The Anonymous Widower

The Story Behind The Concrete Panels On The Elizabeth Line.

These are a selection of the pictures I took yesterday inside Elizabeth Line stations.

Note.

  1. The walls and ceilings appear to be covered in light grey panels with holes.
  2. The material appears to look like concrete.
  3. Every one is a totally different shape, so how were they manufactured?

This article on Ian Visits is entitled How Crossrail Is Using 3D-Printing To Build Its Stations.

This is the two opening paragraphs.

When you start to use the new Elizabeth line stations, among its many achievements will be the first large scale use of 3D-printing in concrete.

The use of 3D printing has made possible one of the more distinctive features of the future Elizabeth line stations — the curved concrete panels that will line the inside of the passenger tunnels and some stations, and sinuously glide around corners in a way never seen before in a tube station.

There will be a total of something like 36,000 of these panels and although printing each in concrete is possible, Crossrail would probably have been delivered in the 2040s or 2050s.

The contractors used an innovative process called FreeFAB, which had been invented by an Australian architect.

  • The process creates a wax mould for each panel using 3D printing.
  • This mould is then used to create the actual panel.
  • After each panel is cast, the wax is melted off and recycled.
  • The panels are made in a factory in Doncaster.

We will see a lot more of this technique used in the construction industry.

May 25, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Twiggy Save The World?

This article on the Sydney Morning Herald is entitled ‘No One’s Married To Coal’: How Forrest Is Taking On The World To Save The Climate.

The article is the story of Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Damascene conversion to hydrogen.

 

These three paragraphs sums up Andrew Forrest‘s vision and ambitions.

Forrest’s companies, including its mining arm, Fortescue, and its green energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries, would be net zero by 2030. This would necessitate inventing and then developing hydrogen-powered trucks, trains and ships. This way the mining operation would avoid burning up to a billion litres in diesel a year.

The project would include the construction of vast solar and wind power stations in the Pilbara that would create green hydrogen to first fuel the trains, trucks and ships of the iron ore empire and then for export to a clean-energy starved world. The electrolysers needed to make the hydrogen for the early phases of the plan would be built by a vast new factory in Queensland, that itself would double the global supply of the machines.

Hydrogen would soon become the world’s largest shipborne trade. The Fortescue revolution would occur at a blistering pace set by the demands of addressing global warming, and it would be done for profit, to remove the excuses of governments and businesses that objected to ambitious climate action.

Note.

  1. How many other companies are intending to be net-zero by 2030?
  2. Certainly not many Chinese, German or Russian companies.
  3. And how many companies have planned to achieve net-zero at a profit?

If Forrest achieves his ambitions, the world will be a much better place.

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Armoured Vehicles For Ukraine

I have just listened to extracts of the press conference by Boris and Olaf on the BBC and there was talk of boxers.

Not the Mayor of Kyiv, the admirable Vitali Klitschko, but the German-produced armoured fighting vehicle.

Looking at the Wikipedia entry for the Boxer, it states that up to 1500 Boxers for the British Army will start to be delivered from an updated BAe factory in Telford this year, for entry into service in 2023. So with two factories in Europe and another in Australia, will this allow older armoured vehicles to be passed on to Ukraine?

Australia has already stated they will send the Ukraine twenty of their thousand Bushmasters.

Perhaps we could send Ukraine some Mastiffs.

April 9, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Andrew Forrest Snaps Up Pilbara And Gascoyne Cattle Stations For Green Energy Production

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This is the first paragraph.

Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has continued his land acquisition in Western Australia, purchasing another three cattle stations in the state’s north-west to generate renewable energy.

These are some points for the article.

  • Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries has purchased three cattle stations in northern WA
  • The stations will continue to run stock, and contribute to the production of green energy
  • FFI says it is looking at other parts of WA to acquire land for similar projects
  • The energy created will be used to decarbonise Andrew Forrest’s mining operations by 2030.
  • A renewable hub of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels will be created, which will generate 5 GW of energy.
  • The possibility of offshore energy is mentioned.
  • There is no mention of energy storage.

I have a few thoughts.

For A Reliable 5 GW Of Energy, Storage Is Surely Needed

I would think that this is probably understood by Fortescue Future Industries and given their ambitions for hydrogen, this must surely be part of an energy storage strategy.

Will Hydrogen Be Exported By Fortescue Future Industries From Australia?

I would expect this depends on three things.

  • How much green energy is generated.
  • The energy needs of Andrew Forest’s mining companies.
  • How much hydrogen can be sold in Australia.

Fortescue Future Industries will certainly have the market, if they have a surplus.

How Much Energy Will Fortescue Future Industries Generate Per Hectare?

This paragraph from the article gives useful information.

The hub would consist of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels across Emu Creek and Uaroo Stations, in a development envelope of more than 65,000 hectares of land and a disturbance footprint of more than 10,000 hectares.

  • If you look at the 65,000 hectares, as the area of the renewable energy hub, 0.77 MW is generated per hectare.
  • If you look at the 10,000 hectares, as the area of the renewable energy hub, 0.5 MW is generated per hectare.
  • If you look at Shell’s Scotwind E2 lease, that is 2 GW in 86,000 hectares, where 0.023 MW is generated per hectare.

So on a brief look Australia is a more efficient place for renewable energy, than the seas around the UK.

Conclusion

Andrew Fraser is developing a more detailed plan.

April 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fortescue And E.ON To Supply Europe With Green Hydrogen

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd. of Australia and E.ON SE, energy giant from Germany, have teamed up to supply green hydrogen to Europe. This strategy is meant to help the EU to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

These are other points from the article.

  • FFI intends to supply five million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2030.
  • The hydrogen will be produced by renewable hydrogen in Australia.
  • E.ON will handle the distribution.
  • Five million tonnes is about a third of Germany’s energy imports.

I have some further thoughts.

How Much Energy Is Needed to Produce Five Million Tonnes Per Year Of Hydrogen?

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

55.2 MWh/tonne is 55.2 kWh/kg.

To produce five million tonnes of hydrogen will need 55.2 * 5.000,000 / 10 MWh.

  • This is 27,600,000 MWh or 27,600 GWh.
  • It works out at an average of 75.6 GWh per day or 3.15 GWh per hour.

This article on vox is entitled The Economic Limitations Of Wind And Solar Power, where this is said.

“Capacity factor” refers to how often a power plant runs and thus how much power it produces relative to its total potential (capacity). Nuclear power plants in the US run around 90 percent of the time, so they have a 90 percent capacity factor. On average, the capacity factor of solar ranges anywhere from 10 to just over 30 percent. For wind, it ranges from 20 to just over 50 percent, averaging around 34 percent in the US.

If FFI is using solar to generate electricity in Australia, I suspect that the capacity factor will be around twenty percent at best.

So will FFI need around 16 GW of solar power to satisfy the supply to Germany?

The Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Australia gives a good insight into its capability of providing the 16 GW of energy needed. This statement is key.

Using solar to supply all the energy needed would use less than 0.1% of land.

It does look that Australia could provide Germany with some of the hydrogen it needs.

Would It Be Cheaper To Produce The Hydrogen In The North Sea?

This is probably heresy to Andrew Forrest, who is the Australian billionaire behind Fortescue Future Industries.

Consider.

  • North Sea Hydrogen could be piped to Germany.
  • Australia and Germany would probably need transfer by liquid hydrogen tanker.
  • Electrolysers would need to be used to create hydrogen from renewable energy in both Australia and the North Sea.
  • Floating wind farms in the North Sea could be more efficient than solar in Australia, as the capacity factor is higher.

We obviously won’t know until both wind and solar technologies are fully developed.

Will There Be Price Competition Between Australian And North Sea Hydrogen?

It does appear that Andrew Forrest believes in research and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his company developing ideas that drop the price of solar-produced hydrogen.

Research and good engineering on both sides will also drop prices, so I suspect price competition will occur.

Will Fortescue Future Industries Develop North Sea Hydrogen?

Given the ambition being shown by Andrew Forrest to be the Hydrogen King, I wouldn’t be surprised if he joined the streams of international investors in the North Sea, who are developing wind farms.

Conclusion

Go! Aussie! Go!

 

 

April 2, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Australian Start-Up Eyes Disused Mine Shafts For Giga-Scale Gravity Energy Storage

Thye title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Renew Economy.

This is the first paragraph.

A newly launched Australian start-up has unveiled its own take on gravitational energy storage technology that will use super-heavy weights in legacy mine shafts to capture and release energy, with around 3GWh of potential storage capacity already identified for development.

Note.

  1. The company is called Green Gravity.
  2. I can’t find a web site.

The idea seems very much like Gravitricity.

Gravitricity’s ideas may be patented.

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

Hysata – Electrolyser Breaks Efficiency Records, Enabling World-Beating Green Hydrogen Cost

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

These three paragraphs explain what Hysata have achieved.

Hysata – electrolyser breaks efficiency records, enabling world-beating green hydrogen cost.

Hysata’s world-leading hydrogen electrolyser technology has been recognised on the global stage with ground-breaking research published in top tier peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Communications.

The research confirms Hysata’s ‘capillary-fed electrolysis cell’ can produce green hydrogen from water at 98% cell energy efficiency, well above International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) 2050 target and significantly better than existing electrolyser technologies, enabling a hydrogen production cost well below A$2/kg (US$1.50/kg).

Note.

  1. Hysata are an Australian company.
  2. The research and its results have have met the gold standard of pier review in a respected journal.

Their efficiency levels would appear to be breathtaking.

I have some more information and a couple of thoughts.

The Technology

This article on New Atlas is entitled Record-Breaking Hydrogen Electrolyzer Claims 95% Efficiency, gives a full overview of the technology.

It does appear that Hysata have shown tremendous attention to detail to raise the efficiency.

The Efficiency

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

55.2 MWh/tonne is 55.2 kWh/kg.

Hysata are claiming on their web site, that their electrolysers have 95% efficiency, which is 41.5 kWh/kg.

  • A megawatt of electricity at Herne Bay will produce 18.1 Kg of hydrogen.
  • A megawatt of electricity in a Hysata electrolyser will produce 24.1 Kg of hydrogen.

That is 33 % more.

 

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , | 2 Comments

Gelion Claims Zinc-Bromine Gel Batteries Will Replace Lithium-Ion

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Battery technologies are evolving at a rapid pace—and for good reasons. With the automotive world moving toward electrification, companies need to find solutions for producing electric vehicles on a massive scale. While lithium-ion battery technology rules the roost today, that isn’t stopping firms from developing the next big leap forward.

From solid-state power units to structural batteries to sci-fi-worthy quantum batteries, there’s no shortage of ideas and concepts. However, the Australian company Gelion Technologies believes it found a more affordable and durable approach with its zinc-bromine gel battery. Unlike lithium-ion units, the material found in Gelion’s design isn’t rare, expensive, or potentially flammable.

It’s yet another development coming out of Australia.

March 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Fortescue Future Industries And Airbus Join Forces To Help Decarbonise Aviation

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Fortescue Future Industries.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Global green hydrogen company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and Airbus, a world leader in aeronautics, have joined forces to create a working alliance to help enable the aviation industry to decarbonise through zero-emissions green hydrogen.

Today’s announcement reflects FFI’s and Airbus’ shared ambition to leverage their respective expertise to support the entry-into-service of a green hydrogen-based aircraft by 2035. Green hydrogen, unlike other forms of hydrogen, is made from water using 100 per cent renewable electricity.

I think this is a smart move by Airbus.

It could be argued that hydrogen trucks, buses, cars, vans and other road vehicles have not taken off at a great rate due to the lack of hydrogen filling stations.

Hydrogen airliners travelling on typical routes will probably need refuelling at both ends of the route and possibly several times per day, so hydrogen refuelling would be an important part of any deal Airbus signs with an airline.

Fortescue Future Industries seem to be in prime position to be the first global hydrogen company, so they must be the ideal hydrogen fuelling partner.

I don’t think anybody predicted, when Airbus published the possible designs of their concepts for hydrogen-powered aircraft in September 2020, that I wrote about in ZEROe – Towards The World’s First Zero-Emission Commercial Aircraft, that an Australian company would be likely to provide the hydrogen fuel for these aircraft.

March 8, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Friendly Concrete

I was alerted to this product by this article on New Civil Engineer, which is entitled Keltbray Saves Carbon And Money With Earth Friendly Concrete On East London Job.

The article gave enough clues to find the Earth Friendly Concrete home page.

This is the introduction on the page.

We want to have a positive impact on the environment and supply our customers with an excellent product, that is why we created Earth Friendly Concrete ® by Wagners. It is a concrete that uses no ordinary Portland cement, instead using a geopolymer binder system made from the chemical activation of two industrial waste by-products – blast furnace slag (waste from iron production) and fly ash (waste from coal fired power generation). Our product has ZERO Portland cement and it has a much lower embodied energy compared to ordinary concrete, saving 250kg of CO2 for every cubic metre poured. Importantly, the engineering and construction properties of this environmentally friendly concrete is, in some areas, better than normal concrete. EFC has some significant performance advantages over normal Portland cement concrete, including improved durability, lower shrinkage, earlier strength gain, higher flexural tensile strength and increased fire resistance.

On this page, which is entitled About EFC, this said about the products Environmental Excellence.

EFC is a new class of concrete that contains NO ordinary Cement. Globally, the production of 1 tonne of Portland Cement produces 1 tonne of CO₂ emissions and is responsible for 5 to 8% of manmade greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of cement, EFC has a geopolymer binder that is made from the chemical activation of two recycled industrial wastes, flyash and slag. This recycled binder reduces the CO₂ emissions associated with Portland cement by 80 to 90%.

Every m3 of 40 MPa EFC saves 220kg CO₂ emissions.

Wagners, the company behind the development, are based in Queensland. Australia.

So it’s a case of Well Done The Aussies!

They have appointed Capital Concrete, to deliver Earth Friendly Concrete in the London area.

Conclusion

Does High Speed Two and other large projects that will need large amounts of concrete, know about this development?

 

March 4, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment