The Anonymous Widower

France’s First Offshore Wind Farm Fully Up And Running

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

This is the sub-title.

France’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, the 480 MW Saint-Nazaire, has been fully commissioned.

Does this mean, that this is France’s only operational offshore wind farm?

It does appear so, whereas the UK has 13,628 MW of offshore wind.

With onshore wind, the French have 15,000 MW and England has 14,000 MW.So we’re ahead in offshore and  total, but behind in onshore.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , | Leave a comment

From 2025, Nestlé Waters France Will Use The First Hydrogen-Powered Freight Train Through An Innovative Solution Developed by Alstom and ENGIE

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

These are the main points of the press release.

  • Nestlé Waters will be the first company in Europe to benefit from the hydrogen fuel cell solution developed by Alstom and ENGIE, for rail freight.

  • The purpose is to operate the first hydrogen-powered freight train from the Vosges plant, thanks to a hydrogen generator wagon system developed by Alstom and supplied with renewable hydrogen by ENGIE, from 2025.

  • engieltimately, this project should enable Nestlé Waters to reduce emissions by 10,000 tons of COequivalent per year.

  • This new collaboration is in line with the actions Nestlé Waters has been carried out for several years to decarbonize its supply chain.

In this Alstom visualisation that accompanies the press release, an Alstom Prima locomotive can be seen pulling a tender full of hydrogen, that generates electricity.

It would appear to be a very simple concept.

  • The electric locomotive uses electrification where it is available.
  • On lines without electrification, hydrogen is used to generate electricity.
  • The locomotive and the tender are connected by a cable.
  • I suspect for longer distances, larger generators with a larger hydrogen capacity can be developed.
  • It would appear that typical SNCF Prima locomotives have at least 4 MW of power, so the generator must be at least this size.

I could see this concept being used with a 4 MW Class 90 electric locomotive.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Norwegian Company To Power Data Centres With Offshore Wind

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

This is the sub-title.

Norwegian energy company Earth Wind & Power (EWP) is set to offtake up to 400MW of excess and pre-grid offshore wind power to supply electricity to data centre infrastructure in Northern Europe.

This sounds like a good idea.

Over the next few years, the UK will be ramping up our production of renewable energy.

Data centres could be an ideal way to make money from our excess energy.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Do Cummins And Stadler Have a Cunning Plan?

Roger Ford in the December 2022 Edition of Modern Railways has written an article called Traction à la mode.

The article is a series of small sections, with the last section but one, labelled Monster.

Roger says this.

Finally, we come to the mighty Class 99, which is not at all flakey. In the past I have often commented on the UK railways’ prejudice against Co-Co bogies.

But with the ’99’ six axles will give 6MW (8,000 hp) at the rail, with contact patches to use all its 113 tonnes. Plus the extra axles mean it can accommodate the weight of a 2,400 hp Cummins diesel.

At the recent Rail Freight Group conference, Ross Shepherd, Chief Technical Officer of Beacon Rail, which has 30 locomotives on order for GB Railfreight, revealed a computer simulation which showed a Class 99 would save 36 minutes on a run timed for 1 hr 40 minutes for diesel traction. To quote Mr Shepherd:’It’s a monster and it’s coming.’

I have been doing some digging around the Internet and have found this bulletin from Cummins, which is entitled QSK60 For Rail.

The bulletin describes a Stadler locomotive with a Cummins QSK60 engine, which Stadler are delivering to Bolivia.

This paragraph introduces the locomotives.

Stadler and the Bolivian Ferroviaria Andina (Andean
Railway) FCA have signed a contract for the supply of the first three state-of-the art South American Light
Loco (SALi) locomotives, which will feature the
Cummins QSK60 engine.

The bulletin gives these details.

  • Locomotive type – diesel-electric
  • Track gauge – one metre
  • Axle load – 18 ton/axle
  • Power – 1865 kW – 2500 hp
  • Diesel engine – QSK60
  • Maximum Speed – 100 km/h
  • Starting Tractive Effort – 415 kN
  • Coupling – AAR
  • Fuel Tank – Up to 6000 litres

The bulletin is marked as Printed in UK, so does that mean that the engines come from Darlington.

The weight of this locomotive is 98 tonnes and Roger says that the Class 99 locomotive is 113 tonnes. But the Class 99 locomotive is an electro-diesel locomotive with 6 MW available when running on 25 KVAC overhead electrification.

It looks to me that Stadler have arranged the substantial electrical gubbins around the Cummins QSK60 diesel engine to create Beacon Rail’s monster.

Cummins And Hydrogen

Cummins is a company, that is big in hydrogen.

  • They own hydrogen fuel cell and electrolysis company; Hydrogenics.
  • They supply the fuel cells for Alstom’s hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint.

In Werner Enterprises Signs Letter Of Intent Planning To Secure 500 X15H Engines From Cummins, I said this.

More details of the X15H engine are given in this earlier press release, which is entitled Cummins Inc. Debuts 15-Litre Hydrogen Engine At ACT Expo, which has this first paragraph.

Today, Cummins Inc. debuted its 15-liter hydrogen engine at ACT Expo in Long Beach, California. This engine is built on Cummins’ new fuel-agnostic platform, where below the head gasket each fuel type’s engine has largely similar components, and above the head gasket, each has different components for different fuel types. This version, with expected full production in 2027, pairs with clean, zero-carbon hydrogen fuel, a key enabler of Cummins’ strategy to go further faster to help customers reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

I certainly like the concept of a fuel-agnostic platform, where below the head gasket, everything is similar, and above the head gasket, there are appropriate components.

It looks to me that if Stadler use the Cummins QSK60 diesel engine in their locomotives, then if Cummins develop a hydrogen version of the QSK60, Stadler can convert the locomotives to hydrogen, if Cummins follow their philosophy of a fuel-agnostic platform, with everything identical below the cylinder head gasket.

Over twenty years ago, I did a small data analysis task for Cummins in Darlington. One of their engineers explained to me how they would rearrange the components of diesel engines, so they fitted with the customer’s application. It looks to me that they have taken this philosophy a step further, so that the customer can have diesel or hydrogen engines in the same application, depending on what the end user wants.

In the case of the order from Beacon Rail for thirty Class 99 locomotives, they will be delivered as diesel-electric locomotives, but at some point in the future, when Cummins has developed the hydrogen engine, they will be able to be converted to hydrogen-electric locomotives.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

London Bus Cuts: Sadiq Khan Pulls Handbrake On Planned Changes

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

In The Mayor Of London Is Pruning The North London Bus Network Again, I pointed out Sadiq Khan’s lopsided pruning of the London bus network.

Sadiq Khan has now changed his mind, as this paragraph indicates.

Transport for London (TfL) has announced it will only get rid of three bus routes following a consultation which saw more than 20,000 replies.

These paragraphs explain the changes in detail.

As a result of the consultation, 17 routes which had been proposed to be cut will be saved and kept as they currently operate. Another 40 services will also no longer be changed as initially planned.

Only three routes will be removed entirely – the 521 between Waterloo and London Bridge, the 507 between Victoria and Waterloo, and the 332 between Brent Park and Paddington – while alterations will be made to another 11 services.

Of the plans consulted on:

Routes 4, 12, 14, 24, 31, 45, 72, 74, 78, 242, 349, C3, D7, N31, N72, N74 and N242 will be saved and kept as they are
Planned tweaks to routes 15, 19, 27, 43, 47, 49, 53, 56, 88, 98, 100, 113, 135, 148, 171, 189, 205, 214, 236, 254, 259, 277, 279, 283, 328, 343, 388, 414, 430, 476, D3, D8, N15, N19, N27, N98, N133, N205, N414 and N430 will no longer happen
Proposed changes to routes 3, 6, 11, 23, 26, 59, 77, 133, 211, C10 and N26 will still go ahead
TfL said the consultation had raised issues with the plans and as a result the mayor of London had been able to find extra funding to ensure the cuts did not happen on such a large scale.

That is certainly a substantial U-turn!

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Construction Has Started On The Silvertown Tunnel

These pictures show that construction has started on the Silverton Tunnel.

Note that New Civil Engineer is reporting that tunnelling has started.

My Current Thoughts On The Silvertown Tunnel

In 2015, I wrote No To Silvertown Tunnel, which I started with these two paragraphs.

My personal feelings about the Silvertown Tunnel are that it is irrelevant to me, except that it might help some trucks bring goods that I buy online or at a local shop. Although as a sixty-eight year-old-widower living alone, I don’t think my transport needs through the tunnel will be high.

I don’t drive after my stroke and I like that lifestyle, except when last night it took me three trains, a coach and a taxi to get back from watching football at Ipswich. But that tortuous late night journey was caused because NuLabor spent my tax money on pointless wars that will haunt us for generations, rather than in extending and renewing our rail system, that will nurture and enrich our future.

But my objections to the Silvertown Tunnel have changed and expanded.

New Transport Infrastructure Attracts Passengers

This may seem obvious, but there has been several cases recently in London to prove my point.

  • The London Overground has been a success beyond Transport for London’s wildest dreams and as an example the North London Line, that started with three x three-car trains per hour (tph) is now running eight x five-car tph. This is a four time increase in capacity.
  • New buses and contactless ticketing have encouraged more passengers to use the buses.
  • Electrification and new trains has transformed the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.
  • The expansion of Thameslink and new trains now carries a lot more North-South traffic through London.
  • Every time, a new section of the Elizabeth Line opens more passengers are attracted to the new line.
  • The remodelling of London Bridge station has increased passenger numbers. And shoppers!

On a personal note, I live on a bus corridor, that runs between North London and Moorgate for the Lizzie Line. Since the Lizzie Line has been fully connected, passenger numbers have risen by a big margin.

I don’t believe that the ability to attract more traffic of the Silvertown Tunnel will be any different.

More Traffic Means More Congestion And Pollution

I live close to the Balls Pond Road, which increasingly seems to be a truck route across North London.

The Silvertown Tunnel will be two lanes each way; one for trucks and buses, and one for smaller vehicles.

I can’t see that pollution and congestion around the Silvertown Tunnel and on the routes to the tunnel, will not increase.

There Is Little Or No Provision For Cyclists And Pedestrians

This will be a big problem. Especially, as the local traffic in the area will increase dramatically.

Does Central London Have Enough Parking For The Increased Traffic?

Parking in Central London is probably close to capacity now!

So What Would I Do?

Given that construction has already started, I feel it is too late to cancel.

Better Alternatives Than Driving

I feel measures should be adopted that provide better alternatives than driving.

Obviously, this won’t help with trucks, but it could reduce the total number of vehicles going through the tunnel.

These could include.

  • Increase the frequency of trains on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Increase the number of destinations on both the Lizzie Line and Thameslink.
  • Add an extra car to Lizzie Line trains.
  • Remove First Class on the shorter eight-car Thameslink trains.
  • Add provision on some Lizzie Line and Thameslink routes for bicycles.
  • Add a Silvertown station to the Elizabeth Line for London City Airport.
  • Add one or more pedestrian and cycling bridges across the Thames.
  • Expand of the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Expand the Thames Clipper.
  • Connect Barking Riverside station to Thamesmead and Abbey Wood station either by a rail or a fast ferry.
  • Keep the cable-car.

I suspect there are other viable ideas.

Develop Incentives To Use Public Transport

Incentives could be in these areas.

  • Better station and bus terminals encourage more to use trains and buses.
  • Full free onboard wi-fi and phone charging.
  • Special fares for some journeys.

An example of the latter could be a discount for certain cross-river journeys.

Make The Silvertown Tunnel Available For Zero Carbon Vehicles Only

This would surely cut pollution in London.

Conclusion

We should use the Silvertown Tunnel to improve London’s air quality.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beware Of Getting Hospital Appointments Wrong

On Monday, I had an appointment for an ultrasound examination on my liver at the local hospital at 09:40.

The appointment had been arranged by telephone and I also had a text which included the phrase “Please refer to your letter for pre-attendance advice and instructions.” I had been given basic instructions over the telephone, but I did not receive the letter. This is not the hospital’s fault, as I have received many letters in the past from the hospital and its Trust.

But my post has been very erratic these last few weeks and I suspect the letter is delayed somewhere.

As it happened, it didn’t matter, as the basic instructions sufficed and the ultrasound was a success all round.

Perhaps, in these days of problems with the Royal Mail, it may be prudent to include minimum instructions in the text message reminder.

November 23, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , | 1 Comment