The Anonymous Widower

Nightmare On The Buses

The title of this post, is not the title of a horror remake of the popular 1970s-sitcom’ On The Buses, but a description of my journeys on a 141 bus today.

Until, last Friday, I had two buses; the 21 and 141 to take between my house and Moorgate, which is an important destination for me.

  • There is a large Marks and Spencer food store there, where I regularly buy the gluten-free food, I must have as a coeliac.
  • There is a LEON there, where I regularly have my gluten-free breakfast.
  • Moorgate station is a good transport interchange from which I regularly start journeys over London.

But now there is only one bus; the 141.

In November 2021, I wrote The Great Bus Robbery, where I said this.

What is TfL’s latest crime?

The 21 and 271 buses are going to be combined into a new route between Lewisham and Highgate, which will go nowhere near the Balls Pond Road.

So we’ll just have the one bus route to the City of London.

On past form, if TfL say they will increase the frequency, I wouldn’t believe them.

This was my conclusion.

We will need the 21 bus to provide us with a route to Crossrail, as the 141 buses will be full.

The 21 bus is needed where it is and mustn’t be stolen.

Note that Crossrail is now called the Elizabeth Line.

Today, I made three journeys between my house and Moorgate station and this is what happened.

Journey 1 – Southbound

I arrived at the bus stop and after five minutes a 141 bus arrived.

But it was full and didn’t open the door to let any of the waiting six passengers board.

After another three minutes, another 141 bus arrived and we squeezed on.

But there wasn’t any seats left and I stood all the way to Moorgate.

Journey 2 – Northbound

I only had my breakfast and as I had things to do at home, I returned fairly quickly after finishing my breakfast.

Partly, this was also because a 141 bus turned up with some seats available.

But it was a lot closer to capacity, than Northbound buses at about the same time last week.

Journey 3 – Northbound

My third journey started at about four in the afternoon, after I’d been out to take some pictures and buy a few food items in Marks and Spencer.

I had to wait seven minutes for a 141 bus and as there was a 76 bus a couple of minutes in front of it, I took that, with the intention of changing halfway.

I was able to get a seat.

In the end, the 76 bus got stuck in traffic and I walked to my intended change stop and waited there for the 141 bus, which was without a seat, so I stood for three stops to home.

It was one of the slowest journeys, I’d had between my house and Moorgate station.

Day 2 – February 7th – 2023

I arrived at the bus stop and found a lady, who had been waiting for an hour-and-a-quarter.

I had no problem coming home, as I went to Liverpool during the day and got a taxi back from Euston.

Day 3 – February 8th – 2023

Perhaps, they’d heard our pleas, but a bus turned up after a couple of minutes with plenty of spare space.

I even got a seat.

Going home, at about 10, there wasn’t a spare seat.

Revenue per bus, is certainly rising.

Conclusion

On the evidence of the first three day, it appears that there is not enough capacity without the 21 bus.

February 6, 2023 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Could The Giant Station At Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument And Moorgate Be Considered A Superhub?

In Is The City Of London Moving Towards One Giant Station?, I showed how the four stations were being drawn together and developed as one large station that served the heart of the City of London.

London is also developing other large interchange stations that could claim because of their connectivity could be classed as London superhub stations.

  • Canary Wharf stations, which connect the Elizabeth and Jubilee Lines, and the Docklands Light Railway.
  • Old Oak Common station, which could bring together the Central, Chiltern and Elizabeth Lines, the London Overground and High Speed Two.
  • Stratford station, which connects the Central, Elizabeth and Jubilee Lines, the Docklands Light Railway, the London Overground, High Speed One and the Great Eastern Main Line.
  • Whitechapel station, which connects the Circle, District, Elizabeth and Hammersmith & City Lines, and the London Overground.

But what are the  characteristics of a superhub station?

A Lot Of Lines And Services

Obviously, it must have a lot of lines and services, so perhaps Clapham Junction station is the original superhub station.

All Lines Should Have Step-Free Access

This surely, goes without saying.

There Should Be Lots of Information

If the station is large it needs a lot of information and there’s probably the space to put it.

Helpful Staff

Should we have a fully-staffed kiosk at superhub stations, as there are at some main line stations?

Good Bus Connections

Bus connections at a superhub station must be comprehensive and probably connect to other superhubs.

There Should Be A Selection Of Shops For Travellers

I do my daily food and other shopping, as I travel around London. I’ll often use a station like Paddington with a good selection of shops.

Toilets

There are not enough public toilets in London.

Cash Machines

I know we’re using less cash, but a large station is a secure place to put a cash-machine.

Works Of Art

I also believe that railway stations are a secure place to put some of those large bronze sculptures and other works of art, that are currently locked away in the storerooms of galleries.

January 29, 2023 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is The City Of London Moving Towards One Giant Station?

Bank and Monument Stations

When I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, there used to be an anomaly shown on Harry Beck’s iconic London  Tube Map, that stood out as a bit different.

It was between Bank and Monument stations and was marked as an Escalator Connection, which connected the Northern Line at Bank to the District and Circle Lines at Monument.

This link was opened in 1933 and has its own section in Wikipedia labeled Monument Link, 1933.

This link has been joined by more tunnels, lifts and escalators over the last eight decades.

  • In 1960, the Waterloo & City Line was connected to the main entrance of Bank station by two moving walkways.
  • In 1991, the Docklands Light Railway was extended to the complex, with escalators to both the Bank and Monument entrances to the station complex.
  • In November 2018, the new Bloomberg or Wallbrook entrance to the station opened, and I wrote about it in The Bank Station Walbrook Entrance Opened Today.

Bank and Monument stations have been developing as a pair of twin stations for eighty years.

The latest phase of the Bank Station Upgrade has added the following to the complex.

  • A new and much large Southbound platform for the Northern Line.
  • A moving walking between the Northern Line at Monument station and the Central Line at Bank station.
  • Escalators between the Central Line and the Bank station end of the new moving walkway.
  • Escalators between the Northern Line and the Docklands Light Railway.

The upgrade will be completed by a new entrance to the station complex on Cannon Street.

This Google Map shows the area of the station.

Note.

  1. The main Bank station entrance the top of the map, by the Bank of England with multiple entrances to the station.
  2. The main Monument entrance in the South-East corner of the map.
  3. The Cannon Street entrance will be in the triangle formed by Abchurch Lane, Cannon Street and King William Street.
  4. The Wallbrook entrance is under the Wallbrook Building.

The station has spread over a wide area, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more entrances in the future.

Liverpool Street And Moorgate Stations

This Google Map shows Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.

Note.

  1. The green space is Finsbury Circus Gardens.
  2. Moorgate station is to the West on the A501 or Moorgate.
  3. Liverpool Street station is to the East on the A10 or Bishopsgate.

There is now a tunnel between the two stations, as part of the double-ended Liverpool Street Elizabeth Line station.

The drawing from Crossrail shows a cross-section of the Liverpool Street Elizabeth Line station.

Note.

  1. Moorgate station is on the left.
  2. Liverpool Street station is on the right.
  3. In the middle looking like a giant juicer is the ventilation shaft in Finsbury Circus.
  4. The Crossrail tunnels, which consist of two running tunnels and a pedestrian walkway between them are at the deepest level.
  5. There are escalators and lifts all over the place.

If it’s raining it’s a good way between the two stations.

The Rail Lines At Liverpool Street And Moorgate Stations

These routes serve the two stations.

  • National Rail – Liverpool Street to Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk
  • National Rail – Moorgate to North London and Hertfordshire
  • Central Line – Liverpool Street
  • London Overground – Liverpool Street to North-East London and Hertfordshire
  • City, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines – Liverpool Street and Moorgate
  • Elizabeth Line – Liverpool Street and Moorgate
  • Northern Line – Moorgate

Note.

  1. The Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines have separate stations and platforms in both Liverpool Street and Moorgate.
  2. The Elizabeth Line station at Liverpool Street is a double-ended station with entrances in both the original Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations.
  3. You can walk between Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations using the connecting tunnel of the Elizabeth Line station.
  4. Both Liverpool Street and Moorgate stations are well-served by buses.

These connections mean that if you arrive in either of Liverpool Street or Moorgate and need to leave from the other main station, you can catch a train on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines for one stop or walk through the Elizabeth Line tunnel or on the surface.

The Triangle Of Lines In The City Of London

The City of London effectively has three main Underground stations, that connect to all the important lines through the City.

  • Bank/Monument station connects to the Central, Circle, District and Northern Lines
  • Liverpool Street station connects to the Circle, Elizabeth, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern Lines.
  • Moorgate station connects to the Central, Circle, Elizabeth, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines.

All three stations have direct Underground connections.

  • Bank and Liverpool Street via Central Line.
  • Monument and Liverpool Street via Circle Line.
  • Bank and Moorgate via Northern Line.
  • Monument and Moorgate via Circle Line.
  • Liverpool Street and Moorgate via Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines.

Note.

  1. All interconnecting services are frequent.
  2. The Circle at six trains per hour (tph) is the least frequent
  3. The connections at Bank have much improved recently, due to the Bank Station Upgrade.

It is also possible to walk between the three stations.

In Where The City Of London Leads The Rest Will Follow!, I laid out the plans of the City of London to cut vehicles in the City, impose a 15 mph speed limit and improve cycling and walking routes.

If all goes to plan, then this will open up more routes between the three stations.

Conclusion

Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument and Moorgate will evolve into one large interconnected City of London station, that is served by the Central, Circle, Elizabeth, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Northern Lines.

The most important thing that must be done is improve the information.

At least though, the vast walls that have been created in the Bank Station Upgrade and the Elizabeth Line stations, will be up to the task of informing passengers, the routes they need to take.

The other important thing, is to provide step-free and wheelchair-friendly routes between, Bank, Liverpool Street, Monument and Moorgate, so that passengers with reduced mobility can safely get on their way.

After the current round of construction and upgrades, I don’t think any of the rail routes between the stations are step-free.

 

 

 

January 27, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Bank Station Upgrade – 6th January 2023

I took these pictures this morning of the new Cannon Street entrance to Bank station.

There’s certainly space above the building for a substantial oversite development.

This article on Ian Visits is entitled TfL’s Office Development At Bank Tube Station Gets Taller.

These four paragraphs describes the scheme.

Transport for London (TfL) already had permission for a 7-storey building on the site but was structurally future-proofed for the possibility of an additional floor. They’ve now received permission to add the extra floor on top, and it’s further stepped back from the front of the building so that there’s space to create a large roof terrace as well.

Commercially, the previous top floor, the sixth floor lost about a third of the floorspace to plant room equipment, but will now be a full-width open plan office space, and while the new top floor still needs space for the plant equipment, but also has the new roof terrace and some additional office space. They’ve also flipped the plant room from the western side where it blocked the view of the church steeple and a lower-rise set of buildings, to the other side, which faces an office block, so the 6th-floor office users have a rather better view from the windows.

The revised scheme provides accommodation totalling 142,310 square feet across the ground and 7 upper floors plus over 7,600 square feet of terrace space over three floors.

The new scheme also changes the roof structure, which was to be covered in solar cells. However, that’s because the attic level above the offices was for traditional water boilers. The new scheme has removed the water boilers to replace them with a lower energy air source heating network, so the roof needs to be open to the air instead.

There’s also been a requirement from the City of London to reduce the number of vehicles allowed to make deliveries to the building from 54 per day to a maximum of 42, which considering that the building is also larger, is a meaningful change. Planning policy required at least 142 cycle racks, but another recent change to the building requested by the developer allowed them to put in space for 229 cycle spaces at the basement level, which is significantly higher than the minimum required.

The building certainly appears to have good environmental credentials.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Improving The Wood Green And Moorgate Public Transport Corridor

This morning I went for coffee with an old school friend from Minchenden Grammar School at Southgate station.

Southgate is not a bad place to meet someone.

  • There are a couple of good coffee shops.
  • There are plenty of buses.
  • It has a couple of the better chain restaurants including a Pizza Express.
  • The area also has a lot of memories for me.

It also has one of London’s most iconic Underground stations.

It may look familiar, as it regularly crops up in film and television dramas.

  • One station guy told me, that the ticket barriers have been designed to be easy to remove, so filming of an historic drama is possible.
  • It was used in The End Of The Affair to portray a Central London station.
  • As the escalators have the same bronze fittings as Moscow, they could be used in a story set in Russia.

As the Piccadilly Line doesn’t go anywhere near my house, to get to Southgate, I take a 141 bus to and from a convenient Piccadilly Line station.

  • Going North, I changed at Manor House station.
  • Coming South, I changed at Turnpike Lane station.
  • I could have also have changed at Wood Green station.

The journey home had four major problems.

  • The bus stop at Turnpike Lane station, is a few hundred yards from the station.
  • I waited fifteen minutes for a 141 bus.
  • When it did arrive, it was so packed, it didn’t have space for a miniature dachshund to squeeze in between the feet of the standing passengers.
  • The traffic was very heavy, so the journey was slow.

How can this bus route cope in the Peak, if it can’t cope on a Sunday morning?

Various issues and actions and will make these capacity issues worse.

The Victoria Line Has No Direct Connection With The Elizabeth Line

In my view, this was a mistake, although not that serious, as the young or energetic can probably walk between Oxford Circus and the Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station on the Elizabeth Line.

Will this connection develop with coffee and snack shops to ease passenger interchanges?

When and if Oxford Circus station is ever made step-free, I can imagine a tunnel, perhaps with a moving walkway being built between  Oxford Circus station and he Hanover Square entrance to Bond Street station.

There is also the cross-platform interchange at Highbury & Islington station with the Northern City Line that links with Moorgate and the City of London.

The Piccadilly Line Has No Direct Connection With The Elizabeth Line

To get between the Northern stations on the Piccadilly Line and the Elizabeth Line is either a double-change at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington stations or a ride on the 141 bus.

I wrote about these issues in Extending The Elizabeth Line – Improving The Northern City Line.

The Elizabeth Line Will Attract Travellers To Moorgate

I notice that my own travelling patterns have changed from using the Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines to using the Elizabeth Line since it opened and I suspect, when the Elizabeth Line is fully joined up, that more passengers will travel to Moorgate to access the Elizabeth Line.

Transport for London and the Mayor Are Rerouting The 21 Bus

The 21 bus duplicates the 141 bus between Newington Green and Moorgate station.

But it is being rerouted next year, which will increase the loading on the 141 bus.

The 141 Bus Used To Be The 641 Trolleybus

When I was a child, London’s trolleybus network was extensive and to get between Wood Green and Moorgate, you would have used the 641 trolleybus.

Trolleybus Ascending Jolly Butchers Hill in Wood Green

Many like me, look back on trolleybuses with affection.

Does this historical connection encourage passengers to use the 141 bus, which is the 641 trolleybus’s successor on the route?

My parents certainly had lots of trolleybus stories.

So What Could Be Done?

There are a variety of actions that could be taken to strengthen public transport between Moorgate and Wood Green stations.

Improve The 141 Bus Route

In Does London Need High Capacity Bus Routes To Extend Crossrail?, I put forward ideas for using buses to link to the Elizabeth Line.

This was my suggestion.

I suspect any route seen as an extension of Crossrail needs to have the following characteristics.

  • High frequency of perhaps a bus every ten minutes.
  • Interior finish on a par with the Class 345 trains.
  • Wi-fi and phone charging.

I would also hope the buses were carbon-free. Given that some of these routes could be quite long, I would suspect hydrogen with its longer range could be better.

I feel that a high-quality 141 bus running every ten minutes between London Bridge station and Palmers Green, would be just what the passengers would order.

  • Palmers Green bus garage is at the Northern end of the route, so could be used for refuelling or recharging.
  • London Bridge station is at the Southern end of the route and was designed with an efficient bus station.
  • The 141 route connects London Bridge, Bank, Moorgate and Old Street stations in the City of London.

With the right buses, this could be a route with real quality and usefulness.

Increase The Frequency On The Northern City Line

The Northern City Line may have new Class 717 trains, but it still has a pathetic frequency of eight trains per hour (tph)

  • I am sure it could be increased to at least 12 tph between Moorgate and Alexandra Palace stations.
  • Something like six tph would go to Welwyn Garden City, four tph to Hertford East station and two to Stevenage.
  • Large areas of the Northern suburbs would get a much better connection to the Elizabeth Line.

Once the digital signalling is installed and commissioned, no new infrastructure will be needed.

I am sure, that this would be the easiest way to improve public transport in North London.

Add Step-Free Access To As Many Stations As Possible

Moorgate, Finsbury Park, Oakwood and Cockfosters are step-free with lifts.

As many stations as budgetary constraints allow, should be made step-free.

October 9, 2022 Posted by | Food, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Two Oases In The City

I came across these oases in Temple Avenue in the City of London.

What a good idea! The notice says it’s part of a Covid-19 Street Recovery Scheme

October 4, 2022 Posted by | Design, World | , , , | 1 Comment

How Britannia With Help From Her Friends Can Rule The Waves And The Wind

The Government doesn’t seem to have published its future energy plans yet, but that hasn’t stopped the BBC speculating in this article on their web site, which is entitled Energy Strategy: UK Plans Eight New Nuclear Reactors To Boost Production.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Up to eight more nuclear reactors could be delivered on existing sites as part of the UK’s new energy strategy.

The plan, which aims to boost UK energy independence and tackle rising prices, also includes plans to increase wind, hydrogen and solar production.

Other points include.

  • Up to 95% of the UK’s electricity could come from low-carbon sources by 2030.
  • 50 gigawatts (GW) of energy through offshore wind farms, which  would be more than enough to power every home in the UK.
  • One of the big points of contention is thought to have been the construction of onshore wind turbines.
  • Targets for hydrogen production are being doubled to help provide cleaner energy for industry as well as for power, transport and potentially heating.
  • A new licensing round for North Sea oil and gas projects.
  • A heat pump accelerator program.

In this post I shall only be looking at one technology – offshore wind and in particular offshore floating wind.

Who Are Our Friends?

I will start with explaining, who I see as our friends, in the title of this post.

The Seas Around Us

If we are talking about offshore winds around the the UK, then the seas around the UK are surely our biggest and most-needed friend.

The Island Of Ireland

The seas are shared with the island of Ireland and the UK and the Republic must work together to maximise our joint opportunities.

As some of the largest offshore wind farm proposals, between Wales and Ireland involve a Welsh company called Blue Gem Wind, who are a partnership between Irish company; Simply Blue Energy, and French company; TotalEnergies, we already seem to be working with the Irish and the French.

The City Of London

Large insurance and pension companies, based in the City of London like, abrdn, Aviva, L & G and others are always looking for investments with which to provide income to back their insurance business and our pensions.

In World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant, I describe why and how, Aviva back wind farms.

Germany

Germany are certainly on our side, despite being in a mess of Mutti Merkel’s making, because she got the country too deeply dependant on Vlad the Mad’s tainted gas.

  • German utilities are providing finance to build wind farms in British waters.
  • German company; Siemens is manufacturing turbine blades in Hull.
  • Germany wouldn’t mind buying any electricity and hydrogen we have spare. Especially, as we haven’t invaded them since 1944.

I suspect a mutually-beneficial relationship can be negotiated.

Norway

I have customised software for a number of countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the United States and despite selling large numbers of systems to Norway, the Norwegians never requested any modifications.

They are generally easy-going people and they are great friends of the UK. They were certainly a fertile country for the sale of Artemis systems.

Just as the UK worked together with the Norwegians to deliver North Sea Oil, we are now starting to work together to develop renewable energy in the North Sea.

In UK To Norway Sub-Sea Green Power Cable Operational, I describe how we have built the North Sea Link with the Norwegians, which will link the British and Norwegian energy networks to our mutual benefit.

In Is This The World’s Most Ambitious Green Energy Solution?, I describe an ambitious plan called Northern Horizons, proposed by Norwegian company; Aker to build a 10 GW floating wind farm, which will be 120 km to the North-East of the Shetlands.

Floating Wind Turbines

This is the introduction of the Wikipedia entry for floating wind turbines.

A floating wind turbine is an offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure that allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not feasible. Floating wind farms have the potential to significantly increase the sea area available for offshore wind farms, especially in countries with limited shallow waters, such as Japan, France and US West coast. Locating wind farms further offshore can also reduce visual pollution, provide better accommodation for fishing and shipping lanes, and reach stronger and more consistent winds.

At its simplest a floating wind farm consists of a semi-submersible platform, which is securely anchored to the sea-bed to provide a firm platform on which to erect a standard wind turbine.

There are currently two operational floating wind farms off the East Coast of Scotland and one in the Atlantic off the Portuguese coast.

  • These wind farms are fairly small and use between three and five turbines to generate between 25-50 MW.
  • The largest current floating turbines are the 9.5 MW turbines in the Kincardine Wind Farm in Scotland, but already engineers are talking of 14 MW and 20 MW floating turbines.
  • Experience of the operation of floating wind turbines, indicates that they can have capacity factors in excess of 50 %.
  • Floating wind turbines can be erected on their floats in the safety of a port using a dockside crane and then towed into position.
  • Floating wind turbines can be towed into a suitable port for servicing and upgrading.

Many serious engineers and economists, think that floating wind farms are the future.

The Energy Density of Fixed Foundation And Floating Wind Farms

In ScotWind Offshore Wind Leasing Delivers Major Boost To Scotland’s Net Zero Aspirations, I summarised the latest round of Scotwind offshore wind leases.

  • Six new fixed foundation wind farms will give a capacity of 9.7 GW in 3042 km² or about 3.2 MW per km².
  • Ten new floating wind farms will give a capacity of 14.6 GW in 4193 km² or about 3.5 MW per km².

Note.

  1. Floating wind farms have a small advantage in terms of energy density over those with fixed foundations.
  2. Suppose these energy densities are achieved using 14 MW turbines.
  3. Engineers are talking of 20 MW turbines.
  4. Using large turbines could increase the energy density by 20/14 or 43 %

We could see in a few years with 20 MW turbines, fixed foundation turbines having an energy density of 4.6 MW per km², with floating turbines having 5 MW per km².

The Potential Of A Ten-Mile Square In The Seas Around Us

I will assume.

  • It is at least 100 km from land.
  • The water would be at least 100 metres deep.
  • There are no structures in the area.

And calculate.

  • The area will be a hundred square miles, which is smaller than the county of Rutland.
  • This will be 259 square kilometres.

If it were to be filled with floating wind turbines at a density of 5 MW per km², the capacity would be 1300 MW or 1.3 GW.

There must be hundreds of empty ten-mile squares in the seas around us.

Offshore Hydrogen Production And Storage

I believe in the near future, that a lot of offshore wind energy will be converted to hydrogen offshore.

  • Electrolysers could be combined with wind turbines.
  • Larger electrolysers could be combined with sub-stations collecting the electricity.
  • In Torvex Energy, I discuss a method to create hydrogen from seawater, without having to desalinate the water. Surely, this technology would be ideal for offshore electrolysis.

Hydrogen would be brought to shore using pipelines, some of which could be repurposed from existing gas pipelines, that are now redundant, as the gas-fields they served have no gas left.

I also suspect that hydrogen could be stored in a handy depleted gas field or perhaps some form of specialist storage infrastructure.

Combining Wind And Wave Power In A Single Device

Marine Power Systems are a Welsh company, that has developed a semi-submersible structure, that can support a large wind turbine and/or a wave-power generator.

This is the mission statement on their home page.

Marine Power Systems is revolutionising the way in which we harvest energy from the world’s oceans.

Our flexible technology is the only solution of its type that can be configured to harness wind and wave energy, either as a combined solution or on their own, in deep water. Built on common platform our devices deliver both cost efficiency and performance throughout the entire product lifecycle.

Our structurally efficient floating platform, PelaFlex, brings excellent stability and straightforward deployment and maintenance. The PelaGen wave energy converter represents market-leading technology and generates energy at an extremely competitive cost of energy.

Through optimised farm layout and the combination of wind and wave energy, project developers can best exploit the energy resource for any given area of seabed.

We are unlocking the power of oceans.

There is a link on the page to more pages, that explain the technology.

It looks to me, that it is well-designed technology, that has a high-chance of being successful.

It should also be noted that according to this news page on the Marine Power Systems web site, which is entitled MPS Lands £3.5M Of Funding From UK Government, the UK government feel the technology is worth backing.

I certainly believe that if Marine Power Systems are not successful, then someone else will build on their original work.

If wind and wave power can successfully be paired in a single float, then this must surely increase the energy production at each float/turbine in the floating wind farm.

Energy Storage In Wind Turbines

The output of wind farms can be very variable, as the wind huffs and puffs, but I believe we will see energy storage in wind turbines to moderate the electricity and deliver a steadier output.

Using lithium-ion or other batteries may be possible, but with floating offshore turbines, there might be scope to use the deep sea beneath the float and the turbine.

Hybrid Wind Farms

In the latest round of Scotwind offshore wind leases, one wind farm stands out as different. Magnora ASA’s ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm is described as a floating offshore wind farm with a concrete floater.

I can see more wind farms built using this model, where there is another fixed or floating platform acts as control centre, sub-station, energy store or hydrogen electrolyser.

How Much Electricity Could Be Produced In UK And Irish Waters?

I will use the following assumptions.

  • Much of the new capacity will be floating wind turbines in deep water.
  • The floating wind turbines are at a density of around 5 MW per km²

This Google Map shows the British Isles.

I will look at various seas.

The Celtic Sea

The Celtic Sea is to the South-West of Wales and the South of Ireland.

In Blue Gem Wind, I posted this extract from the The Our Projects page of the Blue Gem Wind web site.

Floating wind is set to become a key technology in the fight against climate change with over 80% of the worlds wind resource in water deeper than 60 metres. Independent studies have suggested there could be as much as 50GW of electricity capacity available in the Celtic Sea waters of the UK and Ireland. This renewable energy resource could play a key role in the UK meeting the 2050 Net-Zero target required to mitigate climate change. Floating wind will provide new low carbon supply chain opportunities, support coastal communities and create long-term benefits for the region.

Consider.

  • The key figure would appear 50 GW of electricity capacity available in the Celtic Sea waters of the UK and Ireland.
  • Earlier I said that floating turbines can have a wind turbine density of 5 MW per km².
  • According to Wikipedia, the surface area of the Celtic Sea is 300,000 km².

To accommodate enough floating turbines to generate 50 GW would need 10000 km², which is a 100 km. square, or 3.33 % of the area of the Celtic Sea.

This wind generation capacity of 50 GW would appear to be feasible in the Celtic Sea and still leave plenty of space for the shipping.

The Irish Sea

According to Wikipedia, the surface area of the Irish Sea is 46,000 km².

Currently, there are ten wind farms in the Irish Sea.

  • Six are in English waters, three are in Welsh and one is in Irish.
  • None are more than sixteen kilometres from the coast.

The total power is 2.7 GW.

I feel that the maximum number of wind farms in the Irish Sea would not cover more than the 3.33 % proposed for the Celtic Sea.

3.33 % of the Irish Sea would be 1532 km², which could support 7.6 GW of wind-generated electricity.

I can’t leave the Irish Sea without talking about two wind farms Mona and Morgan, that are being developed by an enBW and BP joint venture, which I discussed in Mona, Morgan And Morven. This infographic from the joint venture describes Mona and Morgan.

That would appear to be a 3 GW development underway in the Irish Sea.

Off The Coast Of South-East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire And Yorkshire

These wind farms are proposed in these areas.

Note.

All wind farms have comprehensive web sites or Wikipedia entries.

The total capacity of these wind farms is 22.5 GW

The North Sea

According to Wikipedia, the surface area of the North Sea is 570,000 km².

Would it is reasonable to assume, that perhaps a tenth of this area would be available for new wind farms in UK waters?

3.33 % of the available North Sea would be 1898 km², which could support 9.5 GW of wind-generated electricity.

On The East Coast Of Scotland

In Wind Farms On The East Coast Of Scotland, I summarised the wind farms off the East coast of Scotland, that are being built in a cluster in the First of Forth.

This map shows the proposed wind farms in this area.

There are five wind farms in the map.

  • The green area is the cable corridor for Seagreen 1a
  • Inch Cape is the odd-shaped wind farm to the North and West of the green area
  • Seagreen at the top of the map, to the North of Inch Cape.
  • Marr Bank with the pink NE-SW hatching
  • Berwick Bank with the green NW-SE hatching
  • Neart Na Gaoithe is edged in blue to the South of the green area.

Berwick Bank and Marr Bank are both owned by SSE and appear to have been combined.

The capacity of the wind farms can be summarised as follows.

  • Seagreen – 1075 MW
  • Neart Na Gaoithe – 450 MW
  • Inch Cape – 1000 MW
  • Berwick Bank and Marr Bank – 4100 MW

This gives a total of 6625 MW or just over 6.6 GW.

Around The North Of Scotland

This map shows the latest successful ScotWind leases.

Note.

  1. Several of these proposed wind farms have detailed web sites.

These seventeen leases total up to 24.3 GW.

An Interim Total

I believe these figures are realisable.

  • Celtic Sea – 50 GW
  • Irish Sea – 7.6 GW – 3 GW already underway
  • South East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire And Yorkshire – 22.5 GW
  • North Sea – 9.5 GW
  • On The East Coast Of Scotland – 6.6 GW
  • Around The North Of Scotland – 24.3 GW

Note.

  1. I have tried to be as pessimistic as possible.
  2. Irish and North Sea estimates are based on Blue Gem Wind’s professional estimate for the Celtic Sea.
  3. I have used published figures where possible.

My estimates total up to 120.1 GW of extra wind-power capacity. As I write this, current UK electricity production is around 33 GW.

Vikings Will Invade

This Google Map shows the Faroe Islands, the North of Scotland, Norway and Denmark.

To get an idea of scale, the Shetland Isles are around 70 miles or 113 km. from North to South.

In Is This The World’s Most Ambitious Green Energy Solution?, I talked about Norwegian company; Aker Solutions’s plan for Northern Horizons.

  • It would be a 10 GW offshore floating wind farm 136 km to the North-East of the Shetlands.
  • This position would probably place it about halfway between the Faroes and the Norwegian coast.
  • The project is best described in this article on the Engineer, which is entitled Northern Horizons Plans Clean Energy Exports For Scotland.
  • In the article, there is a good graphic and a video.

This will be offshore engineering of the highest class, but then I first came across Norwegian offshore engineering like this in the 1970s, where nothing was too difficult for Norwegian engineers.

There are two major points to remember about the Norwegians.

  • They have the Sovereign Wealth Fund to pay for the massive investment in Northern Horizons.
  • They need to replace their oil and gas income, with a zero-carbon investment stream.

I feel that Northern Horizons will not be a one-off and the virgin sea in the map above will be liberally carpeted with more floating wind farms.

  • On Shetland, electricity can be fed into the UK grid.
  • On Norway, electricity can be fed into the Norwegian grid or stored in Norwegian pumped storage systems.
  • On Scotland, more pumped storage systems can be built to store energy.
  • Hydrogen can be piped to where it is needed to decarbonise heavy industry and transport.
  • Norwegian fjords, Shetland harbours, Scottish lochs and possibly Scapa Flow would be ideal places to assemble and service the giant floating turbines and build the other needed floating infrastructure.
  • I can also see Denmark getting in on the act, as they will probably want to decarbonise the Faroe Islands.

I estimate that between the Faroes, Scotland and Norway, there are 510,000 km² of virgin sea.

With a potential of 5 MW per km², that area has the potential to create an amazing amount of both electricity and hydrogen.

Exporting Power To Europe

There will need to be more interconnectors from the UK to Europe.

These are already working.

These are proposed.

There are also gas interconnectors, that could be converted to hydrogen.

This press release from National Grid, which is entitled Undersea Electricity Superhighways That Will Help Deliver Net Zero Move A Step Closer, has these bullet points.

  • Positive progress on plans for £3.4bn electricity super-highway projects – Scotland to England Green Links.
  • Ofgem opens consultation that recognises the “clear case” and “consumer benefit” of two subsea high voltage cables to transport clean between Scotland and England.
  • The cables form part of a planned 16 project £10 billion investment from National Grid to deliver on the government’s target of 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030.

This paragraph expands on the work by National Grid to meet the third point.

These projects are part of National Grid’s work upgrading the electricity transmission system to deliver the UK government’s target of 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030. In addition to the Eastern Links, it is developing 14 major projects across its network to facilitate the target representing a £10 billion investment. This includes two further Scotland to England high voltage links (also in partnership with the Scottish transmission network owners) and proposals in the Humber, Lincolnshire, East Midlands, North of England, Yorkshire, North Kent, as well as four in East Anglia (one of which is a proposed offshore link between Suffolk and Kent).

I think we can assume, that National Grid will do their part to allow the UK government’s target of 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030 to be met.

Will The UK Have 40 GW Of Offshore Wind Generation By 2030?

In the Wikipedia entry for Windpower In The UK, this is the opening sentence.

The United Kingdom is one of the best locations for wind power in the world and is considered to be the best in Europe. By the beginning of March 2022, the UK had 11,091 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of over 24.6 gigawatts (GW): 14.1 GW of onshore capacity and 10.4 GW of offshore capacity.

It would appear an extra 30 GW of wind power is needed.

In An Interim Total earlier, I gave these figures.

  • Celtic Sea – 50 GW
  • Irish Sea – 7.6 GW – 3 GW already underway
  • South East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire And Yorkshire – 22.5 GW
  • North Sea – 9.5 GW
  • On The East Coast Of Scotland – 6.6 GW
  • ScotWind – 24.3 GW

The wind farms in South East England, East Anglia, Lincolnshire And Yorkshire and ScotWind and Mona and Morgan are either being planned or under construction, and in many cases leases to construct wind farms are being paid.

I would feel, that at least 30 GW of these 56.4 GW of wind farms will be completed by 2030.

Conclusion

Boris’s vision of the UK becoming a Saudi Arabia of wind is no fantasy of a man with massive dreams.

Standard floating wind turbines, with the possibility of also harvesting wave power could be assembled in ports along the coasts, towed into position and then connected up.

Several GW of wind-power capacity could probably be added each year to what would become the largest zero-carbon power station in the world.

By harvesting the power of the winds and waves in the seas around the British Isles it is an engineering and mathematical possibility, that could have been developed by any of those great visionary Victorian engineers like Armstrong, Bazalgette, Brunel and Reynolds, if they had had access to our modern technology.

Up Yours! Putin!

 

 

 

April 19, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

London’s Other New Underground Line

In the middle of next month, Phase One of London’s other new Underground line will open.

The Bank station upgrade may only be a short section of new Southbound tunnel and track for the Northern Line and a much expanded station, but it promises to do proportionally for the City of London, what Crossrail will do for the whole of London.

The lucky Ian of IanVisits has been allowed to descend into the depths of the new section of the station with his camera and has posted this report on his web site, which is entitled Behind The Scenes At Bank Tube Station’s Huge Upgrade Project. The report contains twenty-four revealing photographs.

If ever there was a must-read, then Ian’s article must be it.

 

March 30, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Great Bus Robbery

Transport for London (TfL) obviously don’t like people where I live in the Northern part of De Beauvoir Town in the London Borough of Hackney.

When I moved here, ten years ago there were six bus routes that passed through the traffic lights where the Balls Pond Road (It is not a made-up-name from Round The Horne) and Southgate Road/Mildmay Park meet.

  • 21 – Newington Green and Lewisham Shopping Centre
  • 30 – Marble Arch and Hackney Wick (From the sublime to the ridiculous?)
  • 38 – Victoria station and the romantic Clapton Pond
  • 56 – Bart’s Hospital and Whipps Cross (You’d be cross, if you’d been whipped!)
  • 141 – London Bridge Station and Palmers Green North Circular Road (Surely, another romantic destination!)
  • 277 – Highbury & Islington Station and Crossharbour

Note.

  1. We had two bus routes to and from Highbury & Islington station for Dear Old Vicky!
  2. We had two bus routes to and from Moorgate, Bank and the City of London.
  3. We had four bus routes to and from Dalston Junction station and the cultural attractions of Hackney Central.
  4. We had a direct bus to Canary Wharf.

TfL looked at the name of the district and thought the posh French name, meant we were all had expensive vehicles or Hackney carriages and said we had too many buses.

So in June 2018,  the 277 bus was cut back to Dalston Junction station and TfL promised that the frequency of the 30 bus would be increased. We’re still waiting for extra services.

Now, if you want to go to Highbury & Islington station, according to TfL’s Journey Planner, it’s often quicker to take a 38 or 56 bus to Essex Road station and take a train.

To make matters worse the 30 bus route now has cheap and nasty Egyptian-built buses with more steps than Russia. All buses should have flat floors like the New Routemasters.

What is TfL’s latest crime?

The 21 and 271 buses are going to be combined into a new route between Lewisham and Highgate, which will go nowhere near the Balls Pond Road.

So we’ll just have the one bus route to the City of London.

On past form, if TfL say they will increase the frequency, I wouldn’t believe them.

I think that TfL have ignored some problems.

The Elderly And Disabled

Between Newington Green and Englefield Road, a higher proportion of the passengers getting on the 21 and 141 buses seem to be in these groups.

  • As it’s a nice place to live, I suspect many elderly people have just stayed on.
  • I believe that North of the Balls Pond Road, there are some care homes and sheltered housing.

Have TfL analysed their passengers?

Not Everybody Has Cars

There are several blocks of social housing on the Newington Green and Englefield Road stretch and you see a lot of passengers who don’t look like car owners.

The lack of parking and the Low Traffic Neighbourhoods don’t help.

Access To Waterloo

My quickest way to Waterloo, which is London’s busiest rail terminal, is to take a bus to Bank and then get the Drain.

A halved service to Bank station will probably force me to take longer routes.

Tradition

When I was a child in the 1950s, the 141 was the 641 trolley bus, which ran between Winchmore Hill and Moorgate.

People, who live in Wood Green, Turnpike Lane and Manor House still commute to the City by bus, as people have done for over a hundred years.

I suspect a lot of commuters change from the Piccadilly Line to the 141 bus at Manor House station. I certainly use that route if I’m going to Southgate or Cockfosters.

The 21 bus starts at Newington Green, which means if you want to go from Balls Pond Road to Bank, you’ll usually get on a 21 bus, as the 141 buses are full with passengers from further North.

So it looks like to get to Moorgate, we’ll need to get a bus to Angel and then get the Northern Line, after the rerouting of the 21 bus.

Crossrail

This will have a big effect.

Suppose you live in Wood Green and want to get to Crossrail.

There is no obvious connection, but tradition will mean your preferred route will be to take a 141 bus between Manor House and Moorgate.

There will also be a quick route between Moorgate and Liverpool Street station, that I wrote about in London’s First Underground Roller Coaster.

Conclusion

We will need the 21 bus to provide us with a route to Crossrail, as the 141 buses will be full.

The 21 bus is needed where it is and mustn’t be stolen.

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Green Hydrogen Can Save Us. But Waiting For It Won’t.

I saw the title of this post on the side of a green bus.

Route 43 goes between London Bridge station and Friern Barnet via Bank, Moorgate, Old Street (Silicon Roundabout) and The Angel.

So it goes right through the centre of the City of London.

Andrew Forrest is intending to get his message across to the City.

To find out more, you could always connect to the web site on the bus.

November 4, 2021 Posted by | Finance, Hydrogen | , , , , | 3 Comments