The Anonymous Widower

New Zinc-Air Battery Outperforms Lithium-Ion Battery On All Levels

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

There’s a new battery in town and it’s a game-changer. The novel battery, is cheaper, safer and significantly longer laster-lasting, than lithium-ion batteries reports Recharge.

It does seem that Zinc8 is getting noticed.

I wonder, if the web-site gets read in Cambridge, where I was once told that use of the word Interesting, is very much to be discouraged.

May 26, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Is There A Link Between Historic Coal Mining And COVID-19?

In Air Pollution May Be ‘Key Contributor’ To Covid-19 Deaths – Study, I wrote about the link between current pollution and COVID-19, that had been shown by European researchers.

Today, in The Times, there is an article, which is entitled Pressure To Free London From Lockdown As Cases Fall.

It talks about the areas, that are recording the most new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in the last fortnight.

The article says this.

Only one area south of Birmingham is in the 20 local authorities with the most coronavirus cases in the past two weeks, while those with fewest are clustered in the south, an analysis of official figures by The Times shows.

That local authority in the top twenty is Ashford.

i have looked at all the data in The Times and this table shows the number of cases in the last fortnight in decreasing order.

  • Birmingham – 266
  • County Durham – 209
  • Manchester – 184
  • Bradford – 168
  • Sandwell – 164
  • Wigan – 156
  • Shropshire – 155
  • Cheshire West and Chester – 151
  • Sheffield – 144
  • Cheshire East – 135
  • Leeds – 138
  • East Riding Of Yorkshire 129
  • Barnsley – 126
  • Tameside – 124
  • Doncaster – 121
  • Ashford – 118
  • Stoke – 117
  • Wirral – 107
  • Trafford – 102
  • Folkestone and Hythe – 99
  • Leicester – 99
  • Bolton – 94
  • North Somerset – 94
  • Oldham – 93
  • Stockton-on-Tees – 93
  • Oxford – 90

Note.

  1. Why is Cheshire in the top half of the list?
  2. There seem to be a lot of coal mining areas on the list.
  3. Ashford and Folkestone and Hythe are even close to the former Kent coalfield.

I’d love to see Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish data added to this list!

Is Coal A Factor?

Given the large number of coal-mining areas featuring in my list, I very much feel that there should be a serious analysis to see if working in the mines or growing up in a coal-mining area, is a factor related to the chances of catching COVID-19.

I should say, that my only personal memories of British coal mines working, was to see the mines in Kent, as we drove to see by uncle in Broadstairs. They were filthy places.

The Cheshire Paradox

Cheshire doesn’t have any coal mining, but it does have a lot of chemical works and oil refineries along the Mersey, many of which use Cheshire’s most valuable natural resource – salt.

When I worked at ICI, I was told that there was enough salt underneath the green fields of Cheshire to last several thousand years, at the current rate of extraction.

There was also the ICI office joke about pensions.

You would get a good pension from ICI, as the pension scheme was well-funded and also because so many pensioners, after a lifetime of working amongst all the smells and dusts of a chemical works, which gave the lungs a good clear out, didn’t live long in the fresh air of normal life and caught every cold, cough and flu doing the rounds.

The three Cheshire areas have these numbers of total confirmed cases per 100,000 residents.

  • Cheshire East – 304
  • Cheshire West and Chester – 312
  • Wirral – 378

These compare closely to nearby Liverpool with 319.

But look at these figures of a similar county around London, that from personal experience is similar to Cheshire.

  • East Hertfordshire – 176
  • North Hertfordshire – 171

So have all the chemicals in the historic Cheshire air, softened up the population for COVID-19?

I used the word historic, as pollution in the seventies in Cheshire/Merseyside was much higher, than it is today.

 

 

May 23, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , , | 3 Comments

New Zinc-Air Battery Is ‘Cheaper, Safer And Far Longer-Lasting Than Lithium-Ion’

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

A new type of battery is coming onto the market that can store multiple days’ worth of energy, that doesn’t degrade, can’t possibly explode and is up to five times cheaper than lithium-ion, claimed its developer as it prepares to pilot the technology in New York state.

The zinc-air hybrid flow battery developed by Canadian company Zinc8 has the potential to disrupt the entire energy-storage market — making wind and solar farms baseload and even replacing the need for transmission grid upgrades in many places.

The article then gives an in depth review of Zinc8, its technology and its future prospects.

  • The Chief Executive is a former Canadian MP. Political connections help!
  • The company has $100million of funding.
  • Zinc8 energy storage systems are made larger by fitting and bigger storage tank and adding more electrolyte.
  • The capital cost of an eight-hour Zinc8 storage system is about $250/KWh, but this falls to $100/KWh for a 32-hour system and $60/KWh for a hundred-hour system.
  • Lithium-ion systems ttpically cost $300/KWh for any duration over eight hours.
  • The cost of Zinc8 systems is expected to fall as manufacturing increases.

The article finishes with a detailed description of how the technology works.

It also details the company’s growth strategy.

Conclusion

This technology looks like it will give lithiujm-ion batteries a good run for its money in grid storage applications and it could be one of those technologies that help the world to embrace renewable energy, like wind, solar and wave power.

It has various advantages.

  • Lower cost of installation.
  • Falling manufacturing cost.
  • Easily scalable.
  • No exotic or hazardous materials, just zinc, water and air, which are recycled.

My only worry, is that Zinc8, sounds too good to be true! But having met researchers at ICI, who were concerned in the birth of polythene, this could be a normal cynical reaction.

 

 

 

May 22, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Hydrogen Powered Tractors Could Be The Green Answer In That Industry

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

I agree with the title and the article is worth a read.

For some time, I’ve felt that hydrogen would be ideal to power a tractor and other agricultural machinery.

  • Now that companies like ITM Power have developed efficient electrolysers, the accessibility of the fuel is a lot easier.
  • Many farmers would have their own electrolyser.
  • Diesel is always getting nicked, but stealing hydrogen would probably be more difficult.
  • Hydrogen could also power the farmer’s cars.

Energy use on the farm could be very different.

May 21, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , | 2 Comments

‘World First’: SGN Launches Bid For 300 Green Hydrogen Homes Project In Fife

This title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Business Green.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Around 300 homes in Scotland could soon have their heating and cooking powered by green hydrogen produced from renewable electricity under proposals for “the world’s first green hydrogen-to-homes network” unveiled today by SGN.

A few points from the article.

  • Construction could start in the winter of 2020/21.
  • The project will take two or three years.
  • The modified houses appear to be in Levenmouth.
  • The project has been dubbed H100 Fife.
  • The hydrogen will be produced by electrolysis using electricity generated by offshore wind.

The article also gives a round-up of the state of hydrogen in the UK.

Could This Have Other Implications For Levenmouth?

In Scottish Government Approve £75m Levenmouth Rail Link, I discussed the rebuilding of the Levenmouth Rail Link.

I suggested that the route could be run by Hitachi Class 385 trains with batteries, which Hitachi have stated are being developed. I covered the trains in more detail in Hitachi Plans To Run ScotRail Class 385 EMUs Beyond The Wires.

If there were to be a source of hydrogen at Levenmouth, could hydrogen-powered trains be used on the route?

The Levenmouth Rail link could be a prototype for other short rail links in Scotland.

 

In

 

 

May 21, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK’s First Car Battery ‘Gigafactory’ To Be Built By Two Startups

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Two British startups have announced plans to invest as much as £4bn in building the UK’s first large-scale battery factory, in a move that could prove a major boost to the country’s struggling car industry.

AMTE Power and Britishvolt have signed a memorandum of understanding saying they will work together on plans for a plant to make lithium ion batteries, the key component in electric cars as well as energy storage products.

So who are AMTE Power And Britishvolt?

AMTE Power

The AMTE Power web site, has this mission statement.

The cell market demands flexibility in design and chemistry, AMTE has focused on supporting niche customers who want to develop and build solutions where standard cell options fail to deliver against their business design objectives.

The forecast demand for cells production, will see delivery shortages as Automotive and Energy storage markets develop. AMTE can supply its customers with bespoke solutions eliminating the need to accept second best in cell choice.

Give the customers, what they want is rarely a bad philosophy.

Britishvolt

The Britishvolt web site, has this mission statement.

We have identified the United Kingdom as the potential location to build our first Gigaplant. Britishvolt is looking to produce high performance batteries better than anyone else, establishing the country as the leading force in battery technology and the center of sustainable energy storage. We are ready for the World 2023.

Having read both companies web sites, I think the two companies have more than a little in common.

So why not team up and move forward.

May 20, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Eos To Install 4MWh Of ‘Safe’ Zinc Battery Technology – At Giant Oil Refinery

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Energy Storage News.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Eos Energy Storage will deploy a megawatt-scale, behind-the-meter zinc hybrid cathode battery energy storage system for a large oil refinery in Greece, claiming it be a validation of the safety and environmental benefits of the novel technology.

 

EOS Energy Storage seem to have developed a zinc battery, that could work along similar lines to the zinc battery produced by zinc8, that I wrote about in Zinc8 Seem To Be A Surprisingly Open Company.

The Energy Storage News article gives more details on the battery and its design.

  • This battery is rated at 1 MW/4 MWh, so compared to some, it is quite small.
  • It uses a zinc-halide oxidation/reduction cycle to store and output energy.
  • The battery is made from five components, all of which are abundant, ethically sourced and recyclable.
  • An order for a 40 MWh system has been placed.
  • EOS claim to have numerous pilots and demonstrators in use.

Could it appear that using zinc batteries are a feasible method of storing energy, as two companies both appear to be successful at delivering systems?

 

 

May 19, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Hawaii’s Renewable Tender To Deliver Major Solar And Storage Push

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The largest renewable tender in Hawaii’s history has chosen its winners, contracting a solar and storage pipeline that exceeds anything the US state has ever seen.

The article gives a lot of information about the order and Hawaii’s energy.

  • A fleet of 400 MW of solar panels and 3 GWh of energy storage will be installed, with some running in 2022.
  • Another fleet of 260 MW of solar panels and 1 GWh of energy storage is in the pipeline, for delivery in 2021.
  • The strike price appears to be 9.38 US dollar cents per KWh or $93.80 per MWh. We’re paying £92.50 per MWh for electricity at Hinckley Point C nuclear power station.
  • Hawaii aims to be full-powered by renewable energy by 2045.
  • Two fossil-fuel plants will shut by 2024.

From this document on the Hawaii State Energy Office, I have found that in 2018, these renewable energy sources contributed to the state’s electricity.

  • Geothermal sources – 2.9%
  • Wind – 4.9%
  • Hydro – 0.9%
  • Biomass – 2.8%
  • Small-scale solar – 9.3%
  • Utility-scale solar – 3.9%

These add up to 24.7%.

I’ll be interested to see, what the percentage will be in 2024!

May 19, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Vietnam Has Potential For ‘160GW Of Offshore Wind’

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The Danish Energy Agency (DEA) and the Vietnamese Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority are working together on input for a roadmap for offshore wind development in the south-east Asian country that has estimated potential for 160GW.

The report illustrates that windpower, is for all nations.

May 19, 2020 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Floating Wind Swells, Hydrogen On A High And Here Comes The 150-Hour ‘Aqueous Air’ Battery

The title of this post is the same as that of this weekly summary on Recharge.

There are three major stories.

Floating Wind Turbines

A lot more floating wind turbines are under development, by the French, Swedes, South Africans and Japanese.

I do wonder, if these structures have borrowed the work done in Cambridge by Balaena Structures, for which I did the calculations, as I wrote about in The Balaena Lives.

From what I remember of my calculations fifty years ago, I suspect these floating turbines can be massive and places, in areas, where the winds are really strong.

I also believe that some could have built-in hydrogen generators and could be placed over depleted gas fields and connected to the existing gas pipes.

Hydrogen

The article describes how oil giants; BP and Shell are moving towards hydrogen.

Battery Storage

They also talk about Form Energy and their mysterious ‘aqueous air battery, which Recharge covered earlier. I discussed that article in The Mysterious 150-hour Battery That Can Guarantee Renewables Output During Extreme Weather.

Conclusion

This article is a must-read.

Recharge is also a site to follow, if you are interested in the developments in renewable energy.

May 18, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment