The Anonymous Widower

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

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 | Transport/Travel, Energy | , , , , , | 4 Comments

National Grid Bets On Surge Pricing And Electric Cars To Avoid Another Energy Crisis

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

These are the first few paragraphs.

With wind supplies forecast to be low and other energy sources offline, a power crunch was looming by teatime the next day.

A call for help went out on a Tuesday afternoon and at 4.30pm on the Wednesday, electric car drivers plugged in special chargers to export power from their car batteries back to the grid, as part of a trial run by Ovo Energy.

Their efforts in November 2020 may have amounted to only a tiny portion of the power needed on that day, but it was a taste of things to come.

Cars and other devices will be both a source of electricity demand and a helpful tool to keep the lights on as the UK tries to build a much greener energy system at the least expense.

It is as the article says the shape of things to come.

I also believe that long-term car parking at places like airports will become storage batteries in the future. You will tell your car, when you will be returning and it will be fully charged to drive home, when you arrive. If you are running late, you would probably use an app to tell your car the new arrival time.

These developments will all be part of the Internet of Power.

February 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 1 Comment

Glencore & Strategic Partner Britishvolt Strengthen Relationship And Agree To Build Battery Recycling Ecosystem In The UK

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Glencore is proud to have entered an industry-leading battery recycling joint venture with strategic partner and battery pioneer Britishvolt, the UK’s foremost investor in battery cell technologies and R&D.

The joint venture will develop a world-leading ecosystem for battery recycling in the UK. This ecosystem will be anchored at a new recycling plant located at the Britannia Refined Metals operation (BRM-located in Northfleet), a Glencore company. BRM will continue with its current production and trading operations.

These appear to be some of Glencore’s objectives for the project.

  • They intend to recycle a minimum of 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries per year, including but not limited to valuable battery manufacturing scrap, portable electronics batteries and full EV packs.
  •  They intend to recycle Britishvolt’s scrap.
  • They intend to be up and running by mid-2023.
  • They intend to be 100 % powered by renewable energy in the longer term.

It all seems admirable.

These are my thoughts.

Britannia Refined Metals

This Google Map shows the Britannia Refined Metals site at Northfleet.

Note.

  1. Britannia Refined Metals is indicated by the red arrow.
  2. The Port of Tilbury is on the other side of the Thames.

This second Google Map shows the site in more detail.

Note.

  1. It is not a very large site.
  2. There doesn’t appear to be much space for expansion.
  3. They appear to have a wharf on the river.

I’ve found this company video from the 1980s on the Internet.

They do seem to have developed a sophisticated process for recycling lead-acid batteries.

Renewable Energy

There are these offshore wind farms in the Thames Estuary.

Two of these could be extended.

I am sure that there could be more space in the Thames Estuary for more wind power.

Recycling Batteries

I have found this article on the BBC, which is entitled As The World looks To Electrify Vehicles And Store Renewable Power, One Giant Challenge Looms: What Will Happen To All The Old Lithium Batteries?.

This is the third paragraph.

While this may sound like the ideal path to sustainable power and road travel, there’s one big problem. Currently, lithium (Li) ion batteries are those typically used in EVs and the megabatteries used to store energy from renewables, and Li batteries are hard to recycle.

The article talks about possible solutions.

  • Don’t treat the batteries as disposable.
  • Increasing the number of batteries recycled from the measly five percent.
  • Automate the recycling process, which currently is labour intensive.
  • Give the cathode, anode and other parts a second life in new batteries, by refurbishment.
  • Batteries that degrade on command.

But the idea, I like is described in this paragraph from the article.

The next step for scientists pushing direct recycling of Li batteries forward is working with battery manufacturers and recycling plants to streamline the process from build to breakdown.

In context with the tie-up between Glencore and Britishvolt, you can imagine engineers from both companies, getting together to improve the design of the battery, so that manufacturing and recycling of batteries are two mutually efficient and complimentary processes.

I can also see some very sophisticated logistics systems being developed to return batteries to an approved recycler, who may be in another country.

But then we are dealing with something that could have a substantial value.

Deals Between Battery Manufacturers And Recyclers

I can see more deals like this between battery manufacturers and recyclers.

  • It could reduce the cost of batteries.
  • It could impress governments seeking to reduce the about of batteries going into landfill.
  • It would reduce the amount of new metals to be mined.

It may even help, in the protection of intellectual property rights, that are concerned with battery manufacture and recycling.

A Second Similar Glencore Deal

There is also a second deal about battery recycling mentioned in a press release on the Glencore web site, which is entitled Glencore & Managem Set Up Partnership For Moroccan Production Of Cobalt From Recycled Battery Materials.

  • The press release was issued only a few days before the one announcing the deal with Britishvolt.
  • It is for 12,000 tonnes of recycling.
  • The press release mentions renewable power.

I do wonder, if Glencore or one of their companies has developed a new process.

February 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shell’s New Filling Station For Electric Cars

I took these pictures of Shell’s new filling station for electric cars in Fulham, yesterday.

It’s got eleven chargers, a Little Waitrose and a Costa Coffee. What more couple Fulham want?

I’m surprised the Council allowed a Costa!

February 1, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Fortescue Buys Williams Engineering In Major Push Into High Performance Batteries

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

This is the opening paragraph.

Fortescue Future Industries has made its first major push into battery storage and high performance batteries with the $A310 million purchase of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), the offshoot of the Formula 1 specialists Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

Andrew Forrest certainly has a wide-ranging plan.

This article on Railway Gazette is entitled Formula 1 Technology Company To Support Development Of Battery Train, was published later and gives more details.

This is the first paragraph.

Fortescue Metals Group’s green technology division Fortescue Future Industries is developing what it says is a ‘world leading’ battery electric train concept.

It will be interesting to see what technologies are at the heart of the ‘world leading’ concept.

If you are controlling a complex chemical or nuclear plant, you will often have a model of the plant inside the control system, so that the operating strategy can be consistently optimised.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see techniques like this and other advanced techniques be used to reduce the carbon footprint of rail transportation of iron ore and other minerals.

Perhaps, the ideal power for one of these heavy haul trains would consist of a master battery-electric locomotive up front with the crew, assisted by up to three hydrogen-, diesel- or battery-powered slaves.

  • All braking would be regenerative to battery.
  • Power would be called for from the slave locomotives as required.
  • Modelling would determine, if some sections needed electrification to charge the batteries.

I suspect there are opportunities to optimise round trips, as returning the empties will surely need less power.

 

 

 

January 24, 2022 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Volkswagen Transformation Boosts Spending On Electric Vehicles

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

This is the first paragraph.

Volkswagen plans to increase its spending for battery-powered electric vehicles by about 50 per cent to €52 billion by 2026 as part of the carmaker’s far-reaching transformation.

That is a lot of euros.

This is a statement from their Chief Executive; Herbert Diess

We are becoming a battery manufacturer, a charging infrastructure manager, software is playing a more dominant role . . . We are developing new business activities with an unbelievable dimension for us.

Vehicle manufacturers must either change or die.

December 10, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Is This One Of The Most Significant Pages On The Internet?

The page is Rolls-Royce’s List Of Press Releases.

On July 8th, 2021, the company issued this press release, which is entitled Rolls-Royce Welcomes All-Electric Ground Support From Jaguar Land Rover For All-Electric Flight Speed World Record Attempt.

This is the opening paragraph.

Rolls-Royce’s all-electric aircraft the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ will take to the skies for the first time in the coming weeks as we work towards a world-record attempt with a target speed of 300+ MPH (480+ KMH). This exciting project will be carbon neutral and to support this ground-breaking innovation Jaguar Land Rover is loaning all-electric zero emission Jaguar I-PACE cars as towing and support vehicles.

This picture shows Spirit of Innovation and one the Jaguar I-PACE cars together in this Rolls-Royce picture

They make an interesting pair.

There is a full analysis of the plane in this article on CleanTechnica, which is entitled Rolls-Royce Attempting 100% Electric Aircraft Speed Record, Jaguar I-PACE Offering Ground Support.

The Jaguar can even tow the plane.

Unusual.

Also on On July 8th, 2021, the company issued this press release, which is entitled Rolls-Royce And Cavendish Nuclear Sign Delivery And Manufacturing Partnership Agreement For SMR Programme.

Another world-class company has joined the small modular nuclear reactor programme.

I have feelings, that this could be the start of something small and incredibly powerful!

Conclusion

I suspect Rolls-Royce have lots of useful research sitting in their archives. We should all follow, what they doing.

July 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Complex Web At Sunderland

This article on the BBC is entitled Nissan Announces Major UK Electric Car Expansion.

This is the first few paragraphs.

Nissan has announced a major expansion of electric vehicle production at its car plant in Sunderland which will create 1,650 new jobs.

The Japanese carmaker will build its new-generation all-electric model at the site as part of a £1bn investment that will also support thousands of jobs in the supply chain.

And Nissan’s partner, Envision AESC, will build an electric battery plant.

I think there is more to this than meets the eye!

We wait several years for a battery gigafactory to come along and then two come along in a month or two; Blyth and Sunderland. On television today, a BBC reporter talked of eight possible battery gigafactories in the UK.

Lithium Supply

Where do they all think the lithium will come from, as some say there’s a world-wide shortage?

The only explanation, is that the UK government and the gigafactory owners have bought into a secure source of lithium, that is convenient for or easily transported to the North-East.

I am very suspicious that Cornish Lithium or British Lithium have found something bigger than anybody expected.

The numbers don’t add up otherwise!

Lithium Refining

On the other hand, it appears that lithium needs a lot of electricity to extract the metal from the ores, as electrolysis is used.

But with all the windpower being developed off the North-East Coast, there could be more than enough to refine the lithium.

Remember too, that lithium has applications in defence and aerospace applications, when alloyed with magnesium and aluminium.

So could a substantial lithium refining capability be built in the North-East?

The Chinese View

In The Times, Lei Zhang, who is chief executive of Envision also said he liked our masses of offshore wind power, so perhaps the Chinese want to produce green batteries in Sunderland after refining the lithium in the North-East?

Conclusion

We probably need battery-electric cars built from green steel, fitted with green batteries and charged with green electricity.

Is the Gigawatts of offshore wind electricity in the North-East luring the battery and car makes to the area.

Could we also see green steel manufacturing on Teesside?

 

July 1, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Ford F150 Lightning Could Travel A Thousand Miles On Hydrogen

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

I have no interest in buying any vehicle, let alone a big American pickup.

But I found the article an interesting comparison between a battery-powered vehicle and what could be done with hydrogen.

They feel that the hydrogen-powered vehicle will have a longer range, a better towing capability and have better climate-control.

June 5, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , | 2 Comments