

This article in The Telegraph is entitled Row Over ‘Grotesque’ £1.5bn Liverpool Street Revamp.

There is no doubt that Liverpool Street and Paddington stations will need a higher number of trains per hour and this will probably mean more platforms. But there is no space in either station.

Suppose a long-distance version of the current nine-car Alstom/Bombardier trains were to be built with toilets, a 110 mph top speed, but dimensionally identical to the existing Class 345 trains.

The Central Tunnel of the Elizabeth Line could probably handle more trains, than it currently does, given that Dear Old Vicky handles 36 trains per hour.

So services like Southend and Oxford or Beaulieu and Newbury could be run through the Central Tunnel, replacing the current Greater Anglia and GWR services.

This would relieve platform space in the current terminals and the high-speed Elizabeth Line trains, would just be more trains going through the Central Tunnel at 80 mph.

The important Oxford and Cambridge route would be one change at either Farringdon or Liverpool Street, Or with some track modifications, it might be possible to run direct via the Central Tunnel, Stratford and the West Anglia Main Line.

Sorting out the trains, would ease the development of Liverpool Street and Paddington stations.

October 7, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Will Norwegian Pumped Storage Hydro Help Us Through The Winter?

In UK To Norway Sub-Sea Green Power Cable Operational, I discussed the North Sea Link interconnector to Norway.

The North Sea Link is no ordinary interconnector, as it is a lot more than a 1.4 GW cable linking the electricity grids of the UK and Norway.

  • At the UK end, there is an increasing amount of wind power. The UK has added 3.5 GW in 2022.
  • At the Norway end, there is the 2.1 GW Ulla-Førre hydropower complex.
  • The water to generate electricity at Ulla-Førre comes from the artificial Lake Blåsjø, which contains enough water to generate 7.8 TWh of electricity.
  • The storage capacity at Ulla-Førre is 857 times greater than that at the UK’s largest pumped storage hydroelectric power station at Dinorwig in North Wales.
  • The power complex consists of five power stations and some can also be used as a pump powered by UK electricity to fill Lake Blåsjø with water.

Effectively, the North Sea Link, the Ulla-Førre power complex and Lake Blåsjø are a giant pumped storage hydro battery, that can either be filled by Norwegian precipitation and water flows or by using surplus UK electricity, through the North Sea Link, which opened a year ago.

If the Norwegian precipitation goes on strike, the only way to fill Lake Blåsjø is to use surplus UK power, which I suspect will be British wind and nuclear in the middle of the night!

But then I thought we will be short of electricity this winter.

  • I suspect we will be at times, but then at others there will be a surplus.
  • So the surplus will be pumped to Norway to top up the reservoir at Lake Blåsjø.
  • When we are short of electricity, the Norwegians will turn water back into electricity and send it back through the North Sea Link.

It will be more sophisticated than that, but basically, I believe it provides us with the electricity we need, at the times, when we need it.

I wouldn’t be surprised to be told, that we’ve been squirreling away overnight wind energy to Norway over the last few months.

I have written more about Ulla-Førre in The Monster In The Mountains That Could Save Europe’s Winter.

It includes a video about the building of the complex.

 

October 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Belgians Go Large

This press release from Elia Group is entitled Elia Presents Its Plans For An Energy Island, Which Will Be Called The Princess Elisabeth Island.

These two paragraphs outline the project.

In the presence of federal ministers Tinne Van der Straeten (Energy) and Vincent Van Quickenborne (North Sea), system operator Elia has presented its draft plans for what will be the world’s first artificial energy island.

The Princess Elisabeth Island will be located almost 45 km off the Belgian coast and will serve as the link between the offshore wind farms in the second offshore wind zone (which will have a maximum capacity of 3.5 GW) and its onshore high-voltage grid. The energy island will also be the first building block of a European offshore electricity grid that will serve as a central hub for new interconnectors with the UK and Denmark. The island is an innovative tour de force that once again puts Belgium on the map as a pioneer in offshore energy.

Note, that Princess Elisabeth is the heir apparent to the Belgian throne.

I have some thoughts.

Will The Wind Turbines Float Or Have Fixed Foundations?

Consider.

  • 3.5 GW of wind farms will probably need around 220 wind turbines.
  • Most of the large wind farms in the seas around the UK, that are below about 50 miles from the shore are on fixed foundations.
  • The seas around East Anglia and Belgium are probably fairly similar.

I suspect that using today’s technology, the turbines will have fixed foundations.

But floats with two or more turbines , that generate more electricity per square kilometre may be developed.

Will Hydrogen Be Generated On The Island?

This could happen and I don’t see why not.

Tankers could even dock on the island to transport the hydrogen.

Could The Island Service Floating Wind Turbines?

All that is needed, is sufficient depth of water and a large crane.

It is a possibility!

Will There Be A UK Interconnector To Princess Elisabeth Island?

The press release says this.

The energy island will also be the first building block of a European offshore electricity grid that will serve as a central hub for new interconnectors with the UK and Denmark.

There could be interconnectors all over the North Sea linking wind farms and energy islands to the UK, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway.

We’d all be in it together.

Conclusion

This is a very ambitious project.

October 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , | Leave a comment