The Anonymous Widower

Hydrogen Train To Be Demonstrated In Québec

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

These two paragraphs outline the project.

An Alstom Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell multiple-unit is to operate demonstration passenger services on the Chemin de fer de Charlevoix from June 17 to September 30.

The return service along the St Lawrence River between Parc de la Chute-Montmorency on the outskirts of Québec City and Baie-St-Paul is being organised by the province, short line operator Chemin de fer Charlevoix, tourist train operator Train de Charlevoix, hydrogen production technology company HTEC and Harnois Énergies, which will produce the green hydrogen at its Québec City site.

The Train de Charlevoix runs along the St. Lawrence River and is described on the web site as a unique experience.

I have felt for some time, that one of the uses of zero-carbon trains is as tourist trains, on quiet lines, where noise is probably not welcome.

It might even change the future of some lightly-used lines.

 

February 3, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

First Offtake Deal Signed For 500MW/4,000MWh Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage Project In California

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

These three paragraphs explain the deal.

Advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) company Hydrostor has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for one of its flagship large-scale projects in California.

Central Coast Community Energy, one of California’s several dozen Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) non-profit energy suppliers, has signed a 200MW/1,600MWh energy storage PPA with a 25-year term with Toronto-headquartered Hydrostor for its Willow Rock Energy Storage Center.

That’s just under half of the output and capacity of the planned 8-hour, long-duration energy storage (LDES) facility, which is designed to be 500MW/4,000MWh. This is its first offtake deal, but the company is in discussion for others to take the rest of the plant’s available resource.

The article says that Hydrostor aim to have the plant online by 2028.

This segment describes their current projects.

It is currently working on large-scale projects with around 9GWh storage capacity in total across two sites in California as well as another in Australia.

Together with Willow Rock in Kern County, Hydrostor is developing the 400MW/3,200MWh Pechos Energy Storage Center in San Luis Obispo County, California, and the 200MW/1,500MWh Silver City Energy Storage Center in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

On its UK Projects page, Highview talks about a 200MW/2.5GWh facility in Yorkshire, which puts the two companies in similar markets, with Hydrostor appearing to have slightly larger systems under development.

Conclusion

It will be interesting to see how this technology progresses and which company does best in what is a very large energy storage market.

January 14, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 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

Cummins Fuel Cell Technology Powers Coradia iLint Fleet In Germany

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Green Car Congress.

This is the first paragraph.

Cummins is powering the world’s first fleet of hydrogen trains in Bremervörde, Lower Saxony, Germany. The Alstom Coradia iLint trains (earlier post) are outfitted with Cummins fuel cell systems and will run on the world’s first 100%-hydrogen train route in passenger operation. The first zero-emissions passenger trains in the 14-train fleet arrived in mid-summer.

I rode  the prototype in March 2019 and wrote My First Ride In An Alstom Coradia iLint.

I took this picture at the time.

Note.

  1. The new fleet seem to have a slightly different front end with a snow plough, and a new colour scheme.
  2. According to the article, the Cummins fuel cell systems were assembled in Germany.

I have a few thoughts.

Cummins Fuel Cells

I must admit, I was a bit surprised to see that Cummins fuel cells are being used, as most other companies seem to be using Ballard.

But, having worked with Cummins on diesel engine testing and seen their thoroughness, I’m sure that their fuel cells will do a good job.

Is The Cummins Choice About Marketing?

Consider.

  • Alstom has manufactured or assembled trains for the US market at Hornell, New York.
  • Cummins is a large United States company.
  • United States and Canadian railways are standard gauge, like most of Europe.
  • United States and Canadian railways have a lot of track mileage without electrification.
  • United States and Canadian railways use right hand running as does Germany.
  • The Coradia iLint doesn’t need any electrification.
  • The Coradia iLint has a range of 600–800 kilometres (370–500 mi) on a full tank of hydrogen.

I suspect that a German-specification, Coradia iLint might be possible to run in the United States and Canada, with only a different interior and signage.

If you are an Alstom train salesman in the United States, selling a commuter train to American cities and transit authorities, must be easier if the train has a substantial United States content.

I don’t think Cummins will be worried that the smart new train has their fuel cells, as it might help convert truck, van and car drivers to Cummins hydrogen technology.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn, that Alstom got a premium deal from Cummins.

Are Hydrogen-Powered Trains Suited To North America?

Consider.

  • There is a lot of track without electrification.
  • Distances are long, which makes electrification expensive.
  • Providing hydrogen for trains should be no more difficult than in Europe.
  • In my experience hydrogen trains are a better passenger experience than diesel, in terms of noise and vibration.

I suspect that Alstom/Cummins could sell a lot of hydrogen-powered trains in the North America.

 

August 28, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sustainable Marine Delivers Floating Tidal Power To Nova Scotia Grid

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

This is the first paragraph.

Ocean energy pioneer Sustainable Marine has successfully harnessed the enormous tidal currents in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, delivering the first floating in-stream tidal power to Nova Scotia’s grid.

This Google Map shows the Bay Of Fundy.

Note.

  1. The hydrology of the Bay of Fundy has the highest tidal range in the world of sixteen metres, against a worldwide average of about a metre.
  2. According to the Renewable Energy Magazine article, Nova Scotia has allocated circa 30MW of capacity via demonstration permits.
  3. The article also indicates that up to 2.5 GW of clean and predictable energy for Canada could be generated.
  4. By comparison Hinckley Point C nuclear power station will generate 3.26 GW.

The Bay of Fundy would be the largest tidal power station in the world.

But this list in Wikipedia gives these proposed tidal power stations.

There are another two Russian proposals and a South Korean one.

Note.

  1. There are some large numbers.
  2. There are also some huge ambitions and massive budgets.

But will we ever see large scale tidal power stations?

 

May 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Amp Wins Consent For 800MW Scots Battery Complex

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Canadian storage player Amp Energy has revealed that its 800MW battery portfolio in Scotland has secured planning consent.

The portfolio is due to be operational in April 2024 and will comprise two 400MW battery facilities, each providing 800 megawatt-hours of energy storage capacity.

Some other points from the article.

  • The two facilities will be located at Hunterston and Kincardine.
  • They will be the two  largest grid-connected battery storage facilities in Europe.
  • The two batteries will be optimised by Amp Energy‘s proprietary software.

This Google Map shows the Hunterston area.

Note.

  1. The Hunterston A and Hunterston B nuclear power stations, which are both being decommissioned.
  2. Hunterston B only shut down on the 7th of January, this year.
  3. There is also a large brownfield site in the North-East corner of the map.

This second Google Map shows the South-East corner of the nuclear power station site.

It’s certainly got a good grid connection.

But then it had to support.

  • The Hunterston A nuclear power station rated at 360 MW.
  • The Hunterston B nuclear power station rated at 1.2 GW.
  • The Western HVDC Link, which is an interconnector to Connah’s Quay in North Wales, that is rated at 2.2 GW.

I’m sure that National Grid has a suitable socket for a 400 MW battery.

This Google Map shows the Kincardine area.

Note.

  1. The Clackmannanshire Bridge down the Western side of the map.
  2. The Kincardine Substation to the East of the bridge close to the shore of the River Forth.
  3. The 760 MW Kincardine power station used to be by the substation, but was demolished by 2001.

As at Hunterston, I’m sure that National Grid could find a suitable socket for a 400 MW battery.

Amp Energy’s Philosophy

As a trained Control Engineer I like it.

  • Find a well-connected site, that can handle upwards of 400 MW in and out.
  • Put in a 800 MWh battery, that can handle 400 MW in and out.
  • Optimise the battery, so that it stores and supplies electricity as appropriate.
  • Throw in a bit of artificial intelligence.

Old power station sites would seem an ideal place to site a battery. Especially, as many demolished coal, gas and nuclear stations are around 400-600 MW.

It should be noted that Highview Power are building a 50 MW/400 MWh CRYOBattery on an old coal-fired power station site in Vermont.

The Western HVDC Link

I mentioned earlier that the Northern end of the Western HVDC Link, is at Hunterston.

The Wikipedia entry for the Western HVDC Link, says this about the link.

The Western HVDC Link is a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) undersea electrical link in the United Kingdom, between Hunterston in Western Scotland and Flintshire Bridge (Connah’s Quay) in North Wales, routed to the west of the Isle of Man.[2] It has a transmission capacity of 2,250 MW and became fully operational in 2019.

The link is 262 miles long.

This Google Map shows the Connah’s Quay area in North Wales.

Note.

  1. The red arrow indicates the Flintshire Bridge HVDC converter station, which is the Southern end of the Western HVDC Link.
  2. The Borderlands Line between Liverpool and Chester, runs North-South to the East of the convertor station.
  3. To the East of the railway are two solar farms. The Northern one is Shotwick Solar Park, which at 72 MW is the largest solar farm in the UK.
  4. To the West of the converter station, just to the East of the A 548 road, is the 498 MW Deeside power station.
  5. Follow the A548 road to the West and over the River Dee, the road passes South of the 1420 MW Connah’s Quay Power station.
  6. The two power stations burn gas from Liverpool Bay.
  7. There are a lot of wind turbines along the North Wales Coast and Liverpool Bay.

The map also shows a lot of high electricity users like Tata Steel.

I can certainly see why the Western HVDC Link was built to connect Scotland and North Wales.

  • There is a lot of renewable energy generation at both ends.
  • There are heavy electricity users at both ends.
  • The Scottish Central Belt is at the North.
  • Greater Merseyside is at the South.

The Western HVDC Link is an electricity by-pass, that must have avoided expensive and controversial construction on land.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see another 400 MW/800 MWh battery at the Southern end.

Conclusion

The Canadians seem to have bagged two of the best battery sites in Europe.

  • Both sites would appear to be able to handle 400 MW, based on past capabilities.
  • There is lots of space and extra and/or bigger batteries can probably be connected.
  • Scotland is developing several GW of wind power.

I can see Amp Energy building a series of these 400 MW sites in the UK and around Europe.

This is the big news of the day!

 

January 26, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Goldman Sachs Invests $250 million In Hydrostor To Advance Compressed Air Energy Storage Projects

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The investment is planned to support development and construction of Hydrostor’s 1.1GW, 8.7GWh of Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage projects that are well underway in California and Australia, and help expand Hydrostor’s project development pipeline globally.

It certainly seems that the big beasts of finance are starting to back innovative energy storage.

January 11, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Locomotive From Canadian Pacific To Roll Out Before 2022

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

This is said.

The hydrogen fuel cell locomotive consists of an SD40-2F, which was converted to run on H2 power and is therefore nicknamed the H2 0EL. The company is calling it a “hydrogen zero-emissions locomotive”, and it will be operating under its own power before the end of this month, according to Canadian Pacific CEO Keith Creel.

Note that the SD40 locomotive is a diesel-electric locomotive of which 1286 were built around 1970.

Canadian Pacific have made this video, which was kindly pointed out by Alan.

The video seems to indicate that the converted locomotive will be able to continue to do the same duties as the original diesels, which have a power output of 2,240 kW.

Interestingly, power output seems to be of the same order as that of a Class 66 locomotive, so could a similar conversion by used with these locomotives?

December 11, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Australian Mining Giant Looks To Canada For Green Hydrogen Projects

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Globe And Mail.

These are the first two paragraphs.

An Australian mining giant has signed agreements with three Canadian Indigenous nations to determine the viability of building green hydrogen projects as the company attempts to reinvent itself as a supplier of clean renewable energy.

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) sees Canada as potentially one of the largest sources of renewable energy in the world and is hoping to develop multiple large-scale green energy projects here.

The article indicates quite a lot about the future direction of FFI.

I certainly think the company is going the right way.

December 3, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Locomotives Ready To Take Over Freight Rail Systems

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

The article describes how Canadian Pacific are developing hydrogen-powered freight locomotives.

They are converting a couple of locomotives to run on hydrogen and also building two hydrogen plants; one for green hydrogen and one for blue.

It does look that the Canadians are determined to get it right, so are looking at everything they can.

The article is certainly worth reading.

November 4, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment