The Anonymous Widower

Equipmake Hybrid To Battery Powered LT11

The bus in this video from Public Transport UK, may look like any of the thousand New Routemasters on the streets of London.

But it’s not, as it’s been given a transmission transplant by Equipmake of Snetterton in Norfolk.

The observant amongst you will notice, it has a refurbished interior, as I wrote about in My First Ride In A Refurbished New Routemaster.

There is also this press release from Equipmake, which is entitled Equipmake Showcases Sector-Leading Repower Technology With Fully-Electric New Routemaster Bus.

Some points from the press release.

  • Equipmake’s cutting-edge Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED), uses a 95% British-built component content.
  • With pre-service trials already started in London, operated by Metroline, the electric version of the New Routemaster will continue to be assessed over the next six months.
  • The repowered New Routemaster, developed by Equipmake at its base in Snetterton, Norfolk, features a 400kWh battery enabling an expected in-service range of 150 miles – more than enough for a day’s running.
  • The development of the all-electric New Routemaster has come about thanks to a programme part funded by the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
  • Over the coming months, Equipmake will be trialling additional repowered buses with other bus operators across the UK.
  • Featuring an advanced water-glycol cooling circuit, the system has the added benefit of providing interior heating during cold conditions with captured thermal energy.
  • When the battery is depleted at the end of a complete duty cycle, it can be recharged at the depot overnight via a CSS DC charging point.

But this is the bit I really like.

Under the skin, the New Routemaster also features Equipmake’s HTM 3500 electric motor. Seamlessly integrated into the prop shaft without the need for a separate transmission, the motor is precisely engineered to meet the demanding requirements of a fully-laden double-decker bus by producing 3,500Nm torque at a motor speed of just 1,000rpm and delivering 400kW maximum power.

It sounds a bit like a modern reincarnation of a TASC unit (torque and speed control unit), which was an industrial drive from the 1960s, used to precisely control industrial machines. I never used one, but I worked in a section at Enfield Rolling Mills, that did.

One car manufacturer of the time, was using them as an automatic transmission for a small car. It might have been Hillman.

A Comparison With The Wrightbus Streetdeck Electroliner BEV

The Wrightbus Streetdeck Electroliner BEV is the company’s latest electric double decker bus and a comparison can be made.

Seats

Equipmake LT11 – 87

Electroliner BEV – 96

Battery Size

Equipmake LT11 – 400 kWh

Electroliner BEV – 340 or 454 kWh

Range

Equipmake LT11 – 150 miles

Electroliner BEV – 200 miles with 454 kWh battery.

Conclusion

This New Routemaster, is certainly no ordinary electric bus.

With Lotus just up the road, the engineering is certainly Normal for Norfolk!

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Government Boosts Hydrogen Buses With £26m

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

A Northern Irish bus company is receiving £26 million in funding to build electric and hydrogen buses.

Wrightbus built the world’s first hydrogen double-decker bus in 2020 and is now looking to export its zero-emission buses worldwide to Australia, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

Other points from the article include.

  • Wrightbus are aiming to build 3,000 zero-emission buses.
  • Jobs could increase by 300.
  • They would like to increase exports by 40 %.

It looks like there’s a future in zero-emission buses.

 

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

BP To Charge Up Vehicle Battery Research

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Times.

This is the title on a stock picture at the top of the page.

BP, whose profits benefited from soaring oil and gas prices, plans to invest heavily in research to develop solutions to help to decarbonise the transport sector.

I’m unsure about the picture, but it could be a number of buses or trucks connected to a large battery.

This press release on the BP web site, is the original source for The Times article and it is entitled BP To Invest Up To £50 million In New Global Battery Research And Development Centre In Britain.

The press release starts with these bullet points.

  • bp continuing to invest in the UK, with new investment of up to £50 million for new electric vehicle battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in Pangbourne.
  • Aims to advance development of engineering, battery technology and fluid technology and engineering into new applications such as electric vehicles, charging and data centres.
  • New facilities at its Castrol headquarters and technology centre expected to open in 2024, supporting the technology, engineering and science jobs housed there today.

I find these sentences interesting.

new applications such as electric vehicles, charging and data centres

This sentence is a bit of a mess as electric vehicles are not new, charging is well established and what have data centres got to do with batteries.

I have a friend, who runs a large fleet of electric buses and charging is a problem, as getting the required number of MWhs to the garage can be a problem in a crowded city.

But could it be, that BP are thinking of a battery-based solution, that trickle-charges when electricity is affordable and then charges buses or other vehicles as required, throughout the day?

I believe that a battery based on process engineering like Highview Power’s CRYOBattery could be ideal in this situation.

  • Effectively, the bus garage or transport parking would have its own high capacity battery-powered charging network.
  • The storage capacity of the battery would be geared to the daily charge load of the vehicles.
  • It would reduce the cost of electricity to the operator.

Such a battery might also be ideal to power a battery charging station.

I don’t know much about data centres, except that they need a lot of electricity.

Would driving data centres from a battery, that was trickle-charged overnight mean that the cost of electricity was reduced?

bp today unveiled plans to invest up to £50 million (around $60 million) in a new, state-of-the-art electric vehicle (EV) battery testing centre and analytical laboratory in the UK

There are a lot of battery ideas in the pipeline, so will one of the tasks be to find the best batteries for BP’s needs?

The site already undertakes research and development of fuels, lubricants and EV fluids and aims to become a leading hub for fluid technologies and engineering in the UK

You don’t think of lubricants being associated with electric vehicles, but obviously BP thinks it’s a serious enough topic to do some research.

The new facilities will help advance the development of leading fluid technologies and engineering for hybrid and fully battery electric vehicles, aiming to bring the industry closer to achieving the key tipping points for mainstream electric vehicle (EV) adoption.

This is self-explanatory.

Castrol ON advanced e-fluids manage temperatures within the battery which enables ultra-fast charging and improves efficiency, which help EVs to go further on a single charge and extend the life of the drivetrain system

Lubrication helps the world go round.

In addition, the advanced e-fluid technologies and engineering can be applied to other industries such as thermal management fluids for data centres where demand is rising exponentially

This is an interesting application and it will become increasingly important.

The growth of EV fluids is a huge opportunity, and we aim to be the market leader in this sector

I didn’t realise that EV fluids were so important.

The press release says this about the current status.

Two thirds of the world’s major car manufacturers use Castrol ON EV fluids as a part of their factory fill and we also supply Castrol ON EV fluids to the Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E team.

This press release on the Castrol web site is entitled CASTROL ON: Range Of Advanced E-Fluids For Mobility On Land, Sea And In Space.

This is the Castrol ON E-Fluids home page.

Where Will BP Need Batteries?

I can see the following applications are in BP’s sight from this press release.

  • Charging fleets of buses and trucks at their garage.
  • Powering battery-charging stations at filling stations.
  • Providing uninterruptable electricity feeds.
  • Powering data centres.

I will give a simple example.

Suppose a bus company wants to electrify the buses in a town.

  • They will have thirty double-deck buses each with a 500 kWh battery.
  • Wrightbus electric buses charge at 150 kW.
  • Charging all buses at the same time would need 4.5 MW
  • Each bus will need to be charged overnight and once during the day.
  • This means the bus company will need 30 MWh of power per day.
  • The largest wind turbines today are around 12 MW and have a capacity factor of 30 %.
  • A single turbine could be expected to generate 86 MWh per day.

It looks to me, that a battery in the garage which could provide an output of 5 MW and had a capacity of 100 MWh would link everything together and support the following.

  • A fleet of thirty buses.
  • All buses charged overnight and at one other time.
  • A 12 MW wind turbine.
  • Power for the offices and other facilities.
  • The battery would provide backup, when there is no wind.
  • There would also be a mains connection to the battery for use, when the wind turbine failed.

The size of the battery and the turbine would depend on the number of vehicles and how often, they were to be charged.

BP could replace diesel sales to the bus or transport company, with leasing of a zero-carbon charging system.

Simple systems based on one or two wind turbines, solar panels and a battery would have several applications.

  • Charging fleets of buses and trucks at their garage.
  • Powering battery-charging stations at filling stations.
  • Providing uninterruptable electricity feeds.
  • Powering data centres
  • Powering farms
  • Powering new housing estates
  • Powering factories

I can see this becoming a big market, that big energy companies will target.

Are BP planning to develop systems like this, as many of those, who might buy a system, are already their customers?

Choosing the best batteries and designing the system architecture would appear to be within the remit of the new Research Centre at Pangbourne.

Supporting Wind Farms

BP could certainly use a 2.5 GW/30 GWh battery at each of the three large wind farms; Mona, Morgan and Morven, that they are developing in the Irish Sea and off Aberdeen. These wind farms total 5.9 GW and a battery at each one, perhaps co-located with the offshore sub-station could mean that 5.9 GW was much more continuous.

The wind farms would be like virtual nuclear power stations, without any nuclear fuel or waste.

It would also mean that if the wind farm wasn’t needed and was told to switch off, the electricity generated could be stored in BP’s battery.

How many of BP’s other developments around the world could be improved with a co-located battery?

Process Technology

I am very keen on Highview Power’s CRYOBattery, but I do think that some parts of the design could benifit from the sort of technology that BP has used offshore and in the oil industry.

So will BP’s new battery research include offering advice to promising start-ups?

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

Rolls-Royce To Develop mtu Hydrogen Electrolyser And Invest In Hoeller Electrolyser

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

These are the three main points in the press release.

  • Holdings in start-up companies in northern Germany secure Rolls-Royce Power Systems access to key green hydrogen production technology.
  • Electrolysis systems for several megawatts of power.
  • First demonstrator in 2023 using a Hoeller stack.

This is the introductory paragraph to the deal.

Rolls-Royce is entering the hydrogen production market and acquiring a 54% majority stake in electrolysis stack specialist Hoeller Electrolyzer, whose innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from its Power Systems division. Hoeller Electrolyzer, based in Wismar, Germany, is an early-stage technology company that is developing highly efficient polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) stacks, under the brand name Prometheus, for the cost-effective production of hydrogen.

This page on the Hoeller Electrolysis web site gives details of Prometheus.

  • Hoeller are planning small, medium and large electrolyser modules, the largest of which is rated at 1.4 MW.
  • Load changes of between 0 and 100 % within seconds.
  • Cold start capability.
  • It will produce 635 Kg/day.
  • They are talking of a cost of 4€/Kg.

It all sounds good to me.

This paragraph is from the press release.

Founded in 2016, Hoeller Electrolyzer has positioned itself, with Prometheus, as one of the few highly specialized expert players in the field of high-efficiency PEM electrolysis stacks. Its founder, Stefan Höller, has more than a quarter of a century’s experience of developing electrolysis technology and has already registered 14 patents connected with Prometheus. Particularly high efficiency is promised by special surface technologies for the bipolar plates which significantly reduce the use of expensive precious metals platinum and iridium as catalysts, as well as increased output pressure.

I know a small amount about electrolysis and feel that Rolls-Royce may have got themselves a high-class deal.

Rolls-Royce’s large German presence in companies like mtu, will also help to smooth any doubts about the deal.

This paragraph indicates a shared belief.

Rolls-Royce and Hoeller Electrolyzer are united by a shared belief in the opportunity of zero-carbon energy – both for power supply and the propulsion of heavy vehicles. With decades of experience and systems expertise, Rolls-Royce is going to develop a complete electrolyzer system and has a global sales and service network, which opens up the potential for significant worldwide sales.

But perhaps, this is the most significant paragraph of the press release.

Armin Fürderer, who heads up the Net Zero Solutions business unit of Power Systems, said: “We’re going to launch electrolyzers with several megawatts of power right from the start. A total output of over 100 megawatts is conceivable by combining several electrolyzers.”

A quick search of the Internet, indicates that 100 MW is the size of the world’s largest electrolysers.

Applications

I can see applications for these large electrolysers.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems

This is a sentence from the press release.

Hoeller Electrolyzer, whose innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from its Power Systems division.

The Rolls-Royce Power Systems web site, has this mission statement.

The Power Systems Business Unit of Rolls-Royce is focused on creating sustainable, climate neutral solutions for drive, propulsion and power generation.

In Rolls-Royce Makes Duisburg Container Terminal Climate Neutral With MTU Hydrogen Technology, I describe one of Rolls-Royce Power Systems projects.

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

This is the first sentence.

Rolls-Royce will ensure a climate-neutral energy supply at the container terminal currently under construction at the Port of Duisburg, Germany.

There is also this Rolls-Royce graphic, which shows the energy sources.

It would appear batteries,  combined heap and power (CHP), grid electricity, hydrogen electrolyser, hydrogen storage and renewable electricity are being brought together to create a climate-neutral energy system.

Note.

  1. The system uses a large hydrogen electrolyser.
  2. I suspect the hydrogen will be generated by off-peak electricity and local renewables.
  3. Hydrogen will probably power the container handling machines, ships, trucks, vehicles and other equipment in the port.

Hydrogen appears to be used as a means of storing energy and also for providing motive power.

I would suspect, the ultimate aim is that the port will not emit any carbon dioxide.

Other ports like Felixstowe and Holyhead seem to be going the hydrogen route.

Refuelling Hydrogen Buses and Charging Electric Buses

If you look at the Duisburg system, I can imagine a similar smaller system being used to refuel hydrogen buses and charge electric ones.

  • The hydrogen electrolyser would be sized to create enough hydrogen for a day or so’s work.
  • Hydrogen would be generated by off-peak electricity and local renewables.
  • If an operator bought more buses, I’m certain that the architecture of the electrolyser would allow expansion.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells would boost the electricity supply, when lots of buses needed to be charged.
  • Any spare hydrogen could be sold to those who have hydrogen-powered vehicles.
  • Any spare electricity could be sold back to the grid.

It should be noted that manufacturers like Wrightbus have developed a range of hydrogen and electric buses that use the same components. So will we see more mixed fleets of buses, where the best bus is assigned to each route?

I have used buses as an example, but the concept would apply to fleets of cars, trucks and vans.

Green Hydrogen

Large efficient electrolysers will surely be the key to producing large quantities of green hydrogen in the future.

It appears that about 55 MWh is needed to produce a tonne of green hydrogen using existing electrolysers.

The Hoeller electrolyser appears to be about 53 MWh, so it is more efficient.

Green Hydrogen From An Onshore Wind Farm

If you look at the average size of an onshore wind farm in the UK, a quick estimate gives a figure of 62 MW. I shouldn’t expect the figure for much of the world is very different, where you ignore the gigafarms, as these will distort the numbers.

An appropriately-sized electrolyser could be added to onshore wind farms to provide a local source of hydrogen for transport, an industrial process or a domestic gas supply for a new housing estate.

A single 5 MW wind turbine with a capacity factor of around 30 % would produce around 680 Kg of green hydrogen per day.

Green Hydrogen From An Offshore Wind Farm

There are basic methods to do this.

Put the electrolyser onshore or put the electrolyser offshore and pipe the hydrogen to the shore.

I think we will see some innovative configurations.

In ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm, I described how Magnora ASA are developing the ScotWind N3 wind farm.

The floating turbines surround a concrete floater, which in the future could contain an electrolyser and tankage for hydrogen.

The ScotWind N3 wind farm is designed to be a wind farm rated at 500 MW.

I can see an electrolyser on the floater, of an optimal size to make sure all electricity is used.

Pink Hydrogen

Pink hydrogen, is zero-carbon hydrogen produced using nuclear-generated electricity.

There are industrial processes, like the making of zero-carbon chemicals, concrete and steel, that will require large quantities of zero-carbon green or pink hydrogen.

Rolls-Royce are developing the Rolls-Royce SMR, which will be a 470 MW small modular nuclear reactor.

One of these placed near to a steel works and coupled to one or more 100 MW electrolysers could provide enough zero-carbon electricity and hydrogen to produce large quantities of zero-carbon green steel.

Manufacturing

Rolls-Royce and their subsidiaries like mtu, seem to be extensive users of advanced manufacturing techniques and I would expect that they can improve Hoeller’s manufacturing.

Research And Development

The press release says this about the founder of Hoeller.

Its founder, Stefan Höller, has more than a quarter of a century’s experience of developing electrolysis technology and has already registered 14 patents connected with Prometheus.

If Rolls-Royce can develop and support Stefan Höller and his team, development could easily go to a higher level.

Conclusion

I think that Rolls-Royce have taken over a company, that will in the end, will design excellent efficient electrolysers.

 

 

 

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Planned Trip To Belfast

I’m thinking about going over to Belfast for a couple of days to have a look at the transport systems in the city and the wider Northern Ireland.

I have several things, I would like to do.

  • Ride in the latest Wrightbus hydrogen and battery-electric buses.
  • Ride in a Glider. I also intend to go to Pau to ride in a hydrogen-powered version of these Van Hool Equicity articulated buses, but Belfast is nearer.
  • Perhaps, if I have enough time, I’ll visit a few touristy bits.
  • Do a bit of research into offshore wind farms in Northern Ireland.

Has anybody got any advice?

 

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

UK On Track To Reach 4,000 Zero Emission Bus Pledge With £200 Million Boost

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

These are the main points of the press release.

  • Nearly 1,000 more zero-emission buses to be funded in towns and cities across the country, bringing the total funded in England to 2000 so far under this government.
  • A further 600 zero-emission buses have been funded in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Comes as consultation launched on ending sale of all new non-zero emission buses from 2025 to 2032.
  • Government continues taking unprecedented action to hit net zero and level up transport across the country.

Areas to get the new buses include.

  • Blackpool
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hertfordshire
  • Norfolk
  • North Yorkshire
  • Nottingham
  • Oxfordshire
  • Portsmouth
  • South Yorkshire
  • West Midlands
  • West Yorkshire
  • York

I would also like to see the government fund trials for the conversion of suitable buses to zero carbon. I certainly believe that London’s New Routemaster buses could be converted to hydrogen.

 

 

March 27, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 7 Comments

106 Solaris Zero Emission Buses Headed To ÖBB Postbus’ Fleet In Austria

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

This is the body of the story.

Up to 106 zero emission buses are headed to Austria, where ÖBB Postbus is going to deploy them starting from 2022 – 2025. Solaris has signed another framework agreement with the Austrian bus company Österreichische Postbus AG. It stipulates a possibility to deliver up to 106 battery-electric and hydrogen buses that would be deployed throughout Austria. The models offered include Urbino 9 LE electric and Urbino 12 hydrogen buses.

Solaris Bus and Coach is a Polish company, that is a subsidiary of CAF.

March 5, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Beast In Your Electric Bus

This article on electrive.com is entitled BAE Systems Takes Orders For 340 Hybrid Drive Systems.

This is the first paragraph.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has selected BAE Systems to supply up to 340 hybrid electric drive systems for its new fleet of low emission transit buses. BAE Systems will provide 220 electric drive systems to New Flyer of America, with an option for 120 additional systems, over the next three years.

The article also reveals that the company is working with AlexanderDennis.

The system appears to be hydrbid, with a lot of intelligent choosing of when to use a polluting engine.

February 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Riding The Latest Alexander Dennis Electric Double-Decker Bus

This morning, I had a first ride in one of the latest Alexander Dennis electric double-decker buses.

 

Note.

  1. The bus is definitely an improvement on previous electric models, that I have ridden on routes 43 and 212.
  2. Bus route 63 goes between Kings Cross and Honor Oak.
  3. If you want to go South from King’s Cross, the bus is caught at Stop D in front of the station.
  4. I’ve never seen a bus before with a wooden floor. Was it real or fake?
  5. The stop buttons were in the back of the seat in front. I’ve never seen this before.
  6. The are charging points for mobile phones.

Overall the standard of finish seemed high, but then it was in the new Wrightbus hydrogen buses I’ve ridden lately.

 

February 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Equipmake & Beulas Join Forces With Go-Ahead London: In-Service Trials Of New Double Deck Electric Bus To Begin Q1 2022

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on the the Equipmake web site.

I was alerted to the bus by an item on BBC Breakfast this morning. It was before seven, so it should be easy to find on iPlayer.

These two paragraphs describe the bus.

Designed and developed in the UK, Equipmake’s Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) offers operators three modular battery pack options of up to 543kWh ­– the largest capacity battery of any two-axle double decker electric bus in the world. This delivers an unmatched electric driving range of up to 300 miles, which is more than sufficient to ensure the Jewel E can easily complete an entire duty cycle without the need to stop and recharge. Equipmake’s modular design enables operators the flexibility to scale the amount of battery throughout the life of a bus future-proofing it for a range of routes and distances.

The Jewel E is set to be manufactured in 2022 at an all-new facility in Norfolk. The vehicle body is produced by Beulas in Girona, Spain, a company with more than 87 years of experience in the sector. The vehicle chassis has been specifically designed for the Equipmake Zero Emission Drivetrain (ZED) by Agrale in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a leading truck and Bus chassis manufacturer established in 1962.

Apparently, there’s a lot of Formula One expertise in the design.

January 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments