The Anonymous Widower

Work Underway To Create ‘UK’s Biggest Electric Bus Charging Station’ In Glasgow

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

This is the first paragraph.

Public transport operator First Bus has begun work to retrofit its Caledonia depot in Glasgow to host 162 electric vehicle (EV) charging points, claiming the project will be the largest of its kind in the UK once complete.

These are other points from the article.

  • The project is in two phases and both will be complete by the end of 2022.
  • Phase One will handle the charging for twenty-two buses for COP26.
  • The new chargers will be 150 kW and will be supplied by the Heliox Group.
  • First Bus aim to have a zero-emission fleet in the UK by 2035.

This Google Map shows the Caledonia depot.

Note.

  1. It is a big site.
  2. There seems plenty of space in the area.
  3. The M74 Motorway in the South-West corner of the map.
  4. Further to the South-West is the main electrified railway into Glasgow Central station.

I have some thoughts.

Power Supply

Charging up 162 electric buses at a rate of 150 kW will need an electrical feed of 24.3 MW.

To illustrate the levels of renewable power available near Glasgow, Whitelee Wind Farm is a dozen miles to the South-West.

  • It is the largest onshore wind farm in the UK and the second largest in Europe.
  • It has a nameplate capacity of 539 MW.

All of a sudden 24.3 MW of preferably renewable energy doesn’t seem such a large amount.

The grid may need strengthening to bring electricity into the First Bus Caledonia depot, but I doubt that would be the most difficult of projects.

Energy Storage

I am an enthusiast for energy storage and have invested in two companies developing energy storage systems.

My modelling of water networks in the 1970s and what I’ve read since, indicate to me, that detailed modelling would show that to support a 24.3 MW electrical supply to the depot, some amount of energy storage will be needed.

Highview Power are building a system at Carrington near Manchester, that can supply 50 MW for up to five hours.

If I was First Bus, I would be seriously looking at energy storage to support the charging of the buses.

After all, there’s nothing as useless in the morning rush hour in a city like Glasgow, than a flat battery-electric bus!

Wind Turbines And Solar Panels

How about some on site power generation?

Conclusion

Given the renewable energy available locally and First Bus’s objective of being zero-carbon by 2035, I can see Caledonia depot being enlarged in the future.

June 7, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Transport | , , , | 8 Comments

Vivarail At COP26

This press release from Network Rail is entitled Network Rail And Porterbrook To Showcase Britain’s Green Trains Of The Future At COP26.

These two paragraphs are from the end of the first section of the press release.

It is envisaged that the HydroFLEX may also be used to transport visitors to see the Zero Emission Train, Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train.

Network Rail is also in the earlier stages of planning a similar event with Vivarail to bring an operational battery train to COP26.

Vivarail have taken battery trains to Scotland before for demonstration, as I wrote about in Battery Class 230 Train Demonstration At Bo’ness And Kinneil Railway.

Will other train companies be joining the party?

Alstom

It looks like Alstom’s hydrogen-powered Class 600 train will not be ready for COP26.

But I suspect that the French would not like to be upstaged by a rolling stock leasing company and a university on the one hand and a company with scrapyard-ready redundant London Underground trains on the other.

I think, they could still turn up with something different.

They could drag one of their Coradia iLint trains through the Channel Tunnel and even run it to Scotland under hydrogen power, to demonstrate the range of a hydrogen-powered train.

Alstom have recently acquired Bombardier’s train interests in the UK and there have been rumours of a fleet of battery-electric Electrostars, even since the demonstrator ran successfully in 2015. Will the prototype turn up at COP26?

Alstom’s UK train factory is in Widnes and I’ve worked with Liverpudlians and Merseysiders on urgent projects and I wouldn’t rule out the Class 600 train making an appearance.

CAF

Spanish train company; CAF, have impressed me with the speed, they have setup their factory in Newport and have delivered a total of well over a hundred Class 195 and Class 331 trains to Northern.

I wrote Northern’s Battery Plans, in February 2020, which talked about adding a fourth-car to three-car Class 331 trains, to create a battery-electric Class 331 train.

Will the Spanish bring their first battery-electric Class 331 train to Glasgow?

I think, they just might!

After all, is there a better place for a train manufacturer looking to sell zero-carbon trains around the world to announce, their latest product?

Hitachi

A lot of what I have said for Alstom and CAF, could be said for Hitachi.

Hitachi have announced plans for two battery-electric trains; a Regional Battery Train and an Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train.

I doubt that either of these trains could be ready for COP26.

But last week, I saw the new Hitachi Class 803 train speeding through Oakleigh Park station.

This is not a battery-electric train, where battery power can be used for traction, but according to Wikipedia and other sources, it is certainly an electric train fitted with batteries to provide hotel power for the train, when the overhead electrification fails.

Are these Class 803 trains already fitted with their batteries? And if they are, have they been tested?

And who is building the batteries for the Class 803 trains?

The traction batteries for Hitachi’s two battery-electric trains are to be produced by Hyperdrive Innovation of Sunderland, which is not far from Hitachi’s train factory at Newton Aycliffe.

As an engineer, I would suspect that a well-respected company like Hyperdrive Innovation, can design a battery-pack that plugs in to Hitachi’s trains, as a diesel engine would. I would also suspect that a good design, would allow an appropriate size of battery for the application and route.

I feel it is very likely, that all batteries for Hitachi’s UK trains will be designed and build by Hyperdrive Innovation.

If that is the case and the Class 803 trains are fitted with batteries, then Hitachi can be testing the battery systems.

This document on the Hitachi Rail web site, which is entitled Development of Class 800/801 High-speed Rolling Stock for UK Intercity Express Programme, gives a very comprehensive description of the electrical and computer systems of the Hitachi trains.

As an engineer and a computer programmer, I believe that if Hyperdrive Innovation get their battery design right and after a full test program, that Hitachi could be able to run battery-electric trains based on the various Class 80x trains.

It could be a more difficult task to fit batteries to Scotland’s Class 385 trains, as they are not fitted with diesel engines in any application. Although, the fitting of diesel engines may be possible in the global specification for the train.

It is likely that these trains could form the basis of the Regional Battery Train, which is described in this infographic.

Note.

  1. The Class 385 and Regional Battery trains are both 100 mph trains.
  2. Class 385 and Class 80x trains are all members of Hitachi’s A-Train family.
  3. Regional Battery trains could handle a lot of unelectrified routes in Scotland.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hitachi bring a battery-equipped train to COP26, if the Class 803 trains have a successful introduction into service.

Siemens

Siemens have no orders to build new trains for the national rail network in the UK.

But there are plans by Porterbrook and possibly other rolling stock leasing companies and train operators to convert some redundant Siemens-built trains, like Class 350 trains, into battery-electric trains.

According to Wikipedia, Siemens upgraded East Midlands Railways, Class 360 trains to 110 mph operation, at their Kings Heath Depot in Northampton.

Could Siemens be updating one of the Class 350 trains, that are serviced at that depot, to a prototype battery-electric Class 350 train?

Stadler

Stadler have a proven design for diesel-electric, battery-electric and hydrogen trains, that they sell all over the world.

In the UK, the only ones in service are Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains, which are diesel-electric bi-mode trains.

The picture shows one of these trains at Ipswich.

  • They are 100 mph trains.
  • Diesel, battery or hydrogen modules can be inserted in the short PowerPack car in the middle of the train.
  • Diesel-battery-electric versions of these trains have been sold for operation in Wales.
  • The interiors of these trains are designed for both short journeys and a two-hour run.

There is a possibility, that these trains will be upgraded with batteries. See Battery Power Lined Up For ‘755s’.

Conclusion

Times will be interesting in Glasgow at COP26!

 

June 6, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Class 319 Train, But Not As We Know It!

This article on Rail Advent is entitled COP26 To Showcase Britain’s Sustainable Trains Of The Future Thanks To Network Rail And Porterbrook Partnership.

The article talks about and shows pictures of Porterbrook’s HydroFLEX or Class 799 train, which has been developed by the University of Birmingham, fitted out for COP26.

I have downloaded this picture of the interior from Network Rail’s media centre.

Who’d have thought a Class 319 train could look so grand?

But then some Class 319 trains used by commuters don’t look their age of over thirty years.

These pictures were taken on the Abbey Line in 2018.

There’s also this BBC Profile and video of the technology behind the HydroFLEX train.

Conclusion

It looks like Network Rail and Porterbrook are doing their best to showcase the best that Britain and Scotland can offer.

I am reminded of a tale, that I heard from a former GEC manager.

He was involved in selling one of GEC’s Air Traffic Control radars to a Middle Eastern country.

The only working installation of the radar was at Prestwick in Scotland, so he arranged that the dignitaries and the sales team would be flown to Prestwick in GEC’s HS 125 business jet.

As they disembarked at Prestwick and walked to the terminal, the pilot called the GEC Manager over.

The pilot told him “The Scottish Highlands at this time of the year, are one of the most beautiful places in the world! Would you and your guests like a low-level tour on the way back? I can arrange it, if you say so!”

Despite knowing GEC’s draconian attitude to cost control he said yes.

The sale was clinched!

Are Network Rail, Porterbrook, the UK and Scottish Governments, setting up the same Scottish treatment to all the delegates to COP26?

 

June 6, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport, World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen Fuel ‘In Time For COP26’ For Glasgow

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The companies behind the plans for a new £ 45 million hydrogen production facility in central Scotland have announced the site of the facility, which is planned to be partially operational prior to the delayed COP26 conference in Glasgow next year.

The article gives a lot of useful information including.

  1. The plant is at Lesmahagow as I reported in Plans For £45m Scottish Green Hydrogen Production Plant Revealed.
  2. It will initially have a 9 MW electrolyser, which could be upgraded to 20 MW.
  3. When fully-developed is could create a thousand tonnes of hydrogen per year.The hydrogen will be used to power buses in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Construction could start this year.

January 5, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arcola Energy, Consortium Of Rail Industry Leaders To Deliver First Scottish Hydrogen-Powered Train

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

The article describes the project to create a demonstrator hydrogen train for Scotland out of an old Class 314 train.

Note.

  1. Work will be needed on the interior.
  2. Is a three-car train long enough?
  3. Will the train still be able to use its pantograph?

The trains may be over forty years old, but they can probably made to look good, as they are closely related to these Class 508 trains, that are in superb condition on Merseyrail.

These trains were built in 1979 and are one of the oldest trains on the UK’s mainland network.

Wikipedia says this about the conversion to hydrogen.

In February 2020, ScotRail announced plans to convert one of the two remaining units, 314209, to run on hydrogen. This is a feasibility study running alongside ScotRail’s commitment to run no diesel trains by 2035.

The train will be displayed at the COP26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow in 2021.

December 30, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plans For £45m Scottish Green Hydrogen Production Plant Revealed

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2 View.

This is the opening paragraph.

UK-built hydrogen buses powered by Scottish-made green hydrogen, transporting COP26 delegates around Glasgow in 2021: that’s the vision of a new £45m project unveiled today (3rd Nov).

Some details of the plant are also given.

  • It will be built at Lesmahagow.
  • It will be co-located with wind turbines and solar panels.
  • It will have an initial capacity of 9 MW, with a possible increase to 20 MW.
  • It will produce 800 tonnes of hydrogen per annum.
  • The company behind it, is called Hy2Go

It sounds like the electrolyser is the one mentioned in Green Hydrogen For Scotland, which was announced in a press release from ITM Power.

Although, that electrolyser may be situated at Whitelee Wind Farm, which is a few miles closer to the coast.

Will Scotland Have Two Electrolysers To the South Of Glasgow?

Consider.

  • Whitelee is the UK’s largest onshore wind farm with a capacity of 539 MW.
  • It is planned to install a large battery at Whitelee. See Super Battery Plan To Boost UK’s Biggest Onshore Windfarm on this page on the Scottish Power web site.
  • Lesmahagow’s turbines and solar panels have not been installed yet.
  • Much of the wind power in the South of Scotland and the North of England is mainly onshore, rather than onshore.
  • The location of the Lesmahagow electrolyser will be close to the M74.
  • The location of the Whitelee electrolyser will be close to the M77.
  • There is a good motorway network linking the electrolysers’ to the major cities in the South of Scotland and the North of England.
  • Newcastle might be a bit difficult to supply, but that may receive hydrogen from Teesside or the Humber.

Perhaps, the economics of onshore wind, with electrolysers nearby, makes for an affordable source of plentiful green hydrogen.

I would expect that if Scotland built two large electrolysers South of Glasgow, they wouldn’t have too much trouble using the hydrogen to reduce the country’s and the North of England’s carbon footprint.

Have These Two Projects Merged?

Consider.

  • The Lesmahagow site is stated in the article to possibly have two electrolysers with a total capacity of 20 MW.
  • The Lesmahagow site is in an excellent position close to a junction to the M74 motorway, with easy access to Edinburgh, Glasgow and England.
  • The Lesmahagow site could probably have a pipeline to a hydrogen filling station for trucks and other vehicles on the M74.
  • The Whitelee wind farm is huge.
  • Lesmahagow and Whitelee are about twenty miles apart.
  • More wind turbines might be possible between the two sites.
  • There must also be a high-capacity grid connection at Whitelee.

Combining the two projects could have advantages.

  • There could be cost savings on the infrastructure.
  • It might be easier to add more wind turbines.

There may be time savings to be made, so that hydrogen is available for COP26.

Conclusion

Scotland is making a bold green statement for COP26.

A network of very large hydrogen electrolysers is stating to emerge.

  • Glasgow – Lesmahagow.
  • Herne Bay for London and the South East – Planning permission has been obtained.
  • Humber – In planning
  • Runcorn for North West England – Existing supply
  • Teesside – Existing supply

Joe Bamford’s dream of thousands of hydrogen-powered buses, is beginning to become a reality.

November 4, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Scotland’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train Showcased At COP26 Summit

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The zero emission train project will demonstrate how the country’s railways could be decarbonised by phasing out diesel within 15 years.

The train will be based on a withdrawn Class 314 train.

These trains entered service in 1979 and are certainly not the worst of that generation of British Rail electric trains.

It will be a tight timetable to get the train ready for the COP26 summit, which is scheduled for November 1-12 in 2021.

September 12, 2020 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment