The Anonymous Widower

Innovative Hydrogen Energy Storage Project Secures Over £7 million In Funding

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

These two paragraphs outline the project.

A consortium, involving the University of Bristol, has been awarded £7.7m from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) of UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop pioneering hydrogen storage.

The University, EDF UK, UKAEA and Urenco will together develop a hydrogen storage demonstrator, in which hydrogen is absorbed on a depleted uranium ‘bed’, which can then release the hydrogen when needed for use. When stored, the hydrogen is in a stable but reversible ‘metal hydride’ form. The depleted uranium material is available from recycling and has been used in other applications such as counterbalance weights on aircraft.

I particularly like this paragraph from Professor Tom Scott.

Professor Tom Scott from the University’s School of Physics and one of the architects of the HyDUStechnology, said: “This will be a world first technology demonstrator which is a beautiful and exciting translation of a well proven fusion-fuel hydrogen isotope storage technology that the UK Atomic Energy Authority has used for several decades at a small scale. The hydride compounds that we’re using can chemically store hydrogen at ambient pressure and temperature but remarkably they do this at twice the density of liquid hydrogen. The material can also quickly give-up the stored hydrogen simply by heating it, which makes it a wonderfully reversible hydrogen storage technology.”

It’s elegant and it certainly, is an unusual method of storing hydrogen.

I do see a problem in that depleted uranium is controversial because of its use in munitions; most notably in the Gulf War.

I also see its heavy weight being rather a disadvantage in storing hydrogen for mobile applications.

So, I will keep an open mind on this technology.

November 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plan For £8.25m Plymouth Energy Plant To Generate Power From Cream-Like Fluid

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

These two paragraphs outline the project.

Plymouth’s Hemerdon tungsten mine has been chosen as the site of a pioneering £8.25m hydro energy plant which would see a cream-like fluid used to generate electricity. London-based renewable energy company RheEnergise wants to start construction of the High-Density Hydro storage system at the Plympton site as early as summer 2023.

The company has already spoken to the parish council and is to submit plans to Devon County Council soon. It hopes permission will be given and the site will be in operation by the end of 2023 and then trialled for two years before the technology is rolled out nationally and worldwide.

Note.

  1. RheEnergise has a web page, which describes how their High-Density Hydro storage system works.
  2. The system is sized at 250kW/1MWh and is described in the article as a demonstrator plant.
  3. In the future, rojects will range from 5MW to 100MW of power and can work with vertical elevations as low as 100m or less.

This sentence from the article lays out the potential of the system.

RheEnergise’s analysis of potential project opportunities has indicated there are about 6,500 possible sites in the UK, about 115,000 in Europe, about 345,000 in North America and about 500,000 in Africa and the Middle East.

This method of storing energy could be very useful.

Where Is Hemerdon Tungsten Mine?

This is a Google Map of the Plymouth area.

The red arrow indicates the Hemerdon Tungsten Mine, which has a Wikipedia entry as Drakelands Mine, where this is said about the last three years.

Tungsten West plc, which floated on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market on 21 October 2021,[49] have taken over the mine. They have conducted a review starting from the basics, of what is required to fix the problems that caused Wolf Minerals to fail. A better understanding of the mineralogy, with associated changes to the processing stream, and aggregate sales should lead to the mine re-opening at scale in 2022.

Tungsten West’s share price has had an up-and-down day. But are they adding energy storage to their income streams?

From the map, it does seem to be a possibility.

 

November 29, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | Leave a comment

Wrightbus Hydrogen Fleet Cover 1,5 Million Miles

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Leading bus manufacturer Wrightbus’s fleet of hydrogen fuel-cell buses have travelled a staggering 1.5 million miles since first entering service.

This latest milestone from the Ballymena-based firm means the hydrogen fuel-cell fleet has prevented 2,366 tonnes of harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions entering the atmosphere compared to journeys made by an equivalent diesel bus.

It does appear that the company is on the road to a much needed recovery.

November 29, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Dartmoor Line Passes 250,000 Journeys On Its First Anniversary, As Rail Minister Visits To Mark Official Opening Of The Station Building

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

These three paragraphs talk about the Dartmoor Line’s reopening.

Just over a year after the Dartmoor Line reopened to regular passenger trains, journey numbers on the line have passed 250,000 this Monday morning [28 November], with the arrival of an extra special visitor, Rail Minister, Huw Merriman MP, to officially open the renovated station building.

The line reopened on 20 November 2021, restoring a regular, year-round service for the first time in almost 50 years following more than £40m of Government investment.

The previously mothballed rail line, which runs between Okehampton and Exeter, was restored in just nine months and delivered £10m under budget, becoming the first former line to reopen under the Government’s £500m Restoring Your Railway programme.

I have a few thoughts.

A Well-Managed Project

It does appear that Network Rail upped a gear or two to fulfil this project. The press release puts it like this.

Reinstatement of the Dartmoor Line was made possible by Network Rail’s team of engineers who worked tirelessly to deliver a huge programme of work including laying 11 miles of new track and installing 24,000 concrete sleepers and 29,000 tonnes of ballast in a record-breaking 20-day period.

But it does appear that over recent months Network Rail seems to do things a lot better and quicker.

I do wonder, if on the construction side, Network Rail have been able to bring in new working practices, that they are still trying to get lots of their other workers to accept.

A Quarter Of A Million Journeys

The press release says this about passenger numbers.

In the same week as it celebrated its one-year anniversary, the Dartmoor Line also saw its 250,000th journey, showing an incredible patronage on the line and more than double the demand originally forecast.

But they still can’t get the forecasts right.

Passenger Numbers Are Still Rising

The press release says this about rising passenger numbers

Since Great Western Railway (GWR) increased services to hourly in May 2022, passenger use has continued to rise, with over 500 journeys starting at Okehampton every day and a further 300 travelling into the town from across the rail network.

Is There Still Growth To Come?

There are several zero-carbon trains under development, so why not have a civilised shoot out, with each manufacturer given say four weeks in which to show off their products in passenger service.

This would hopefully indicate, if there was more growth to come and what would be the best trains to use.

Conclusion

The Dartmoor Line has been shown to be a success so lets repeat the dose.

 

 

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Rolls-Royce And easyJet Set New World First

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

These three paragraphs explain what the two companies have done and are planning to do.

Rolls-Royce and easyJet today confirmed they have set a new aviation milestone with the world’s first run of a modern aero engine on hydrogen.

The ground test was conducted on an early concept demonstrator using green hydrogen created by wind and tidal power. It marks a major step towards proving that hydrogen could be a zero carbon aviation fuel of the future and is a key proof point in the decarbonisation strategies of both Rolls-Royce and easyJet.

Both companies have set out to prove that hydrogen can safely and efficiently deliver power for civil aero engines and are already planning a second set of tests, with a longer-term ambition to carry out flight tests.

The test today was carried out at Boscombe Down and are shown in this picture from Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce AE2100 Hydrogen Demonstrator engine preparing for test at RAF Boscombe Down

Note that the green hydrogen produced using Orcadian winds and tides.

We live in desperate times and I predict that a hydrogen-fuelled and Rolls-Royce-powered easyJet plane, will fly sooner than anybody thinks.

As with athletes, engineers love to be first!

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

China Covid: Chinese TV Censors Shots Of Maskless World Cup Fans

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

These two paragraphs outline China’s censorship of the World Cup.

The phrase “football is nothing without fans” has become so accepted as to be cliché among some commentators. But Chinese state TV has been testing that assumption to its limit throughout the World Cup.

On Monday, as Ghana beat South Korea in a classic World Cup clash, subtle changes to China’s coverage of the match ensured viewers were not exposed to images of maskless supporters – and to a world moving on from Covid restrictions.

Autocratic regimes who act like China and Russia are doing now, have always come to a sticky and violent end.

When will these idiots ever learn?

 

 

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Health, Sport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Morley’s New Accessible Station Set To Open In Summer 2023

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

These paragraphs outline the work to be done to create the new Morley station.

A new, fully accessible station is set to open in Morley, Leeds in summer 2023 to make way for longer trains, more seats, and better journeys as part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

As a multi-million-pound investment, the new station will boast longer platforms to provide space for faster, more frequent, greener trains with more seats available for passengers travelling between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds and York.

The new, remodelled station will sit 75 metres away from the existing station and be fully accessible, with a footbridge and lifts connecting the two platforms.

Moving the station opens up opportunities to transform the platforms and track layout while installing the overhead wires needed to power electric and hybrid trains in the future. It also means that the current station can largely remain open for passengers whilst the new one is built.

It is not often, that a station upgrade, is such a comprehensive demolish and rebuild of a not very large station as this.

But rarely have I seen such a long list of problems as the one in this section in the Wikipedia entry for the station.

It looks like the Government is having a go, at levelling-up Morley.

Network Rail seem to be attempting to do the rebuild in under a year.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reports: Ineos In Talks With Rolls Royce To Build Nuclear Plant At Grangemouth Refinery

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

INEOS is reportedly in talks with Rolls Royce about using its small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) technology to power the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland.

The Sunday Telegraph first reported the story, citing sources with knowledge of the discussions who claimed that early-stage talks between the companies have centred on the technology and that commercial negotiations are yet to take place.

This paragraph, also gives a useful summary of how large scale chemical plants can use low carbon energy.

Ineos is not the first chemicals major to explore using new nuclear plants to provide low-carbon power to help decarbonise its heavy operations. Options include raising low-carbon heat for use in chemicals processing and electrolysing water to produce hydrogen for use as chemical feedstocks. In August, Dow announced it will install SMRs from X-energy to provide power and process heat for its chemicals production on the US Gulf Coast.

It is interesting to note that Dow are also exploring the use of SMRs to power a large chemical plant.

This paragraph gives an assessment of the possible view of the Scottish government.

Scotland has set a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 – five years earlier than UK legislation. While the Scottish Government is opposed to new nuclear using current technologies it has said that it will assess how novel technologies might contribute to Scotland’s low carbon future.

So perhaps it is not the total opposition, that some would expect.

In the 1960s, when I worked at ICI, I can remember reading an article in a serious magazine about nuclear plants being used in chemical plants and for steelmaking. This application has taken a long time to come to fruition.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

AVL RACETECH Builds Hydrogen Combustion Engine For Motorsport

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

This is the opening paragraph.

AVL RACETECH, the motorsport department of AVL, presents the prototype of an innovative H2 internal combustion engine. The power unit is a compact, hydrogen-powered 2-liter turbo engine, with intelligent water injection that enables it to achieve a totally new performance level. The prototype is the first racing engine that AVL RACETECH is developing and building in-house.

Note.

  1. The engine has a size of two litres.
  2. It generates about 150 kW/litre.
  3. It features water injection.
  4. It appears to be very interesting technically and has been designed with extensive computer simulation.

AVL RACETECH has a web site, which gives more information.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , | 2 Comments

‘Castle’ HSTs To Be Withdrawn By Great Western Railway

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

This quote from a  GWR spokesman, sums up the action that will be taken.

The Castles were always designed to be a temporary measure on the Cardiff to Penzance route. We expect to replace the Castle Class trains on a phased basis over the next couple of years, bringing customers the benefit of more modern trains that will reduce both cost and carbon emissions across the route.

These are my thoughts.

Could The Engines In The Power Cars Be Replaced With Modern Carbon-Neutral Engines?

This would be an alternative way to solve the decarbonisation problem.

It would also mean that other applications of the Class 43 power cars, like ScotRail’s Inter7City trains, Cross Country’s HSTs and Network Rail’s New Measurement Train would have a decarbonisation route,

In Rolls-Royce Releases mtu Rail Engines For Sustainable Fuels, Rolls-Royce mtu outline their route to decarbonise rail engines using sustainable fuels.

This was the first paragraph of my conclusion in the linked article.

Rolls-Royce and Cummins seem to be doing a thoroughly professional job in decarbonising the diesel engines they have made in recent years.

The Class 43 power cars have Rolls-Royce mtu Series 4000 engines, which will soon be available to run on sustainable fuel.

I think as a possible fall-back, one Class 43 power car should be converted to carbon neutral.

Could The Engines In The Power Cars Be Replaced With Modern Hydrogen Engines?

I looked at this in Will We See Class 43 Power Cars Converted To Hydrogen?.

I came to the conclusion, that this might be possible and said this.

It would be the ultimate Roller.

But then Rolls-Royce know about winning battles with large internal combustion engines.

The Option Of New Trains

This quote from a  GWR spokesman was fairly definite about new trains, when they said.

The Castles were always designed to be a temporary measure on the Cardiff to Penzance route. We expect to replace the Castle Class trains on a phased basis over the next couple of years, bringing customers the benefit of more modern trains that will reduce both cost and carbon emissions across the route.

What trains could replace the Castles?

  • The Cardiff and Penzance route is just short of 250 miles or roughly 400 kilometres.
  • Only about 30 miles at the Cardiff end is electrified.
  • Trains would need to be able to handle 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • 125 mph trains will be needed at the Cardiff end.
  • Four or five passenger cars will be needed.
  • Currently, there are twelve Castles, so I will assume twelve new trains.

As these trains will be lasting up to forty years, they must be zero-carbon, which must mean battery-electric or hydrogen.

Charging Battery-Electric Trains

Consider

  • Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter St. Davis and Plymouth are large stations with several platforms. I suspect that a number of Furrer + Frey’s charging stations can be installed along the route.
  • The timetable would be adjusted to allow trains to be charged as they stopped to set down and pick up passengers.
  • Trains would dwell in the station and then use their 125 mph performance to regain the time.
  • I’ve also found a Penzance to Cardiff service, that stopped at Plymouth for fourteen minutes, which is more than enough to charge the batteries.
  • Regenerative braking to the batteries would further eke out the range.
  • There might also be some extra electrification around Bristol or Exeter.
  • Some form of charging would be needed at Penzance.

Note.

  1. Putting up electrification may mean that it will delay the new trains for a few years.
  2. Charging stations along the route could probably be installed to a tight timetable.

I believe that with some top-class work, by battery and charger manufacturers, that a battery-electric train could be developed that could run between Cardiff and Penzance.

Thoughts On Hydrogen

Consider.

  • The Alstom Coradia iLint train has a range of about 1,000 km. on hydrogen.
  • Companies like Airbus, Boeing and a host of rocket makers will improve the storage and safety of hydrogen.
  • A range of a 1,000 km. would allow refuelling at one end of the route.
  • Trains could be multiple units or a hydrogen-electric locomotive pulling a rake of coaches with a driving van trailer.

I feel that hydrogen would be very feasible as a power source.

Alstom Could Offer A Hydrogen Aventra

Consider.

  • Alstom are developing a hydrogen-powered Aventra.
  • Bombardier were offering a 125 mph Aventra.
  • A typical Aventra like a Class 720 train seats a hundred passengers a car.

A hydrogen Aventra would be feasible.

Hitachi Could Offer A Battery-Electric Or Hybrid AT-300

In 2021, in Hitachi And Eversholt Rail To Develop GWR Intercity Battery Hybrid Train – Offering Fuel Savings Of More Than 20%, I wrote about the announcement of the Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Hybrid Train, which is shown in this Hitachi infographic.

Note.

  1. Batteries replacing an engine to cut fuel usage and reduce carbon emissions.
  2. First time a modern UK intercity train, in passenger service, will use alternative fuel.
  3. These Hitachi trains use mtu engines, so I suspect they will be switched to sustainable fuel like HVO.
  4. The trains are 125 mph and 140 mph with the latest digital signalling.
  5. Great Western Railway already have 58 five-car Class 800/802 trains and 35 nine-car 800/802 trains.
  6. They would not need any changing stations or other infrastructure changes.
  7. Staff retraining would be minimal.

Testing of the prototype of these trains must be getting very close or even underway.

Stadler Could Offer A Battery-Electric Flirt Akku

Consider

  • Stadler have run a Flirt Akku on batteries for 243 km.
  • Flirt Akkus will go into service soon.
  • Flirts have been designed for 125 mph running.

With charging at Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance, I believe a Flirt Akku could handle the route.

Are Hitachi Home And Hosed?

I have a feeling that the announcement has been made about retiring the Castles as the prototype Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Hybrid Train is under test and is performing well.

So I wouldn’t be surprised to see an order for twelve more Class 802 trains soon.

 

 

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments