The Anonymous Widower

Did I See The UK’s Hydrogen-Powered Future In Hull Today?

I went from London to Hull today on Hull Trains for £50.80 return (with my Senior Railcard) to see SSE’s presentation for their Aldbrough Pathfinder Hydrogen project, which will feature a 35 MW green hydrogen electrolyser and 320 GWh of hydrogen storage in the thick layers of salt under East Yorkshire.

Green electricity would come mainly from the part-SSE owned 8 GW Dogger Bank wind farm complex.

According to their web site, Meld Energy are planning a 100 MW electrolyser, which would produce 13,400 tonnes of hydrogen per year.

Every large helps!

It should be noted that the thick layers of salt stretch all the way to Germany, and as drilling and storage technology improves, the amount of hydrogen storage available will increase.

I was also impressed by the ambition, competence and enthusiasm, of the SSE engineers that I met.

As has been pointed out, HiiROC, who have backing from Centrica, Hyundai, Kia and others, are also in Hull!

I believe, that I saw our hydrogen-powered future in Hull today!

We need more hydrogen mega-projects like these! Perhaps in Aberdeen, Clydeside, Freeport East, Isle of Grain, Merseyside, Milford Haven and Teesside?

June 6, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cummins And Accelera Showcase Broadest Portfolio Of Decarbonizing Technologies With An Emphasis On Hydrogen

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

This is the first paragraph.

Cummins Inc. and Accelera™ by Cummins, Cummins’ zero-emissions technology brand, will showcase a variety of technologies in their booth at Advanced Clean Transportation Expo (May 2 to 4, Anaheim, California). The line-up emphasizes the role that hydrogen will play as part of Destination Zero, Cummins’ strategy to go further, faster to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and air quality impacts of its products and reach zero emissions by 2050. The company will showcase technologies across the hydrogen value chain, including electrolyzers to produce hydrogen that can power both a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine (H2-ICE) concept truck and a fuel cell electric powertrain.

The press release says this about their electrolysers for hydrogen production.

The hydrogen ecosystem is underpinned by green hydrogen production. Accelera’s electrolyzer technology is enabling the infrastructure scale-up needed to support hydrogen-powered vehicles.

They also say that they now have a 2.5 MW electrolyser module.

The press release has a section about the X15H Peterbilt Model 579 Concept Truck, which is a conversion of a standard Peterbilt Model 579 truck.

Cummins will reveal a heavy-duty concept truck featuring the X15H hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2-ICE). The proof-of-concept installation with ratings up to 500 horsepower (372 kW) features a 700-bar pressure 80 kg high-capacity hydrogen storage system. The H2-ICE conversion highlights the opportunity for heavy-duty truck applications to operate on zero-carbon hydrogen fuel with an operating range of more than 500 miles. The hydrogen conversion work is not expected to compromise truck performance, cargo capacity or payload. The substitution of the diesel engine with the 15-liter hydrogen engine and integration with the existing driveline highlights the ability of H2-ICE to offer a zero-carbon solution for fleets to deploy quickly with limited investment.

This footnote says a bit more about the X15H hydrogen internal combustion engine.

The X15H hydrogen engine with up to 1900 foot-pounds torque is an all-new engine platform featuring cutting-edge technology to enhance power density, reduce friction losses and improve thermal efficiency. As a result, performance is equivalent to that of a similar displacement diesel engine and compatible with the same transmissions, drivelines and cooling packages. A further benefit of the X15H is significantly quieter running than a diesel.

It looks to me, that Cummins will be going for both the new build and replacement market.

Werner Enterprises Signs Letter Of Intent Planning To Secure 500 X15H Engines From Cummins and Transport Enterprise Leasing To Integrate Cummins X15H Hydrogen Engine Into Heavy Duty Trucks show this sales philosophy at work.

The press release also says this about their hydrogen fuel cell engine.

Hydrogen fuel cell engines turn hydrogen stored onboard a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) into electricity to power the electric powertrain. This creates efficient, zero-emissions power for demanding applications with longer ranges and harder duty cycles. On display at ACT Expo is Accelera’s FCE150 Gen 4 fuel cell engine, powered to go the distance with superior performance and reliability and zero tailpipe emissions. It features increased power density, efficiency and durability with ease of system integration. It is available in 150 kW and 300 kW configurations with the flexibility to decarbonize a range of heavy-duty applications.

This looks to be a formidable beast.

After America, The World

It will be interesting to see what plans Cummins have for the rest of the world.

These posts contain some of my thoughts.

This must be one of the biggest conversions of a major corporation to zero-carbon thinking.


May 3, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Cummins And Leclanché S.A. To Collaborate On Lower-Emissions Solutions For Use In Marine And Rail Applications

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Today, global power and technology leader, Cummins Inc., and leading provider of energy storage solutions, Leclanché S.A, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The collaboration represents a significant step forward in providing customers with a broader portfolio of integrated power solutions.

Effectively, this means that all customer requirements for integrated power solutions can be met by the two companies.

It appears to me, that if someone wanted Cummins to provide a system like the HybridFLEX train, I wrote about in Rolls-Royce And Porterbrook Launch First Hybrid Rail Project In The UK With MTU Hybrid PowerPacks, then Cummins and Leclanché have the technology between them to create a system.

In the UK, Cummins power these relatively-modern trains.


  1.  They are capable of 100 mph or 125 mph.
  2. Condition of the interiors is generally good.
  3. There are 9 x two-car, 66 x three-car, 59 x four-car, 53 five-car and 4 x seven-car.
  4. In Grand Central DMU To Be Used For Dual-Fuel Trial, I described innovative fuel trails in a Class 180 train.
  5. There could be other similar trains in Europe and around the world.

How many of these trains could be converted to hybrid operation, if Cummins and Leclanché were to create their version of the mtu Hybrid PowerPack?


Have Cummins and Leclanché decided that if a hybrid approach is good enough for Rolls-Royce mtu, then it’s good enough for them?



April 10, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Could The Bombardier Voyagers Be Converted To Hydrogen Power?

Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains all run versions of Bombardier Voyager trains.

  • There are 103 sets in service.
  • Lengths are four, five and seven cars.
  • They are 125 mph trains.
  • They are powered by one Cummins QSK19 diesel engine in each car.

Given Cummins’s enthusiasm for hydrogen could these diesel engines be converted to hydrogen power, so the trains could run long distance routes on zero-carbon power?

If there is no need for them in the UK, there are probably lots of places in the world that would like them!

April 8, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Centrica Business Solutions Begins Work On 20MW Hydrogen-Ready Peaker In Redditch

The title of this post, is the same as that as this news item from Centrica Business Systems.

This is the sub-heading.

Centrica Business Solutions has started work on a 20MW hydrogen-ready gas-fired peaking plant in Worcestershire, as it continues to expand its portfolio of energy assets.

These three paragraphs outline the project.

Centrica has purchased a previously decommissioned power plant in Redditch, and is set to install eight UK assembled containerised engines to burn natural gas.

Expected to be fully operational later this year, the peaking power plant will run only when there is high or peak demand for electricity, or when generation from renewables is low. The Redditch project will have the capacity to power the equivalent of 2,000 homes for a full day when required, helping to maintain stability and reliability on the grid.

The engines will also be capable of burning a blend of natural gas and hydrogen, futureproofing the site and helping the UK transition towards a decarbonised energy system.

  • The original power station had Rolls-Royce generators.
  • Cummins and Rolls-Royce mtu and possibly other companies can probably supply the dual fuel generators.
  • Cummins have received UK Government funding to develop hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines.
  • This press release from Cummins, which is entitled Dawn Of A New Chapter From Darlington, gives more details on Cummins’ plans for the Darlington factory and hydrogen.

Given that Cummins manufactured sixty-six thousand engines in Darlington in 2021 and it is stated that these containerised engines will be assembled in the UK, I feel, that these engines may be from Cummins.

Centrica’s Plans

This paragraph in the Centrica Business Systems news item, outlines their plans.

The Redditch peaking plant is part of Centrica’s plans to deliver around 1GW of flexible energy assets, that includes the redevelopment of several legacy-owned power stations, including the transformation of the former Brigg Power Station in Lincolnshire into a battery storage asset and the first plant in the UK to be part fuelled by hydrogen.

As Redditch power station is only 20 MW, Centrica could be thinking of around fifty assets of a similar size.

Brigg Power Station

The Wikipedia entry for Brigg Power station gives these details of the station.

  • The station was built in 1993.
  • It is a combined cycle gas turbine power station.
  • The primary fuel is natural gas, but it can also run on diesel.
  • It has a nameplate capacity of 240 MW.

Brigg power station is also to be used as a test site for hydrogen firing.

This news item from Centrica is entitled Centrica And HiiROC To Inject Hydrogen At Brigg Gas-Fired Power Station In UK First Project.

These paragraphs from the news item explains the process.

The 49MW gas fired plant at Brigg is designed to meet demand during peak times or when generation from renewables is low, typically operating for less than three hours a day. Mixing hydrogen in with natural gas reduces the overall carbon intensity.

It’s anticipated that during the trial, getting underway in Q3 2023, no more than three per cent of the gas mix could be hydrogen, increasing to 20% incrementally after the project. Longer term, the vision is to move towards 100% hydrogen and to deploy similar technology across all gas-fired peaking plant.

HiiROC’s proprietary technology converts biomethane, flare gas or natural gas into clean hydrogen and carbon black, through an innovative Thermal Plasma Electrolysis process. This results in a low carbon, or potentially negative carbon, ‘emerald hydrogen’.

Because the byproduct comes in the form of a valuable, solid, pure carbon it can be easily captured and used in applications ranging from tyres, rubbers and toners, and in new use cases like building materials and even as a soil enhancer.

It looks to me, that HiiROC are using an updated version of a process called pyrolysis, which is fully and well-described in this Wikipedia entry. This is the first paragraph.

The pyrolysis (or devolatilization) process is the thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures, often in an inert atmosphere. It involves a change of chemical composition. The word is coined from the Greek-derived elements pyro “fire”, “heat”, “fever” and lysis “separating”.

Pyrolysis is more common than you think and is even used in cooking to do things like caramelise onions. This is a video of a chef giving a demonstration of caramelising onions.

On an industrial scale, pyrolysis is used to make coke and charcoal.

I came across pyrolysis in my first job after graduating, when I worked at ICI Runcorn.

ICI were trying to make acetylene in a process plant they had bought from BASF. Ethylene was burned in an atmosphere, that didn’t have much oxygen and then quenched in naphtha. This should have produced acetylene , but all it produced was tonnes of black soot, that it spread all over Runcorn.

I shared an office with a guy, who was using a purpose-built instrument to measure acetylene in the off-gas from the burners.

When he discovered that the gas could be in explosive limits, ICI shut the plant down. The Germans didn’t believe this and said, that anyway it was impossible to do the measurement.

ICI gave up on the process and demolished their plant, but sadly the German plant blew up and killed several workers.

It does look like HiiROC have tamed the process to be able to put hydrocarbons in one end and get hydrogen and carbon black out the other.

I wonder how many old and possibly dangerous chemical processes can be reimagined using modern technology.

It certainly appears that Centrica are not holding back on innovation.


I’ve never run a large electricity network. Not even a simulated one.

But I’m fairly sure that having a large number of assets of different sizes, that can be optimised to the load and the fuel available, creates a more reliable and efficient network.

Heavy energy users may even have their own small efficient power station, that is powered by gases piped from the local landfill.



April 6, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ricardo Supports Industry Leaders To Develop Innovative Dedicated Hydrogen Engine

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

This is the sub-heading.

Ricardo, a global strategic, environmental, and engineering consulting company, has delivered a hydrogen-fuelled research engine to global engine specialist Cummins and automotive supplier BorgWarner, as part of Project BRUNEL part funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC)

These four paragraphs outline the project.

Cummins is a global specialist in diesel and alternative fuel engines and generators, and related components and technology. BorgWarner is an automotive tier 1 supplier and specialist in the design and manufacture of systems for electrified and conventional propulsion types, that includes injection equipment for conventional and renewable fuels. BorgWarner recently announced the intention to spin off its Fuel Systems segment. The intended company name is PHINIA Inc. PHINIA is expected to be a product leader in fuel systems, starters, alternators and aftermarket distribution.

The project aims to support internal combustion engine (ICE) sub-system suppliers to increase their use of hydrogen as an alternative zero-emissions fuel solution across the light commercial vehicle market.

The engine is specifically designed to burn only hydrogen – with no supporting fuels that could give rise to any carbonaceous, or excessive air quality emissions.

Experts in hydrogen technology and integration, Ricardo has provided an engine based upon its world-renowned series of single cylinder research units, which can help the research teams evaluate a wide variety of fuels. The engine is designed to help engineers evaluate a variety of injector types and will support increased fuel efficiency, reduced air quality emissions and the move towards carbon-free heavy-duty propulsion.

Reports of the death of the internal combustion engine are greatly exaggerated.

The Aims Of The Project

This talks about the light commercial market, which for Cummins means, that this engine could be a replacement for their B Series engine, which is described in Wikipedia like this.

In production since 1984, the B series engine family is intended for multiple applications on and off-highway, light-duty, and medium-duty. In the automotive industry, it is best known for its use in school buses, public service buses (most commonly the Dennis Dart and the Alexander Dennis Enviro400) in the United Kingdom, and Dodge/Ram pickup trucks.

A version is also used in London’s New Routemaster buses.

Speculation About A Hydrogen-Powered Dodge Ram Pickup

This article on Mopar Insiders is entitled Next-Gen Ram Heavy Duty Could Feature Cummins Hydrogen Powerplant!

It has this sub-heading.

Fast Refuel Times, Extended Range, & Zero-Emissions…

Sounds great for wide open spaces.

I’ve also read in an interview with a retiring Cummins Executive, who said that Dodge RAM trucks are being converted to hydrogen by enthusiasts.

Could New Routemasters Be Converted To Hydrogen?

In the Wikipedia entry for the Cummins B Series engine, this is said about the engine in a New Routemaster.

The 4.5L ISB is essentially a four-cylinder, two-thirds version of the 6.7L ISB rated at 185 hp (138 kW), used in the New Routemaster, a series hybrid diesel-electric doubledecker bus in London.

Having worked in the Cummins factory at Darlington, I know they are happy to produce specials for a particular application, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a hydrogen-powered New Routemaster created by an engine and fuel system transplant.


The tie-up between Cummins, BorgWarner and Ricardo could be significant.

American power with a touch of Sussex finesse.


March 26, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cummins Launches Accelera By Cummins To Advance The Transition To A Zero-Emissions Future

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

These paragraphs outline the creation of the new brand.

Global power and technology leader Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) today announced the launch of Accelera by Cummins, a new brand for its New Power business unit. Accelera provides a diverse portfolio of zero-emissions solutions for many of the world’s most vital industries empowering customers to accelerate their transition to a sustainable future.

The launch of Accelera is a significant step forward in Cummins’ efforts to achieve its Destination Zero strategy, focused on evolving Cummins technologies to reach zero emissions across its product portfolio. Cummins’ Destination Zero strategy is rooted in the understanding that multiple solutions are required to achieve industry-wide decarbonization across the diverse applications the company powers. Over the past several years, Cummins has invested more than $1.5 billion in research and technology, capital and acquisitions to build Accelera’s leadership and technological capabilities. Accelera is now a global leader in zero-emissions technologies, providing battery electric and fuel cell electric solutions across commercial and industrial applications with hundreds of electrolyzers generating hydrogen around the world today.

The press release then gives details of the zero-carbon products, that are in Accelera’s portfolio.

The press release finishes by announcing some zero-carbon projects. These are ones, thaat are new to me.

  • Accelera by Cummins will supply a 90-megawatt proton exchange membrane electrolyzer system for Varennes Carbon Recycling’s plant in Quebec, Canada.
  • Accelera and Blue Bird aim to power a new fleet of 1,000 electric school buses across the United States over the next 12-18 months.
  • Cummins’ breakthrough technologies have reduced the company’s product emissions by more than 90% over the past 25 years, and Accelera will continue to advance the company’s path toward a zero-emissions future.
  • Increasing global electrolyzer manufacturing capacity with gigawatt-scalable plants in Fridley, Minnesota – its first in the United States – and in Spain (now under construction).
  • Powering the world’s first hydrogen refueling station for ships, cars, trucks and industrial customers in Antwerp, Belgium
  • Powering the world’s first megawatt-scale demonstration plant for storing wind energy in the natural gas grid in Windgas Falkenhagen, Germany
  • Deploying four hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered class 8 heavy-duty trucks with several marquis fleet customers in the United States.
  • Powering refuse trucks with FAUN across Europe.

Cummins has arrived and will be a big player, as we more towards a zero-carbon world.

Only two people are mentioned in the press release.

  • Jennifer Rumsey, Cummins President and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Amy Davis, who has led the New Power business unit since 2020, will serve as President of Accelera.

Cummins has changed itself! Is it changing the world?

March 8, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cummins Fuel-Agnostic X Series Platform

This post shows a Cummins video on YouTube about their fuel-agnostic X Series engine.


March 7, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

Universal Hydrogen And Railway Locomotives

On the product page of the Universal Hydrogen web site, there is a section, which is entitled Other Transportation Applications, where this is said.

Our lightweight, aviation-grade modular hydrogen capsules can be used in a wide range of transportation applications where weight, safety, and speed of refueling are important. We are working with partners in automotive, heavy equipment, maritime, and railroad domains. If you have an application that can benefit from our global modular green hydrogen distribution network, please get in touch!

I believe that the railway locomotive of the future will be hydrogen-electric. And so do some of the UK’s rail freight companies, judging, by some of their press releases.

  • It would have an electric transmission. like most locomotives today, such as the UK’s Class 66, Class 68, Class 70, Class 88, Class 93 and the upcoming Class 99 locomotives.
  • It will be able to use 25 KVAC overhead electrification, where it exists.
  • Hydrogen-power will be used, where there is no electrification.

The lowest-carbon of the locomotives, that I listed, will probably be the Class 99 locomotive.

  • Thirty have been ordered by GB Railfreight, from Swiss company; Stadler.
  • The locomotives will be built at Valencia in Spain.
  • It will have up to 6 MW, when running using electrification.
  • It will have up to 1.6 MW, when running using a Cummins diesel, with a rating of 2,150 hp.
  • Because a proportion of UK freight routes are electrified, it is likely that these locomotives will substantially reduce carbon emissions for many locomotive-hauled operations.

It should be noted that Cummins are heavily into hydrogen and their philosophy seems to embrace families of engines, which are identical below the cylinder head gasket, but with appropriate cylinder heads and fuel systems, they can run on diesel, natural gas or hydrogen.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the Class 99 locomotive will have a diesel engine, that has a hydrogen-powered sibling under development at Cummins.

With perhaps a power on hydrogen of about 2.5 MW, these zero-carbon locomotives would be able to handle upwards of ninety percent of all heavy freight trains in the UK.

These are further thoughts.

Alternatives To Cummins Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines

There are two main alternatives, in addition to similar engines from companies like Caterpillar, JCB, Rolls-Royce mtu and others.

  • Fuel cells
  • Gas-turbine engines.


  1. Universal Hydrogen and others have fuel cells, that can probably deliver 2.5 MW.
  2. Universal Hydrogen use Plug Power fuel cells.
  3. Rolls-Royce have developed a 2.5 MW electrical generator, based on the engine in a Super Hercules, that is about the size of a typical beer-keg. I wrote about this generator in What Does 2.5 MW Look Like?.

Cummins may be in the pole position with Stadler, but there are interesting ideas out there!

Cummins have also indicated, they will build hydrogen internal combustion engines at Darlington in the UK.

Would One Of Universal Hydrogen’s Hydrogen Capsules Fit In A Railway Locomotive?

These are various widths.

  • Class 66 locomotive – 2.63 metres.
  • ATR72 airliner – 2.57 metres.
  • DHC Dash-8 airliner – 2.52 metres
  • Class 43 power car – 2.74 metres

I suspect that even if it was a bit smaller a hydrogen capsule could be made for a UK locomotive.

How Big Is The Market?

The UK has around five hundred diesel railway locomotives.


March 5, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Cummins’ First Female Engineer Retiring After Nearly 40 Years In A Pioneering Role

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Commercial Carrier Journal.

The article was picked up by my Google Alert for the Cummins X15H, which is their new hydrogen internal combustion engine for large trucks.

This is the first paragraph.

Amy Boerger, Cummins vice president and general manager of on-highway for North America, is retiring in March following a nearly 40-year career. Srikanth Padmanabahn, president of Cummins’ engine business segment, said Boerger has been critical to the company’s success and leaves behind a legacy that will propel the company ahead. “She is a trusted partner and advisor and has strengthened many customer relationships that are more important than ever as they look to us for the solutions of today and tomorrow during this period of energy transition,” Padmanabahn said.

The article is an interesting long read for anybody, who is interested in the future of large diesel engines and the thinking of one of the world’s biggest players in the diesel engine industry.

This is an important paragraph.

“When we go to customers and they ask us ‘Hey, is electric for me?’ or ‘Is hydrogen for me?’ we try to steer them away from those questions,” said Samperio, who serves . “Instead, why don’t we start with the question on what are you trying to achieve. What are your goals? How do you operate? And then after we understand that, then we’ll be in a better position to say (whether) this technology fits your operation a little better or … that technology fits your operation a little better. That way, I think it allows us to just have a conversation more about what they’re trying to achieve rather than picking winners and losers.”

Samperio will be the lady’s successor.


January 27, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment