The Anonymous Widower

The First North American Commercial Hydrogen Ferry Is In The Works

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

The 84-passenger ferry will be called Sea Change and will operate in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What is interesting about this project are some of the companies and organisations involved, who include BAe Systems, Cummins and the California Air Resources Board, who are chipping in with a $3 million grant.

I’ve said before that Cummins are making investments in hydrogen and modern, reliable and eco-friendly ferries across iconic rivers and estuaries wouldn’t harm the companies involved in their creation.

This page on the Switch Maritime gives more details of the Sea Change.

Ferries Across The Mersey

The current Mersey Ferries in Liverpool entered service in the 1960s.

These pictures shows Snowdrop, when she had been given a razzle-dazzle paint scheme by Sir Peter Blake.

Note.

  1. There is more about this colour scheme in the Wikipedia entry for Dazzle Ship (14-18 NOW).
  2. Snowdrop is much larger than the Californian ferry
  3. Mersey Ferries are different and the current pair will need to be replaced soon.

To me, hydrogen is the obvious choice for propulsion for a new ferry.

Freeport East

Freeport East is a new freeport to be built around the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe.

It will also be a hydrogen hub, as this infographic shows.

I would expect that the ferry between the two ports will be upgraded to a hydrogen one.

Conclusion

Ferries will be one of the first application of hydrogen power to ships.

 

June 5, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gigawatt-Scale Compressed Air: World’s Largest Non-Hydro Energy-Storage Projects Announced

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

This is the opening paragraph.

The two 500MW/5GWh ‘advanced’ compressed-air projects in California would each be bigger than the current record holder.

They are certainly not small. On the Electric Mountain scale of energy storage, they are both 55 %.

Both appear to be from Canadian company; Hydrostor and will be built in California.

This explanatory video is from the company.

It appears to be a rather elegant solution.

Like Highview Power, the system appears to be based on proven process technology, is zero-carbon, can be built almost anywhere and doesn’t require large amounts of land.

Hydrostor is definitely one to watch.

My only worry about both Hydrostor and Highview systems, is that countries, who don’t recognise patents and design copyrights could develop other systems based on similar physical principles.

 

April 30, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

Tesla And PG&E Are Working On A Massive ‘Up To 1.1 GWh’ Powerpack Battery System

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

For the past few months, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have been teasing a giant battery project that would dwarf even the company’s 129 MWh Powerpack project in Australia.

Today, we learn that Tesla is working with PG&E on a massive battery system with a capacity of “up to 1.1 GWh” in California.

It certainly, is a big lithium-ion battery.

  • It will be able to provide 182.5 MW for four hours.
  • It looks like it could be the largest  lithium-ion battery in the world.

It is worth comparing with the Castaic Power Plant, which is also in California.

  • This is a pumped storage plant.
  • It can produce 1566 MW and has a capacity of 12470 MWh.

This Google Map shows the plant.

Note.

  1. The power plant is also part of the California State Water Project, which transfer water from North to South.
  2. The low-lake is Elderberry Forebay to the East.
  3. The high-lake is Pyramid Lake to the North.

It is a complicated system that includes the Angeles Tunnel, which takes water between Pyramid Lake and the Castaic power plant.

It cost a lot more than the 1.1 GWh battery, but it can generate a lot more power.

 

April 5, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

Solar Canals Already Competitive With Ground-Mounted PV

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

U.S. researchers have assessed the technical and economic feasibility of solar canals in California and have found that their LCOE is already close to that of ground-mounted solar plants. Three different project configurations were analyzed for eight different sites across the California network of canals.

It is a fascinating concept and is already been tried in India.

But apparently, California has the world’s largest network of canals.

Unlike the French system of Floatovoltaics, which I wrote about in Understanding Floatovoltaics, they don’t float the panels on the water, but suspend them with cables or trusses.

But like the French system, they do cut down evaporation.

March 24, 2021 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | 1 Comment

BNSF and Wabtec Commence Battery-Electric Locomotive Pilot Test In California

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) and Wabtec’s (NYSE: WAB) exploration of the future potential of battery-electric locomotives crosses another significant milestone this week as they begin testing the technology in revenue service between Barstow and Stockton, California. As BNSF seeks ways to further reduce its environmental impact, the advancement of battery technology offers some possible solutions.

“We’ve got everything in place and we’re ready to see how this next-generation locomotive performs in revenue service,” said John Lovenburg, BNSF vice president, Environmental. “BNSF is focused on continuing to reduce our environmental impact, and we’re committed to doing our part to test and assess the commercial viability of emerging technologies that reduce emissions.”

They have also released this video.

It certainly seems to work.

January 14, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Waste-to-Hydrogen Project Set For California

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

A California company that produces renewable hydrogen has joined with a Louisiana construction group on a project to build a modular waste-to-hydrogen production facility.

These are some further points.

  • The Californian company; Ways2H, also has a project in Japan.
  • They aim to setup a pipeline of projects in 2021.
  • The California Energy Commission has said the state is short of green hydrogen.
  • The process can use paper and plastic waste or municipal solid waste.
  • They can also handle medicinal waste.
  • The systems appear to be transportable.

This paragraph is from the article.

Kindler said his company could produce “white hydrogen,” because the company’s process, which uses very high temperatures to turn waste plastics, wood, rubber and other biomass into gas and a carbon solid, can be used to sequester carbon dioxide and store it underground.

It looks to me, that if they make this system work, they will have found an alternative way to make hydrogen, by a zero-carbon method.

Conclusion

Could we see one of these plants in every local authority in the world to process all their waste into hydrogen?

I suspect in Ways2H’s plan for world domination, this is one of their objectives.

October 7, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | 2 Comments

Reclassify Hydropower Now – As Renewable Energy

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

It is written by a politician and details the mess California seems to be in over energy policy.

In the UK and Europe in general, hydro-electric power is generally considered to be renewable.

But not always in California, where environmentalists are against dams. So in the last heatwave, California was importing hydropower from places like the Hoover Dam.

We must get our policies and definitions right on what is and what isn’t renewable energy.

August 21, 2020 Posted by | Energy | , , | Leave a comment

Developer 8minute Says More Than 24GWh Of Batteries Included In Its US Solar-Plus-Storage Pipeline

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

What caught my eye was the 24 GWh!

When you consider that the biggest battery in the UK is Electric Mountain, which has a capacity of 9 GWh, 24 GWh of batteries is a large number!

It will need a lot of solar panels to keep that amount of batteries brim-full.

This is a sentence from the article.

The company’s projects include the Eland Solar & Storage Center, which will comprise 400MWac of PV and 300MW / 1,200MWh of battery energy storage, currently under construction in California’s Mojave Desert.

Those are big numbers against the UK’s largest solar park at Shotwick in Wales, which is just 72.2 MW.

June 15, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment

MSU Research Leads To North America’s First Commercial Hydrogen-Powered Train

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Research from Michigan State University’s Center for Railway Research and Education (CRRE) contributed to the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s (SBCTA) decision to order the first commercial hydrogen-powered train for use in North America.

These statements were also made.

  • The research was conducted in partnership with the Birmingham CRRE and Mott MacDonald.
  • Funding was from the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).
  • The trains will be built by Stadler, probably in their US factory.

There is also a picture of the hydrogen-powered Flirt in the article, and it is very similar in formation to a Class 755 train, with a PowerPack in the middle.

The picture shows a Class 755 train at Norwich station.

The article indicates that hydrogen-power was chosen, as the rail line may be extended by sixty miles to Los Angeles.

Conclusion

After reading the full article, it certainly looks like San Bernardino County Transportation Authority have planned their new railway in a very professional way.

 

 

December 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

US Hydrogen Train Contract Awarded

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Southern California’s San Bernardino County Transportation Authority has awarded Stadler a contract to supply a Flirt H2 hydrogen fuel cell powered multiple-unit to enter passenger service in 2024, with an option for a further four units.

The train follows the layout of Greater Anglia’s Class 755 train, with a power-pack in the middle.

The project was originally called the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, but it has now been renamed Arrow.

Stadler’s press release gives the following details.

  • Two cars and a central power-pack.
  • 108 seats and standing spaces.
  • Operating speed of 79 mph.
  • Entry into passenger service in 2024.

It looks to me, that Stadler are not being over-ambitious with their offering to the Californians.

But imagine replacing the diesel power-pack of a Class 755 train on the Felixstowe and Sudbury branches with a hydrogen power-pack!

Conclusion

Stadler could have designed the ideal train for branch lines!

Consider London Bridge and Uckfield.

  • The train could use third-rail electrification on the 21 miles between London Bridge and Hurst Green.
  • The train would use hydrogen on the 25 miles between Hurst Green and Uckfield

The train would need an appropriate sized hydrogen tank.

Could the required hydrogen tank, fuel cells, batteries and gubbins be fitted in a power-pack in the middle, which would not need any diesel engines.

This picture shows a visualisation of an Alstom Breeze train based on a Class 321 train.

The hydrogen tank, fuel cells, batteries and gubbins are in the blocked off area at the right end of the train.

  • As cars on a Class 321 train are twenty metres long, I estimate that the hydrogen section is about eight metres long.
  • Stadler’s power-packs are 6.69 metres long.

Efficient design should mean that a hydrogen engine with a range of several hundred miles could be installed in a Stadler Firt H2.

Stadler’s unusual design with the power-pack or engine in the middle is looking good.

 

 

 

 

 

November 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment