The Anonymous Widower

Baltic States Agree To Develop Plan To Railway Network’s Conversion According To EU Standards

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Baltic News Network.

These are the first two paragraphs.

During a meeting of European transport ministers in Brussels, participants agreed that all member states the railway network of which differs from the EU standard, have until 2025-2026 to develop a plan to transition to 1 435 mm. This applies to Latvia as well, as reported by Ministry of Transport.

Latvia and other Baltic States still have railway networks built in accordance with Russian standard of 1 520 mm, whereas the majority of other European countries have railway standard of 1 435 mm. This is also the standard that will be used for the Rail Baltica line.

I have some thoughts.

  1. Putin won’t like it, as his trains won’t fit the gauge, so it will cramp his invasion plans.
  2. Will gauge change apply to Spain and Ireland?
  3. If the Irish Republic converts, will Ulster say no? Undoubtedly they will!
  4. Will it also apply to trams, as there are quite a few metre gauge tramways.

I doubt that it will ever happen everywhere.

 

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments

I Can Now See Why A Big Pharma Company Liked My Software Daisy

Yesterday, I went to a seminar about medical research.

There was a presentation, where data in several dimensions was shown and the data was crying out for a Daisy Chart.

A Daisy Chart

A Daisy Chart

This chart is a very simple presentation of telephone data, but I can imagine arcs showing factors like Dose, Blood Pressure, Sex, Patient Satisfaction etc.

Note.

  1. This chart is what I call a Day of the Week/Hour of the Day chart, which is a powerful way of looking at any time-based data, like faults or A & E arrivals.
  2. You can click on the nodes and links of the chart to access the data underneath. So if you wanted all female patients with high blood pressure in a separate Excel spreadsheet, this is possible with a couple of clicks.
  3. The charts can also be clipped from the screen and inserted into reports.

Daisy was used by one Big Pharma company twenty years ago and after yesterday’s presentation, I can understand, why they used it.

The seminar changed my mind about my attitude to Daisy and I got rather fired up about its possibilities.

December 6, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Health | , , | 1 Comment

Gasunie Investigates Hydrogen Network In North Sea

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news article on the Gasunie web site.

This is the sub-title.

In the area of hydrogen production, the Netherlands has a sizeable climate target to meet. The North Sea offers opportunities for generating the required green energy through wind farms. Werna Udding, responsible for offshore hydrogen at Gasunie, explains: ‘We are already working on the national hydrogen network on land. And now, together with other parties, we are also investigating the possibilities of creating an offshore hydrogen network.’

Note, that according to Wikipedia, Gasunie is a Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transportation company operating in the Netherlands and Germany.

The first paragraph outlines the project.

Green hydrogen will play an important role in the energy transition. It will be used to help to make industry and heavy transport more sustainable, for example, and will serve as a feedstock for the chemical industry. ‘It’s with this in mind that the Netherlands has set itself an ambitious target for the production of hydrogen: 4 gigawatts in 2030 – and we are even thinking about doubling that target figure,’ says Werna. Internationally, the bar is set even higher. Last summer, the Netherlands signed the Esbjerg Declaration with Denmark, Germany and Belgium, in which they have agreed to develop the North Sea as a ‘green power plant’. By 2030, they want to produce 65 gigawatts of offshore wind power, 20GW of which is earmarked for the production of green hydrogen. And Werna believes that could be even more: ‘Minister Jetten (Climate and Energy Policy) has commissioned research into seeing whether 70GW of offshore wind energy can be realised by 2050.’

Note, that the numbers are large but are the UK’s numbers large enough given that we have a greater area of sea.

There are four more sections.

  • Scope For Large-Scale Power Generation
  • Hydrogen Network For Transport To Shore
  • Start Eight Away
  • Public Or Private

The whole news article is a must-read to get a feel for Dutch thinking on how to develop offshore wind power and green hydrogen.

Conclusion

I like the concept of a hydrogen network for transport to shore, as the gas is delivered to the gas terminal in the form it will be used.

Surely, it would be best if gas and electricity are delivered to shore in the proportions, they will be used?

Electrolysers don’t seem to be an industrial hazard, but my electrical experience says that any equipment like substations and electrolysers, which handle large amounts of energy should be placed in the safest location possible.

 

December 5, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Long Journey Home

A friend had booked between London and Edinburgh today on the 13:00 LNER train from King’s Cross. She was also travelling with her miniature Schnauzer.

.We had arranged to meet at Marylebone, so I could help them across London to King’s Cross and have a much-needed hot chocolate in King’s Cross before they caught the train North and I went to a meeting organised by my cardiologist.

I had checked out King’s Cross earlier and there was trouble with srveral delayed and cancelled trains.

It wasn’t strikes or bad management from LNER and the problem is explained in this article from the Yorkshire Evening Post, which is entitled Trains From Leeds To London Cancelled Or Delayed After Thieves Steal Signalling Cables From Railway Tracks.

In the end we made the train in time and also had time to have a hot chocolate in LEON, whilst we sat out the back with the dog.

We were texting each other most of the afternoon and with assistance from Real Time Trains, the journey went as follows.

  • The train left King’s Cross at 13:08, which was eight minutes late.
  • By Peterborough, the train was running seventeen minutes late. 
  • The driver kept this delay until Retford, where he lost another eighty minutes.
  • The train was now running 97 minutes late and this grew by four more minutes by Newcastle.
  • My friend reported that they stopped at Newcastle, as they had no driver.
  • In the end, LNER found a driver or a way for the current driver to continue to Edinburgh and the train left Newcastle after a thirty minute stop.
  • The train was now two hours and ten minutes late.
  • Eventually, it pulled into Edinburgh, two hours and five minutes late, after the driver had picked up a few minutes on the approach to Edinburgh.

Note.

  1. The incoming train that formed this service arrived in King’s Cross from Edinburgh seventy two minutes late, mainly because of the cable theft. It should have arrived and returned to Edinburgh an hour earlier. But it arrived conveniently to form the 13:00 to Scotland.
  2. As the train presentation team turned the train in nineteen minutes instead of twenty-one, they saved a couple of minutes.
  3. I suspect the delay at Retford was getting through the area without any signalling.
  4. Had the driver run out of hours by Newcastle, as he had been in the cab for four-and-a-half hours?
  5. Normally, four-and-a-half hours would have enabled the driver to have driven to Edinburgh.

These are my thoughts.

Cable Theft

In the days of British Rail, I did some work for British Rail using my software called Daisy, which led to a report entitled Failure Reporting And Analysis On British Rail, which was written by J. S. Firth CEng, MIEE, MIRSE, who worked for SigTech, which was a Business Unit of the British Railways Board.

If anybody who has a legitimate reason to read the report, I still have the complimentary copy sent to me by Mr. Firth and would be happy to provide a copy.

I did flag up a project called Unauthorised Cable Removal And Fault Triage, as one of the winners in the First Of A Kind 2022 competition organised by the Dept of BEIS.

If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.

Problems In France

A friend in France told me that there is a problem with stealing overhead electrification cables in France.

This article on RFI is entitled Copper Wire Thieves Force France’s High-Speed TGV To Go Slow.

There are several similar stories on French and other European web sites.

Signalling Using Radio

The East Coast Main Line is being signalled using modern ERTMS digital signalling, where drivers read the signals on an in-cab display, which is connected by radio to the signalling system.

This extract from Wikipedia describes the first project.

In June 2020 it was reported that the UK government would provide £350 million to fund the UK’s first digital signalling system on a long-distance rail route. The signalling is to be fitted on a 100-mile (161 km) section of the East Coast Main Line between Kings Cross, London, and Lincolnshire, which will allow trains to run closer together and increase service frequency, speed and reliability. No date for when the new technology, already in use on the Thameslink lines at London Bridge and some London Underground lines, has been given.

If the cables are removed will this reduce crime?

LNER Delay Repay

My friend will be entitled for a full refund of her single ticket.

This page on the LNER web site gives full details.

Note.

  1. You have 28 days to claim.
  2. If you have a return ticket, you may be entitled to something for that leg of the journey.

I would add, that you should always keep all your tickets, in case the return journey goes belly-up.

December 5, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Scotland’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Entering Home Stretch

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

This the the sub heading.

75 per cent of the jacket foundations have been installed at the Seagreen offshore wind farm, according to the latest social media update by one of the project’s developers, SSE Renewables.

These are other points from the article.

  • So far, there are 89 jacket foundations and 74 wind turbines installed at the project’s construction site.
  • The three-legged jacket foundations, each weighing around 2,000 tonnes, are being placed in depths up to 58 metres off the Angus coast.
  • Besides being the largest Scottish wind farm, Seagreen is also the world’s deepest project of this kind using bottom-fixed foundations.
  • TotalEnergies is the other partner in the development.
  • The project’s total installed capacity will be 1,575 MW.

The development of Seagreen wind farm,  seems to have been relatively pain-free.

December 5, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | 2 Comments

Regulator Approves New Grand Union Train Service From Carmarthen To London Paddington

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

This is the sub-heading of the press release.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has opened up the Great Western Main Line to competition and enabled a significant increase in rail services between London and South Wales.

These points are made in the press release.

  • The rail regulator has approved the introduction of new train services between London, Cardiff and South West Wales from the end of 2024.
  • The services will be operated by a new open access operator, Grand Union Trains, bringing competition to the Great Western route out of Paddington.
  • Passengers travelling between London, Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel Junction, Newport, Cardiff, Gowerton, Llanelli and Carmarthen will benefit from an extra five daily return services and greater choice of operator.
  • The decision opens up the Great Western Main Line to competition for the first time, with potential benefits in terms of lower fares, improved service quality and innovation for all passengers using the route.
  • The application, submitted to ORR in June 2022, was disputed by Network Rail due to concerns about capacity on the network. But following careful consideration and analysis, ORR has directed Network Rail to enter into a contract with Grand Union.
  • Grand Union has committed to significant investment in new trains.
  • As an ‘open access’ train operator, however, it will not get paid subsidies from public funds, unlike current operators along the route.

ORR supports new open access where it delivers competition for the benefit of passengers. In making this decision, the regulator has weighed this up against the impact on Government funds and effect on other users of the railway, both passengers and freight customers.

These are my thoughts.

The Company

Grand Union Trains have certainly persevered to get this approval.

  • The company was created by Ian Yeowart, who previously created open access operators; Alliance Rail Holdings and Grand Central before selling both to Arriva.
  • After multiple negotiations with the Office of Road and Rail (ORR), Yeowart must know how to get an acceptable deal.
  • Grand Union Trains have a similar application for a service between Euston and Stirling with the ORR.

Grand Union Trains also have a web site.

The home page has a mission statement of Railways To Our Core, with this statement underneath.

At Grand Union we are passionate about Britain’s railways. We are committed to the traditional values of providing a high-quality customer service and a comfortable journey experience at a fair price.

I’ll go with that.

The Financial Backing Of The Company

All the UK’s open access operators are well-financed either by Arriva or First Group.

The ORR would not receive any thanks, if they approved an operator, which duly went bust.

So what is the quality of the financing behind Grand Union Trains?

This article on Railway Gazette is entitled RENFE Looks At Entering UK Rail Market Through Open Access Partnership, which starts with this paragraph.

Open access passenger service developer Grand Union Trains is working with Spain’s national operator RENFE and private equity firm Serena Industrial Partners on a proposed service between London and Wales.

That is fairly clear and would surely help in the financing of Grand Union Trains.

The Route

Trains will run between Carmarthen and London Paddington, with stops at Llanelli, Gowerton, Cardiff, Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol Parkway.

A new station at Felindre will replace Gowerton.

There will be five trains per day (tpd).

I have some thoughts and questions about the route

Felindre Station

Felindre station is named in Wikipedia as the West Wales Parkway station, where it is introduced like this.

West Wales Parkway is a proposed railway station north of Swansea, near to the boundaries of the neighbouring principal area of Carmarthenshire, and the villages of Felindre and Llangyfelach. The station is proposed to be situated at the former Felindre steelworks, near Junction 46 of the M4 and A48, and near Felindre Business Park and Penllergaer Business Park. The project is in the planning stages, as part of a wider Department for Transport proposal to re-open the Swansea District line to passenger traffic.

This Google Map shows where, it appears the Felindre station will be built.

Note.

  1. The Felindre Business Park in the North-West corner of the map, with a Park-and-Ride.
  2. The M4 running across the bottom of the map.
  3. The Swansea District Line runs East-West between the motorway and the Business Park.

It looks that the new station could be located on the South side of the Business Park.

When High Speed Two Opens Will Trains Call At Old Oak Common?

When High Speed Two 0pens, all GWR trains will stop at Old Oak Common station for these connections.

  • Chiltern for for Banbury, Bicester, High Wycombe and the West Midlands
  • Elizabeth Line for Central and East London and the Thames Valley
  • Heathrow Airport
  • High Speed Two for Birmingham and the North
  • Overground for Outer London

As Old Oak Common will be such an important interchange, I think they should.

Will The Platforms At Carmarthen Station Need Lengthening?

This Google Map shows Carmarthen station.

Note.

  1. The station has two platforms.
  2. There are certainly pictures of the station with an InterCity 125 in the station. There is a picture on the Wikipedia entry for Carmarthen station.

These pictures show the station.

I suspect that the station will be upgraded to accommodate Grand Union Trains.

The Trains

An article in the June 2022 Edition of Modern Railways, which is entitled Grand Union Bids For London To Carmarthen, gives these details of the trains.

  • Three classes.
  • 2023 start for the service.
  • Cycle provision.
  • Vanload freight will be carried.
  • Electric trains could start between London and Cardiff by 2023.
  • In 2025, trains could be nine-car bi-modes.
  • South Wales-based operation and maintenance.
  • 125 full-time jobs created.

It certainly seems to be a comprehensive and well-thought out plan.

I have a few thoughts on the trains.

What Make Of Trains Will Be Procured?

Consider.

  • Lumo’s Class 803 trains were ordered from Hitachi in March 2019 and entered service in October 2021.
  • So if they ordered their version of the Hitachi trains by the end of 2022, the trains could be in service by July/August 2025.
  • It would probably be easier, if the only fast trains on the Great Western Main Line between London and South Wales were all Hitachi trains with identical performance.

But the Spanish backers of Grand Union Trains may prefer Spanish-designed trains assembled in South Wales. So would a bi-mode version of CAF’s Class 397 trains be suitable?

On the other hand, the Carmarthen and Cardiff section of the route without a reverse at Swansea is only seventy-five miles.

This Hitachi infographic shows the Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train.

Consider.

  • Charging could be provided at Carmarthen using a short length of electrification or one of Furrer + Frey standard chargers.
  • Charging would also use the electrification between London Paddington and Cardiff.
  • A nine-car Class 800 or Class 802 train has five engines and a five-car train has three engines.
  • This train was announced in December 2022.
  • In the intervening two years how far has the project progressed?
  • For the last twelve months, Lumo have been running trains with an emergency battery-pack for hotel power. How are the batteries doing, whilst being ferried u and down, the East Coast Main Line?

Can Hitachi configure a train with more than one battery-pack and a number of diesel engines, that has a range of seventy-five miles? I suspect they can.

I suspect that CAF also have similar technology.

There is also a benefit to Great Western Railway (GWR).

If GWR were able to fit out their Class 802 trains in the same way, they would be able to run between Cardiff and Swansea on battery power.

  • It is only 45.7 miles.
  • Charging would need to be provided at Swansea.
  • GWR could still run their one tpd service to Carmarthen.

It looks like both train operating companies could be able to do as Lumo does and advertise all electric services.

What Could Be The Maxmum Range Of A Hitachi Train On Batteries?

This Hitachi infographic shows the Hitachi Regional Battery Train.

Consider.

  • It has a battery range of 90 km or 56 miles on the single battery.
  • I would expect that by a regional train, Hitachi mean a five car Class 800 or 802 train, like those that go to Cheltenham, Lincoln or Middlesbrough.
  • A five-car Hitachi Regional Battery Train would have a battery that could contain power equivalent to 280 car-miles.
  • Five-car Class 800 or 802 trains have three engine positions.
  • These Hitachi trains have a very sophisticated control system, which I wrote about in Do Class 800/801/802 Trains Use Batteries For Regenerative Braking?

I believe the engineers at Hyperdrive Innovation have designed the battery-packs that replace the diesel engines as simulations of the diesel engines, so they can be a direct replacement.

This would mean that battery-packs could be additive, so the following could apply to a five-car train.

  • Two battery packs could have a range of 112 miles.
  • Three battery packs could have a range of 168 miles.

GWR generally runs pairs of five-car trains to Swansea, which would be 90 miles without electrification.

If five-car trains with two battery packs, could be given a range of 112 miles, GWR could run an electric service to Swansea.

They could also run to Carmarthen, if Grand Union Trains would share the charger.

What ranges could be possible with nine-car trains, if one battery pack is good for 280 car-miles?

  • One battery-pack, gives a range of 280/9 = 31 miles
  • Two battery-packs, give a range of 2*280/9 = 62 miles
  • Three battery-packs, give a range of 3*280/9 = 93 miles
  • Four battery-packs, give a range of 4*280/9 = 124 miles
  • Five battery-packs, give a range of 5*280/9 = 155 miles
  • Six battery-packs, give a range of 6*280/9 = 187 miles
  • Seven battery-packs, give a range of 7*280/9 = 218 miles

Note.

  1. I have rounded figures to the nearest mile.
  2. There are five cars with diesel engines in a nine-car train, which are in cars 2,3,5, 7 and 8.
  3. Diesel engines are also placed under the driver cars in five-car Class 810 trains.
  4. For the previous two reasons, I feel that the maximum numbers of diesel engines in a nine-car train could be a maximum of seven.
  5. I have therefor assumed a maximum of seven battery packs.

These distances seem sensational, but when you consider that Stradler’s Flirt Akku has demonstrated a battery range of 243 kilometres or 150 miles, I don’t think they are out of order.

But, if they are correct, then the ramifications are enormous.

  • Large numbers of routes could become electric without any infrastructure works.
  • Grand Union Trains would be able to run to Carmarthen and back without a charger at Carmarthen. 
  • GWR would be able to run to Swansea and back without a charger at Swansea.

Prudence may mean strategic chargers are installed.

Rrenewable Energy Developments In South West Wales

In Enter The Dragon, I talked about renewable energy developments in South West Wales.

I used information from this article on the Engineer, which is entitled Unlocking The Renewables Potential Of The Celtic Sea.

The article on the Engineer finishes with this conclusion.

For now, Wales may be lagging slightly behind its Celtic cousin to the north, but if the true potential of the Celtic Sea can be unleashed – FLOW, tidal stream, lagoon and wave – it looks set to play an even more prominent role in the net zero pursuit.

The Red Dragon is entering the battle to replace Vlad the Mad’s tainted energy.

South West Wales could see a massive renewable energy boom.

Grand Union Trains will increase the capacity to bring in more workers to support the developments from South Wales and Bristol.

 

 

 

December 3, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ricardo Supports Toyota To Develop Its First UK-Based Hydrogen Light Commercial Vehicle

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

This is the first paragraph.

Ricardo, a global strategic, environmental, and engineering consulting company, is supporting Toyota, in partnership with the APC, on a significant, multi-year project to develop its first zero emission hydrogen powered light commercial vehicle in the UK.

Note.

  1. Ricardo is a long-established engineering consultancy, headquartered in Shoreham, that employs 3,000 people and has a turnover of around £350,000. It has a high reputation, especially in the design of diesel engines.
  2. Ricardo has already converted a diesel bus to hydrogen, which I wrote about in Ricardo Repowers Double Decker Diesel Bus With Hydrogen Fuel Cells.
  3. The zero emission hydrogen powered light commercial vehicle, will be based on the Toyota Hilux, of which nearly twenty million have been built.
  4. Toyota already produce the hydrogen-powered Mirai.
  5. The APC is the UK Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre.

This looks like one of those collaborations in the 1960s between Ford and Lotus, that produced the iconic Lotus Cortina.

The press release says this about Ricardo’s role in the project.

The Toyota Hilux hydrogen variant will be the first of its kind, manufactured and assembled at Toyota’s Derby-based facility and is scheduled for prototype production in 2023. Ricardo has been chosen as a partner by Toyota due to its proven experience in applying advanced propulsion technologies and expertise in hydrogen fuel cell integration, including for the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub.

Ricardo’s role in the project is to integrate the complete hydrogen fuel cell, fuel storage system, and controls including design, analysis, and validation. The integration ensures efficient operation of all systems to give an excellent vehicle range and supports attributes for longevity and reliability. Working as part of the consortium, Ricardo will support the delivery of a complete turnkey solution, which will create greater agility for Toyota in the UK supply base and a quicker turnaround in the design of low volume manufacturing.

This certainly looks like a co-operation between equals.

I have a few thoughts on the fuel cells.

The Wikipedia entry for the Toyota Mirai says this about the fuel cells for that car.

The first generation of Toyota FC Stack achieved a maximum output of 114 kW (153 hp). Electricity generation efficiency was enhanced through the use of 3D fine mesh flow channels. These channels—a world first, according to Toyota—were arranged in a fine three-dimensional lattice structure to enhance the dispersion of air (oxygen), thereby enabling uniform generation of electricity on cell surfaces. This, in turn, provided a compact size and a high level of performance, including the stack’s world-leading power output density of 3.1 kW/L (2.2 times higher than that of the previous Toyota FCHV-adv limited-lease model), or 2.0 kW/kg. Each stack comprises 370 (single-line stacking) cells, with a cell thickness of 1.34 mm and weight of 102 g. The compact Mirai FC stack generates about 160 times more power than the residential fuel cells on sale in Japan.[40] The Mirai has a new compact (13-liter), high-efficiency, high-capacity converter developed to boost voltage generated in the Toyota FC Stack to 650 volts.

As a rudimentary search of the Internet says that an entry-level HiLux has a 148 hp diesel engine, it seems that Toyota’s own fuel cells could be in the right ball park.

This second press release from Ricardo is entitled Hyzon And Ricardo To Deliver Hydrogen Fuel Cell Systems For Commercial Vehicles.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Ricardo is a world-class environmental, engineering and strategic consulting company, is partnering with leading hydrogen vehicle supplier Hyzon Motors Inc. on developing and deploying commercial systems to support the decarbonisation of the global transport and energy sectors.

The companies announced today they will be working to combine Hyzon’s high-power-density fuel cell stack with Ricardo’s unrivaled software and controls, thermal management and proven track record advising customers on hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Note, that the press release dates from December 2021.

The last paragraph of the press release is probably the most significant.

The potential of the Hyzon-Ricardo engagement has already borne fruit with the debut of the Ricardo Vehicle Integrated Controls and Simulation (VICS) control system within the Hyzon fuel cell electric truck at the Advanced Clean Transportation conference in September. Moving forward, Ricardo will support Hyzon in a global capacity on the development and deployment of advanced energy management and propulsion systems to accelerate the realisation of net zero initiatives across all modes of transport.

Note.

  1. Have Ricardo used Hyzon fuel cells to create their hydrogen-powered bus? I wrote about this project in Ricardo Repowers Double Decker Diesel Bus With Hydrogen Fuel Cells.
  2. If Ricardo and Hyzon have been working together for a few years, the timescale would fit.
  3. As a Graduate Control Engineer, I know that with complex engineering systems of all kinds, good control is often hard to achieve. Perhaps, Ricardo have cracked it!

I can certainly see, Ricardo playing a similar role in the creation of Toyota’s Hydrogen HiLux.

Conclusion

It looks to me, that with their hydrogen deals with Toyota and Hyzon, Ricardo are converting themselves from a giant in the field of diesel engine technology to a significant player in the field of hydrogen power.

December 3, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Better Fuel Technology

Better Fuel Technology is a Canadian company and has this web site.

They appear to use hydrogen to improve the fuel economy of vehicles in an unusual way.

This page on their web site is entitled Facts About HHO.

Under a heading of How Hydrogen Generators For Vehicles Work, this is said.

The greatest misconception about hydrogen is that we are making fuel from water. This is entirely incorrect and if it were true, would violate several laws of physics.

It is NOT possible to generate hydrogen at a rate fast enough to be used as the primary fuel.

Hydrogen powered cars do exist. They are designed to use Hydrogen as primary fuel. The hydrogen is created in advance. Just as every ordinary car requires a tank for gasoline, hydrogen is stored within cylinders on board the vehicle.

Our equipment is an inexpensive retrofit, compatible with any vehicle type and size.

Hydrogen assists the combustion process of the existing fuel. Although you will enjoy substantial fuel savings, you will still have to use the primary fuel.

Hydrogen generators use electricity from the battery of the vehicle to split the water (H2O) into its basic elements of oxygen and hydrogen. The generated hydrogen is then injected into the air stream of the vehicle to improve combustion efficiency and fuel economy.

In a standard engine, the combustion cycle is very fast: 0.007 seconds. Most of the fuel molecules are too large to burn completely in this extremely limited time.

The situation is made worse by the fact that the spark plug only ignites a small percentage of the fuel. The fire generated must cascade from one fuel molecule to the next as it propagates through the combustion chamber of the engine. This wastes precious time.

Hydrogen burns and travels through the combustion chamber 10X faster than a gasoline flame. Hydrogen fills the space between fuel molecules and has the effect of making them closer together. The flame travels faster and the fuel is exposed to flame sooner and for a longer period of time. The result is a cleaner, more complete burn.
You can think of hydrogen as a giant spark plug in your engine; igniting all the fuel instead of leaving much of it unburned.

The science behind hydrogen injection has been well documented and understood. It has been known for over thirty years that the addition of hydrogen to fossil fuels, burned in internal combustion engines, will increase the efficiency of the engine.

This concept has been validated by a multitude of papers published by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

This is all very interesting.

December 3, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Reading To Heathrow On The Lizzie Line

Last week, I took the Lizzie Line to Reading and came back with a diversion to Heathrow.

I took the train from Reading as far as Hayes and Harlington, where I crossed over the tracks on the footbridge to get the train to Heathrow.

There are two bridges at Hayes & Harlington station, as these pictures show.

Note.

  1. Only the Western bridge has lifts.
  2. The Western bridge will be at the very back of the train from Reading.
  3. It is a long walk from the front of the train to the lifts.

This map from Cartometro shows the tracks through Hayes and Harlington station.

Note.

  1. The Great Western fast lines, which are shown in black on the South side going through platforms 1 & 2.
  2. The Elizabeth Line and the Great Western slow lines, which are shown in black and purple on the North side going through platforms 3 & 4.
  3. The Reading and Heathrow branches are to the West.
  4. London Paddington is to the East.
  5. Elizabeth Line Trains from the Reading or Heathrow branches to Paddington use Platform 4.
  6. Elizabeth Line Trains from Paddington to the Reading or Heathrow branches use Platform 3.

It should also be noted that if you are travelling between Heathrow Airport and any of the Elizabeth Line stations between Hayes and Harlington and Reading stations, you have to cross from Platform 4 to Platform 3 at Hayes and Harlington station.

All passengers will be travelling in the same direction at Hayes and Harlington station.

I feel it is absolutely essential, if you are travelling between Reading and Heathrow Airport using the Elizabeth Line, that you travel in the last carriage of the train from both Heathrow Airport or Reading.

When travelling to Heathrow in Where Should You Travel On An Elizabeth Line Train?, I said these were the positions to travel on the train.

  • Heathrow Central – Eastern end
  • Heathrow Terminal 4 – Western end
  • Heathrow Terminal 5 – Eastern end

It looks like there could be some walking to do if you’re travelling between Reading and Heathrow Central or Heathrow Terminal 5.

I feel that Hayes and Harlington station could possibly have been better designed.

Would it have been better if Platforms 3 and 4 had been designed as an island platform, so that passengers going between the Reading and Heathrow branches would just walk across to the other side of the platform?

  • The tracks would have had to be realigned.
  • There would have been less lifts needed.
  • The Eastern bridge might not have been needed.

I suspect, it would have been the more expensive option.

 

 

 

December 3, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

EuroLink, Nautilus And Sea Link

EuroLink, Nautilus and Sea Link are three proposed interconnectors being developed by National Grid Ventures.

EuroLink

EuroLink has a web site, where this is said.

To support the UK’s growing energy needs, National Grid Ventures (NGV) is bringing forward proposals for a Multi-Purpose Interconnector (MPI) called EuroLink, which will deliver a new electricity link between Great Britain to the Netherlands. 

EuroLink could supply up to 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of electricity, which will be enough to power approximately 1.8 million homes, as well as contribute to our national energy security and support the UK’s climate and energy goals. We’re holding a non-statutory public consultation to inform you about our EuroLink proposals, gather your feedback to help refine our plans and respond to your questions.​

Note, that EuroLink is a Multi-Purpose Interconnector (MPI) and they are described on this page of the National Grid website.

In EuroLink’s case, this means it is basically an interconnector between the UK and The Netherlands, that also connects wind farms on the route to the shore.

  • Coastal communities get less disruption, as the number of connecting cables coming ashore is reduced.
  • Less space is needed onshore for substations.
  • Electricity from the wind farms can be directed to where it is needed or can be stored.

As an Electrical and Control Engineer, I like the MPI approach.

The technology to implement the MPI approach is very much tried and tested.

There are many references to EuroLink terminating at Friston.

Nautilus

Nautilus has a web site, where this is said.

Nautilus could connect up to 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind to each country through subsea electricity whilst connecting to offshore wind farm/s at sea. By combining offshore wind generation with interconnector capacity between the UK and Belgium, Nautilus would significantly reduce the amount of infrastructure and disruption required both onshore and offshore.

With this new technology, we hope to reduce the impact of infrastructure on local communities and the environment, as well as support the government’s net zero and energy security targets. We are already working closely with other developers in the area to coordinate activities and minimise impact on local communities. We believe that through improved coordination, the UK government can achieve and support the co-existence of renewable energy with coastal communities.

Nautilus is another MPI.

This is said on the web site.

Last year, National Grid Ventures ran a non-statutory consultation for Nautilus, which proposed a connection at Friston.

NGV holds a connection agreement on the Isle of Grain in Kent as part of its development portfolio and we are currently investigating if this could be a potential location for Nautilus. Until this is confirmed to be technically feasible, Nautilus will be included as part of our coordination work in East Suffolk.

So it looks like, Nautilus could connect to the UK grid at Friston or the Isle of Grain.

Sea Link

Sea Link has a web site, and is a proposed interconnector across the Thames Estuary between Suffolk and Kent.

This is said on the web site about the need for and design of Sea Link.

The UK electricity industry is evolving at pace to help lead the way in meeting the climate challenge, whilst also creating a secure energy supply based on renewable and low carbon technologies.

The demands on the electricity network are set to grow as other sectors of the economy diversify their energy consumption from using fossil fuels towards cleaner forms, the move towards electric vehicles being just one example.

Where we’re getting our power from is changing and we need to change too. The new sources of renewable and low-carbon energy are located along the coastline. We need to reinforce existing transmission network and build new electricity infrastructure in these areas in order to transport the power to where it’s needed. This is the case along the whole of the East Coast including Suffolk and Kent.

To allow this increase in energy generation, we need to reinforce the electricity transmission system. Sea Link helps to reinforce the electricity network across Suffolk and Kent.

Our proposals include building an offshore high voltage direct current (HVDC) link between Suffolk and Kent with onshore converter stations and connections back to the national electricity transmission system.

On the web site, in answer to a question of What Is Sea Link?, this is said.

Sea Link is an essential upgrade to Britain’s electricity network in East Anglia and Kent using subsea and underground cable. The proposal includes approximately 130km of subsea cables between Sizewell area in East Suffolk and Richborough in Kent. At landfall, the cables would go underground for up to 5 km to a converter station (one at each end). The converter station converts direct current used for the subsea section to alternating current, which our homes and businesses use. A connection is then made to the existing transmission network. In Suffolk, via the proposed Friston substation; in Kent via a direct connection to the overhead line between Richborough and Canterbury.

Note, that from Kent electricity can also be exported to the Continent.

All Cables Lead To Friston In Suffolk

It looks like EuroLink, Nautilus and Sea Link could all be connected to a new substation at Friston.

But these will not be the only cables to pass close to the village.

This Google Map shows the village.

Running South-West to North-East across the map can be seen the dual line of electricity pylons, that connect the nuclear power stations at Sizewell to the UK electricity grid.

Has Friston been chosen for the substation, so that, the various interconnectors can be connected to the power lines, that connect the Sizewell site to the UK electricity grid.

This would enable EuroLink, Nautilus and/or Sea Link to stand in for the Sizewell nuclear stations,  if they are shut down for any reason?

It does appear from reports on the Internet that the Friston substation is not welcome.

Exploring Opportunities For Coordination

The title of this section is a heading in the EuroLink web site, where this is said.

In response to stakeholder feedback, NGV’s Eurolink and Nautilus projects and NGET’s Sea Link project are exploring potential opportunities to coordinate. Coordination could range from co-location of infrastructure from different projects on the same site, to coordinating construction activities to reduce potential impacts on local communities and the environment.

That sounds very sensible.

 

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