The Anonymous Widower

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

Could Class 777 Trains Create A Metro Centred On Preston?

Preston station is a major station on the West Coast Main Line, that will be served by High Speed Two.

  • Electric long distance services to and from Birmingham, Carlisle, Liverpool, London Euston, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow serve the station.
  • Electric and diesel local services fan out from the station to Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, Colne, Liverpool, Manchester and Ormskirk.
  • Other local services could be developed.

Could the local services be turned into a zero-carbon Metro centred on Preston station, that would possibly use a version of Merseyrail’s Class 777 trains?

The Routes

These routes could be part of the Metro.

Preston And Barrow-in-Furness

Consider.

  • This route is 55.8 miles long.
  • The service calls at Lancaster, Carnforth, Silverdale, Arnside, Grange-over-Sands, Kents Bank, Cark, Ulverston, Dalton and Roose
  • The route is electrified between Preston and Carnforth.
  • 28.1 miles of the route are without electrification.

Northern use Class 195 diesel trains on this route.

Preston And Blackpool North

Consider.

  • This route is 17.5 miles long.
  • The service calls at Kirkham & Wesham, Poulton-le-Fylde and Layton
  • The route is fully-electrified.

Northern use Class 195, 319 and 331 trains on this route.

Preston And Blackpool South

Consider.

  • This route is 19.9 miles long.
  • The service calls at Salwick, Kirkham & Wesham, Moss Side, Lytham, Ansdell & Fairhaven, St Annes-on-the-Sea, Squires Gate and Blackpool Pleasure Beach
  • The route is electrified between Preston and Kirkham & Wesham
  • 12.1 miles of the route are without electrification.

Northern use diesel trains on this route.

Preston And Colne

Consider.

  • This route is 29.1 miles long.
  • The service calls at Lostock Hall, Bamber Bridge, Pleasington, Cherry Tree, Mill Hill, Blackburn, Rishton, Church & Oswaldtwistle, Accrington, Huncoat, Hapton, Rose Grove, Burnley Barracks, Burnley Central, Brierfield and Nelson.
  • Colne is 165 metres above sea level.
  • The route is not electrified.

Northern use diesel trains on this route.

This route could also be extended to Skipton in Yorkshire, which is something that was promised by Government a few years ago.

The extension to Skipton could be another 15 miles.

Preston And Fleetwood

Consider.

  • This route is 20.9 miles long.
  • The service could call at Salwick, Kirkham & Wesham and Poulton-le-Fylde
  • The route is electrified between Preston and Poulton-le-Fylde
  • This route would need to be reinstated.

6.6 miles of the route are without electrification.

Preston And Liverpool Lime Street via St. Helens

Consider.

  • This route is 35.2 miles long.
  • The service calls at Huyton, St Helens Central, Wigan North Western, Euxton Balshaw Lane and Leyland
  • The route is fully-electrified.

Northern use Class 319 and 331 trains on this route.

Preston And Manchester Airport

Consider.

  • This route is 35.2 miles long.
  • The service calls at Heald Green, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Deansgate, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Lostock, Horwich Parkway, Blackrod, Adlington (1tph), Chorley, Buckshaw Parkway and Leyland
  • The route is fully-electrified.

Northern use Class 195 and 331 trains on this route.

Preston And Ormskirk

Consider.

  • This route is 15.3 miles long.
  • The service calls at Burscough Junction, Rufford and Croston.
  • The route is not electrified.

Merseyrail have their eyes on this route.

Preston And Windermere

Consider.

  • This route is 50.3 miles long.
  • The service calls at Lancaster, Carnforth, Oxenholme Lake District, Kendal, Burneside and Staveley
  • The route is electrified between Preston and Oxenholme Lake District.
  • 10.2 miles of the route are without electrification.

Northern use Class 195 diesel trains on this route.

Class 777 Trains

Consider.

  • According to Stadler’s specification for the Class 777 IPEMU, the battery-equipped Class 777 trains have a range of 55 km or 34.2 miles.
  • But, according to New Merseyrail Train Runs 135km On Battery, these trains have done 135 km or 83.9 miles.
  • As there is no third-rail electrification at Preston, but lots of 25 KVAC overhead electrification, the version of the Class 777 train for 25 KVAC overhead will need to be used.
  • There is no way that any third-rail electrification can be installed.

One comment to my post; The Stadler Data Sheet For A Class 777 IPEMU, suggests that batteries can’t be used with the 25 KVAC variant of the Class 777 due to lack of space.

I will use a starting point for the Class 777 IPEMU, that can access 25 KVAC has a range of 40 miles, which is just under half of the demonstrated maximum range of the current trains.

Class 331 Trains With Batteries

CAF have proposed a battery-electric version of their Class 331 train.

The closely-related Class 195 diesel trains and Class 331 trains already work some of the routes through Preston.

In Thoughts On CAF’s Battery-Electric Class 331 Trains, I estimated the range of these trains and reckoned that they would be between 35 and 70 miles.

The South Wales Valley Lines Solution

In The Greening Of The Valleys, I describe how the South Wales Metro will use a mix of trains.

  • Stadler Citylink tram-trains for local routes.
  • Stadler FLIRTs for routes on the main lines.

So could a Metro centred on Preston be based on the same principle?

I’ll look at each line in order.

Preston And Barrow-in-Furness

Consider.

  • This route is 55.8 miles long.
  • 28.1 miles of the route are without electrification.
  • Northern use Class 195 diesel trains on this route.

A Class 331 with a battery range of sixty miles could work this route, charging the batteries between Preston and Carnforth.

Preston And Blackpool North

Any train that could use 25 KVAC electrification could use this route.

Preston And Blackpool South

Consider.

  • This route is 19.9 miles long.
  • 12.1 miles of the route are without electrification.
  • Northern use diesel trains on this route.

A Class 777 with a battery range of 24.2 miles could work this route, charging the batteries between Preston and Kirkham & Wesham.

Preston And Colne

Consider.

  • This route is 29.1 miles long.
  • Colne is 165 metres above sea level.
  • The route is not electrified.
  • Northern use diesel trains on this route.

A Class 777 with a battery range of 30 miles could work this route, charging the batteries at Preston and Colne.

It might be prudent to electrify the single track line between Gannow Junction and Colne, so that trains have enough power to climb the hill to Colne and reach Colne with a full battery.

The extension to Skipton would require a range of 30 miles or just fifteen miles, if the 25 KVAC at Skipton was used to recharge the trains.

Preston And Fleetwood

Consider.

  • This route is 20.9 miles long.
  • 6.6 miles of the route are without electrification.

A Class 777 with a battery range of 13.2 miles could work this route, charging the batteries between Preston and Poulton-le-Fylde.

Preston And Liverpool Lime Street via St. Helens

Any train that could use 25 KVAC electrification could use this route.

Preston And Manchester Airport

Any train that could use 25 KVAC electrification could use this route.

Preston And Ormskirk

Consider.

  • This route is 15.3 miles long.
  • The route is not electrified.

A Class 777 with a battery range of 30.6 miles could work this route.

Trains would charge on their home network.

Preston And Windermere

Consider.

  • This route is 50.3 miles long.
  • 10.2 miles of the route are without electrification.
  • Northern use Class 195 diesel trains on this route.

A Class 331 with a battery range of 20.4 miles could work this route, charging the batteries between Preston and Oxenholme Lake District.

Electrification Between Preston and Skipton Via Colne

Earlier when discussing the service to Colne and Slopton, I said this.

It might be prudent to electrify the single track line between Gannow Junction and Colne.

But surely, as this would mean, that virtually the whole route between The West Coast Main Line at Preston and the East Coast Main Line would be electrified, it would be sensible to electrify between Preston and Gannow Junction.

If this electrification were to be made continuous, this would mean the following.

  • There would be a fully-electrified line between Blackpool and Leeds, which could be worked by Class 331 trains.
  • There could be a valuable diversion route to help, whilst the main transPennine routes were upgraded.
  • Class 777 trains with batteries would only be needed on the Blackpool South and Fleetwood routes from Preston.

The battery range needed would be just 24.2 miles to handle the longer Blackpool South route.

January 18, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

HS2 Smashes Carbon Target

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

This is a must-read article which explains how the various companies building High Speed Two are progressing in making all of the work sites diesel-free.

GeoPura is mentioned in the article and on this page on GeoPura’s case studies, which is entitled HS2 Reveals Successful Results Of Hydrogen Generator Trial, full details of the trial are given.

An HS2 construction site in London has held successful trials for two zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell-based electricity generators – cutting carbon and improving air quality for workers and the local community.

The two GeoPura 250kVA hydrogen power units (HPUs) were trialled over the last year at HS2’s Victoria Road Crossover Box in Ealing, as a direct replacement for diesel generators to power machinery on the site.

There is also this video from High Speed Two.

Note.

  1. The use of electric cranes, diggers, dump trucks.
  2. The red trailer with lots of small cylinders, which is used to supply hydrogen.
  3. HS2 are also using HVO and flywheels to store energy.
  4. The video is narrated by HS2’s Air Quality Manager. If every project had one of these, it must surely speed decarbonisation.

We need more electric construction.

January 15, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Low Carbon Construction Of Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station

Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station is going to be built on the Suffolk Coast.

Wikipedia says this about the power station’s construction.

The project is expected to commence before 2024, with construction taking between nine and twelve years, depending on developments at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, which is also being developed by EDF Energy and which shares major similarities with the Sizewell plant.

It is a massive project and I believe the construction program will be designed to be as low-carbon as possible.

High Speed Two is following the low-carbon route and as an example, this news item on their web site, which is entitled HS2 Completes Largest Ever UK Pour Of Carbon-Reducing Concrete On Euston Station Site, makes all the right noises.

These three paragraphs explain in detail what has been done on the Euston station site.

The team constructing HS2’s new Euston station has undertaken the largest ever UK pour of Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC) – a material that reduces the amount of carbon embedded into the concrete, saving over 76 tonnes of CO2 overall. John F Hunt, working for HS2’s station Construction Partner, Mace Dragados joint venture, completed the 232 m3 concrete pour in early September.

The EFC product, supplied by Capital Concrete, has been used as a foundation slab that will support polymer silos used for future piling works at the north of the Euston station site. Whilst the foundation is temporary, it will be in use for two years, and historically would have been constructed with a more traditional cement-based concrete.

The use of the product on this scale is an important step forward in how new, innovative environmentally sustainable products can be used in construction. It also helps support HS2’s objective of net-zero construction by 2035, and achieve its goal of halving the amount of carbon in the construction of Britain’s new high speed rail line.

Note.

  1. Ten of these slabs would fill an Olympic swimming pool.
  2. I first wrote about Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC) in this post called Earth Friendly Concrete.
  3. EFC is an Australian invention and is based on a geopolymer binder that is made from the chemical activation of two recycled industrial wastes; flyash and slag.
  4. HS2’s objective of net-zero construction by 2035 is laudable.
  5. It does appear that this is a trial, but as the slab will be removed in two years, they will be able to examine in detail how it performed.

I hope the Sizewell C project team are following High Speed Two’s lead.

Rail Support For Sizewell C

The Sizewell site has a rail connection and it appears that this will be used to bring in construction materials for the project.

In the January 2023 Edition of Modern Railways, there is an article, which is entitled Rail Set To Support Sizewell C Construction.

It details how sidings will be built to support the construction, with up to four trains per day (tpd), but electrification is not mentioned.

This is surprising to me, as increasingly, big construction projects are being managed to emit as small an amount of carbon as possible.  Sizewell C may be an isolated site, but in Sizewell B, it’s got one of the UK’s biggest independent carbon-free electricity generators a couple of hundred metres away.

The writer of the Modern Railways article, thinks an opportunity is being missed.

I feel the following should be done.

  • Improve and electrify the East Suffolk Line between Ipswich and Saxmundham Junction.
  • Electrify the Aldeburgh Branch Line and the sidings to support the construction or agree to use battery-electric or hydrogen zero-carbon locomotives.

Sizewell C could be a superb demonstration project for low-carbon construction!

Sizewell C Deliveries

Sizewell C will be a massive project and and will require a large number of deliveries, many of which will be heavy.

The roads in the area are congested, so I suspect rail is the preferred method for deliveries.

We already know from the Modern Railways article, that four tpd will shuttle material to a number of sidings close to the site. This is a good start.

Since Sizewell A opened, trains have regularly served the Sizewell site to bring in and take out nuclear material. These occasional trains go via Ipswich and in the last couple of years have generally been hauled by Class 88 electro-diesel locomotives.

It would be reasonable to assume that the Sizewell C sidings will be served in the same manner.

But the route between Westerfield Junction and Ipswich station is becoming increasingly busy with the following services.

  • Greater Anglia’s London and Norwich services
  • Greater Anglia’s Ipswich and Cambridge services
  • Greater Anglia’s Ipswich and Felixstowe services
  • Greater Anglia’s Ipswich and Lowestoft services
  • Greater Anglia’s Ipswich and Peterborough services
  • Freight services serving the Port of Felixstowe, which are expected to increase significantly in forthcoming years.

But the Modern Railways article says this about Saxmundham junction.

Saxmundham junction, where the branch meets the main line, will be relaid on a slightly revised alignment, retaining the existing layout but with full signalling giving three routes from the junction protecting signal on the Down East Suffolk line and two in the Down direction on the bidirectional Up East Suffolk line. Trap points will be installed on the branch to protect the main line, with the exit signal having routes to both running lines.

Does the comprehensive signalling mean that a freight train can enter or leave the Sizewell sidings to or from either the busy Ipswich or the quieter Lowestoft direction in a very safe manner?

I’m no expert on signalling, but I think it does.

  • A train coming from the Lowestoft direction needing to enter the sidings would go past Saxmundham junction  on the Up line. Once clear of the junction, it would stop and reverse into the branch.
  • A train coming from the Ipswich direction needing to enter the sidings would approach in the wrong direction on the Up line and go straight into the branch.
  • A train leaving the sidings in the Lowestoft direction would exit from the branch and take the Up line until it became single track. The train would then stop and reverse on to the Down line and take this all the way to Lowestoft.
  • A train leaving the sidings in the Ipswich direction would exit from the branch and take the Up line  all the way to Ipswich.

There would need to be ability to move the locomotive from one end to the other inside the Sizewell site or perhaps these trains could be run with a locomotive on both ends.

The advantage of being able to run freight trains between Sizewell and Lowestoft becomes obvious, when you look at this Google Map, which shows the Port of Lowestoft.

Note.

  1. The Inner Harbour of the Port of Lowestoft.
  2. The East Suffolk Line running East-West to the North of the Inner Harbour.
  3. Lowestoft station at the East side of the map.

I doubt it would be the most difficult or expensive of projects to build a small freight terminal on the North side of the Inner Harbour.

I suspect that the easiest way to bring the material needed to build the power station to Sizewell would be to do the following.

  • Deliver it to the Port of Lowestoft by ship.
  • Tranship to a suitable shuttle train for the journey to the Sizewell sidings.
  • I estimate that the distance is only about 25 miles and a battery or hydrogen locomotive will surely be available in the UK in the next few years, that will be able to provide the motive power for the return journey.

In The TruckTrain, I wrote about a revolutionary freight concept, that could be ideal for the Sizewell freight shuttle.

In addition, there is no reason, why shuttle trains couldn’t come in from anywhere connected to the East Suffolk Line.

Zero-Carbon Construction

Sizewell C could be the first major construction site in the UK to use electricity rather than diesel simply because of its neighbour.

Conclusion

I shall be following the construction methods at Sizewell C, as I’m fairly sure they will break new ground in the decarbonisation of the Construction industry.

December 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Offshore Wind Developers Answer Scotland’s Call For Innovation, Oil And Gas Decarbonisation

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

This is the sub-heading.

Crown Estate Scotland has received a total of 19 applications for its Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas (INTOG) offshore wind leasing process.

INTOG

Note that there are two sections to INTOG.

This document on the Crown Estate Scotland web site, is entitled INTOG – Public Summary and it defines the two sections.

Innovation:

  • To enable projects which support cost reduction in support of commercial deployment of offshore wind including alternative outputs such as Hydrogen.
  • To further develop Scotland as a destination for innovation and technical development which will lead to risk reductions and supply chain opportunity.

Applications in this section should be no more than 100 MW in capacity.

Targeted Oil and Gas:

  • To maximise the role of offshore wind to reduce emissions from oil and gas production.
  • To achieve target installed capacity in a way that delivers best value for Scotland, creating supply chain opportunity in alignment with Just Transition principles.

A rough estimate is that powering rigs by using offshore wind would increase gas production by around ten percent.

The Applications

The article says this about the applications.

Of the 19 applications, ten are for the Innovation part, while nine have been submitted for the TOG element.

It is expected that up to 500 MW will be awarded to innovation projects and around 4 GW for projects looking to decarbonise oil and gas assets.

The article also lists the known bidders.

Conclusion

I believe that there is going to be some outstanding applications for leases under the INTOG scheme.

I have already written about Cerulean Winds ambitious proposal in Cerulean Winds Is A Different Type Of Wind Energy Company, which could result in 6 GW of wind turbines installed amongst the oil and gas fields to provide electricity and decarbonise the platforms and rigs.

 

 

December 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Green Shift: Zero Emission Buses Could Lure Millions Onto Public Transport

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Go-Ahead Group.

These are the bullet points of the press release.

  • A majority (55%) of people are likely to travel by bus more often if buses are powered by zero-emission electric or hydrogen batteries.
  • Only a quarter of the public think bus travel in general is ‘green’. But eight out of ten view zero emission buses as ‘green’.
  • Younger people are particularly likely to be swayed in their travel habits by a switch towards low emission technology
  • Independent research carried out for Go-Ahead Group’s new Zero Emission Centre of Excellence.

This paragraph was their conclusion.

Buses powered by electric or hydrogen batteries could lure millions of additional passengers onto public transport according to new research into public attitudes towards travel.

The research was performed by independent research company; Savanta ComRes, who are described like this in Wikipedia.

Savanta ComRes is a market research consultancy based in London, England. Established in 2003 as Communicate Research Ltd, ComRes was a founding member of the British Polling Council in 2004, and is one of the UK’s best known polling companies.

To my mind this is the sort of market research, that can often shoot yourself in the foot, so because the result has been published by the company and would be unlikely to be rejected by customers, who would be unlikely to say no to a nice new bus, I think we’re seeing the truth here.

I would ask, whether the conclusions would apply to other forms of public transport like trains, planes and ships.

These figures show the percentage increase in passenger numbers at intermediate Gospel Oak and Barking Line stations between 2017-18 and 2021-22.

  • Upper Holloway – 53 %
  • Crouch Hill – 42 %
  • Harringay Green Lanes – 42 %
  • South Tottenham – 41 %
  • Blackhorse Road – 23 %
  • Walthamstow Queen’s Road – 38 %
  • Leyton Midland Road – 39 %
  • Leytonstone High Road – 40 %
  • Wanstead Park – 55 %
  • Woodgrange Park – 42 %

Note.

  1. 2017-18 is pre-electrification and Covid-19
  2. 2021-22 is after-electrification and Covid-19
  3. Pre-electrification, the trains were modern Class 172 diesel trains, with 124 seats.
  4. After electrification, the trains were modern Class 710 electric trains, with 189 seats.
  5. There were only small infrastructure changes on the route between 2017 and 2021, other than the electrification and some lifts.

The average increase in passenger numbers was 41.5 %.

I can also look at the figures for London Overground stations on the Lea Valley Lines, where forty-year-old Class 315 trains were replaced with modern Class 710 trains in 2020.

  • Chingford – -35 %
  • Highams Park – -27 %
  • Wood Street – -10 %
  • Walthamstow Central – -33 %
  • St, James Street – -13 %
  • Clapton – -18 %
  • Hackney Downs – -40 %
  • London Fields – -29 %
  • Cambridge Heath – -22 %
  • Bethnal Green – -8 %
  • Enfield Town – -35 %
  • Bush Hill Park – -38 %
  • Edmonton Green – -31 %
  • Silver Street – -25 %
  • White Hart Lane – -2 %
  • Bruce Grove – -25 %
  • Seven Sisters – -34 %
  • Stamford Hill – -21 %
  • Stoke Newington – -37 %
  • Rectory Road – -38 %
  • Theobalds Grove – -18 %
  • Turkey Street – -29 %
  • Southbury – -26 %
  • Emerson Park – -36 %

Note.

  1. 2017-18 is pre-Class 710 trains and Covid-19
  2. 2021-22 is after-Class 710 trains and Covid-19
  3. White Hart Lane is probably a low reduction because of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has increased passenger numbers.

The average decline in passenger numbers was 26.25 %.

Analysis

It does appear that the figures for the Gospel Oak and Barking Line fit with Go-Ahead’s findings, that were published in their press release.

But why did the other Overground lines, which received new Class 710 trains have such a large decline in traffic?

I can postulate these reasons.

  • There was no green transition on the other lines.
  • Passengers on the Gospel Oak and Barking Line have no easy alternative form of public transport.
  • Some of the competing bus routes to the Lea Valley Lines now have zero-carbon buses.
  • Passengers don’t like the longitudinal seating of the Class 710 trains.
  • Passengers using the Lea Valley Lines are more affluent and can work from home.
  • Covid-19

It will be interesting to see how passenger numbers move in the next couple of years.

Is It Worthwhile Replacing Diesel Trains With Zero-Carbon Trains?

From the Gospel Oak and Barking figures and Go-Ahead’s press release, this will appear to be a worthwhile action.

If you get an increase in passenger numbers, when you replace the quality Class 172 trains on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, what sort of increase would you get if you were replacing trains, that were well past their best?

Is It Worthwhile Replacing Older Electric Trains With New Zero-Carbon Trains?

The figures from the Lea Valley Lines are poor, when compared to those of the Gospel Oak to Barking Line, so unless there are other reasons, it may be better to soldier on with the existing trains.

 

December 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Increased CCS Can Decarbonise GB Electricity Faster On Route To Net Zero

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item on the SSE web site.

This is the first paragraph.

Building more power carbon capture and storage plants (Power CCS) could significantly accelerate the UK’s plans to decarbonise the GB electricity system on route to net zero, according to new analysis commissioned by SSE.

I am not surprised, as in my time, I have built several production, storage and distribution mathematical models for products and sometimes bringing things forward has beneficial effects.

These three paragraphs summarise the findings.

The UK Government’s proposed emissions reductions from electricity for 2035 could be accelerated to 2030 by combining its 50GW offshore wind ambition with a significant step up in deployment of Power CCS. This would require 7-9GW (equivalent to 10-12 plants) of Power CCS compared to the current commitment of at least one Power CCS plant mid-decade, according to experts at LCP Delta.

Replacing unabated gas with abated Power CCS generation will deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis suggests that adding 7-9GW Power CCS to the UK’s 2030 offshore wind ambition will save an additional 18 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040, by preventing carbon emissions during periods when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing.

Gas consumption for electricity generation would not significantly increase, given the 7-9GW Power CCS would displace older and less efficient unabated gas power stations already operating and reduce importing unabated gas generation from abroad via the interconnectors. Importantly, Power CCS can provide a safety net to capture emissions from any gas required to keep the lights on in the event of delays to the roll out of renewables or nuclear.

The report is by LCP Delta, who are consultants based in Edinburgh.

The report says this about the transition to hydrogen.

Power CCS also presents significant opportunities to kickstart, then transition to, a hydrogen economy, benefitting from the synergies between CCS and hydrogen, including proximity to large-scale renewable generation and gas storage facilities which can support the production of both electrolytic and CCS-enabled hydrogen.

And this about the reduction in carbon emissions.

The existing renewables ambition and the accelerated Power CCS ambition are expected to save a total of 72 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040 compared to commitments in the UK’s Net Zero Strategy from October 2021.

I don’t think there’s much wrong with this analysis.

But of course the greens will trash it, as it was paid for by SSE.

I have a few thoughts.

Carbon Capture And Use

I believe we will see a great increase in carbon capture and use.

  • Carbon dioxide is already an ingredient to make Quorn.
  • Carbon dioxide is needed for fizzy drinks.
  • Carbon dioxide can be fed to tomatoes, salad plants, herbs and flowers in giant greenhouses.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used to make animal and pet food.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used to make building products like plasterboard and blocks.
  • Carbon dioxide can be added to concrete.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used as a refrigerant and in air-conditioning. There are one or two old Victorian systems still working.

Other uses will be developed.

Carbon Capture Will Get More Efficient

Carbon capture from power stations and boilers, that use natural gas is a relatively new process and its capture will surely get better and more efficient in the next few years.

Gas From INTOG

I explain INTOG in What Is INTOG?.

One of INTOG’s aims, is to supply electricity to the oil and gas rigs and platforms in the sea around the UK.

Currently, these rigs and platforms, use some of the gas they produce, in gas turbines to create the electricity they need.

  • I have seen reports that ten percent of the gas that comes out of the ground is used in this way.
  • Using the gas as fuel creates more carbon dioxide.

Decarbonisation of our oil and gas rigs and platforms, will obviously be a good thing because of a reduction of the carbon dioxide emitted. but it will also mean that the gas that would have been used to power the platform can be brought ashore to power industry and domestic heating, or be exported to countries who need it.

Gas may not be carbon-neutral, but some gas is more carbon-neutral than others.

SSE’s Plans For New Thermal Power Stations

I have taken this from SSE’s news item.

SSE has deliberately chosen to remain invested in the transition of flexible thermal electricity generation due to the key role it plays in a renewables-led, net zero, electricity system and is committed to decarbonising the generation.

Together with Equinor, SSE Thermal is developing two power stations equipped with carbon capture technology. Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station is based in the Humber, the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region, while Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station is located in the North East of Scotland. Combined, the two stations could capture around three million tonnes of CO2 a year.

Studies have shown that Keadby and Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Stations could make a lifetime contribution of £1.2bn each to the UK economy, creating significant economic opportunity in their respective regions. Both will be vital in supporting the huge amount of renewables which will be coming on the system.

SSE Thermal and Equinor are also collaborating on Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations, and Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, which could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

Note.

  1. SSE appear to think that gas-fired power stations with carbon capture are an ideal backup to renewables.
  2. If gas is available and it can be used to generate electricity without emitting any carbon dioxide, then why not?
  3. Hydrogen is coming.

Things will get better.

Is A Virtuous Circle Developing?

Consider.

  • Spare wind electricity is turned into hydrogen using an electrolyser or perhaps some world-changing electro-chemical process.
  • The hydrogen is stored in Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage.
  • When the wind isn’t blowing, hydrogen is used to backup the wind in Keadby Hydrogen power station.
  • The other Keadby power stations can also kick in using natural gas. The carbon dioxide that they produce, would be captured for storage or use.
  • Other users, who need to decarbonise, can be supplied with hydrogen from Aldbrough.

Note.

  1. Gas turbines are throttleable, so if National Grid wants 600 MW to balance the grid, they can supply it.
  2. As time progresses, some of the gas-fired power stations at Keadby could be converted to hydrogen.
  3. Rough gas storage is not far away and could either store natural gas or hydrogen.
  4. Hydrogen might be imported by tanker from places like Africa and Australia, depending on price.

Humberside will be levelling up and leading the decarbonisation of the UK.

If you have an energy-hungry business, you should seriously look at moving to Humberside.

 

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Centrica And Ryze Agree To Develop Hydrogen Pathway

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

Centrica and Ryze Hydrogen are set to jointly build and operate hydrogen production facilities aimed at providing a reliable supply of hydrogen for industry and transportation.

Under the landmark agreement the firms will jointly develop hydrogen production projects on existing Centrica sites and work with third-parties to build production on their sites too.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed and will combine expertise in order to kickstart the development of the UK hydrogen economy, targeting the mobility, industrial and commercial markets.

There are also some other interesting statements in the press release.

  • Centrica’s Head of Hydrogen, says that we should be bold in our thinking about hydrogen.
  • The partnership will explore how the UK can work with international hydrogen production facilities.
  • Jo Bamford, green entrepreneur and Executive Chairman of Ryze, believes that Centrica are very serious about hydrogen.
  • Centrica and Ryse will convert some of the British Gas fleet to hydrogen.

I feel this could be a very significant deal for the decarbonisation of the UK.

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , | Leave a comment

Dartmoor Line Passes 250,000 Journeys On Its First Anniversary, As Rail Minister Visits To Mark Official Opening Of The Station Building

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

These three paragraphs talk about the Dartmoor Line’s reopening.

Just over a year after the Dartmoor Line reopened to regular passenger trains, journey numbers on the line have passed 250,000 this Monday morning [28 November], with the arrival of an extra special visitor, Rail Minister, Huw Merriman MP, to officially open the renovated station building.

The line reopened on 20 November 2021, restoring a regular, year-round service for the first time in almost 50 years following more than £40m of Government investment.

The previously mothballed rail line, which runs between Okehampton and Exeter, was restored in just nine months and delivered £10m under budget, becoming the first former line to reopen under the Government’s £500m Restoring Your Railway programme.

I have a few thoughts.

A Well-Managed Project

It does appear that Network Rail upped a gear or two to fulfil this project. The press release puts it like this.

Reinstatement of the Dartmoor Line was made possible by Network Rail’s team of engineers who worked tirelessly to deliver a huge programme of work including laying 11 miles of new track and installing 24,000 concrete sleepers and 29,000 tonnes of ballast in a record-breaking 20-day period.

But it does appear that over recent months Network Rail seems to do things a lot better and quicker.

I do wonder, if on the construction side, Network Rail have been able to bring in new working practices, that they are still trying to get lots of their other workers to accept.

A Quarter Of A Million Journeys

The press release says this about passenger numbers.

In the same week as it celebrated its one-year anniversary, the Dartmoor Line also saw its 250,000th journey, showing an incredible patronage on the line and more than double the demand originally forecast.

But they still can’t get the forecasts right.

Passenger Numbers Are Still Rising

The press release says this about rising passenger numbers

Since Great Western Railway (GWR) increased services to hourly in May 2022, passenger use has continued to rise, with over 500 journeys starting at Okehampton every day and a further 300 travelling into the town from across the rail network.

Is There Still Growth To Come?

There are several zero-carbon trains under development, so why not have a civilised shoot out, with each manufacturer given say four weeks in which to show off their products in passenger service.

This would hopefully indicate, if there was more growth to come and what would be the best trains to use.

Conclusion

The Dartmoor Line has been shown to be a success so lets repeat the dose.

 

 

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

‘Castle’ HSTs To Be Withdrawn By Great Western Railway

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

This quote from a  GWR spokesman, sums up the action that will be taken.

The Castles were always designed to be a temporary measure on the Cardiff to Penzance route. We expect to replace the Castle Class trains on a phased basis over the next couple of years, bringing customers the benefit of more modern trains that will reduce both cost and carbon emissions across the route.

These are my thoughts.

Could The Engines In The Power Cars Be Replaced With Modern Carbon-Neutral Engines?

This would be an alternative way to solve the decarbonisation problem.

It would also mean that other applications of the Class 43 power cars, like ScotRail’s Inter7City trains, Cross Country’s HSTs and Network Rail’s New Measurement Train would have a decarbonisation route,

In Rolls-Royce Releases mtu Rail Engines For Sustainable Fuels, Rolls-Royce mtu outline their route to decarbonise rail engines using sustainable fuels.

This was the first paragraph of my conclusion in the linked article.

Rolls-Royce and Cummins seem to be doing a thoroughly professional job in decarbonising the diesel engines they have made in recent years.

The Class 43 power cars have Rolls-Royce mtu Series 4000 engines, which will soon be available to run on sustainable fuel.

I think as a possible fall-back, one Class 43 power car should be converted to carbon neutral.

Could The Engines In The Power Cars Be Replaced With Modern Hydrogen Engines?

I looked at this in Will We See Class 43 Power Cars Converted To Hydrogen?.

I came to the conclusion, that this might be possible and said this.

It would be the ultimate Roller.

But then Rolls-Royce know about winning battles with large internal combustion engines.

The Option Of New Trains

This quote from a  GWR spokesman was fairly definite about new trains, when they said.

The Castles were always designed to be a temporary measure on the Cardiff to Penzance route. We expect to replace the Castle Class trains on a phased basis over the next couple of years, bringing customers the benefit of more modern trains that will reduce both cost and carbon emissions across the route.

What trains could replace the Castles?

  • The Cardiff and Penzance route is just short of 250 miles or roughly 400 kilometres.
  • Only about 30 miles at the Cardiff end is electrified.
  • Trains would need to be able to handle 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • 125 mph trains will be needed at the Cardiff end.
  • Four or five passenger cars will be needed.
  • Currently, there are twelve Castles, so I will assume twelve new trains.

As these trains will be lasting up to forty years, they must be zero-carbon, which must mean battery-electric or hydrogen.

Charging Battery-Electric Trains

Consider

  • Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter St. Davis and Plymouth are large stations with several platforms. I suspect that a number of Furrer + Frey’s charging stations can be installed along the route.
  • The timetable would be adjusted to allow trains to be charged as they stopped to set down and pick up passengers.
  • Trains would dwell in the station and then use their 125 mph performance to regain the time.
  • I’ve also found a Penzance to Cardiff service, that stopped at Plymouth for fourteen minutes, which is more than enough to charge the batteries.
  • Regenerative braking to the batteries would further eke out the range.
  • There might also be some extra electrification around Bristol or Exeter.
  • Some form of charging would be needed at Penzance.

Note.

  1. Putting up electrification may mean that it will delay the new trains for a few years.
  2. Charging stations along the route could probably be installed to a tight timetable.

I believe that with some top-class work, by battery and charger manufacturers, that a battery-electric train could be developed that could run between Cardiff and Penzance.

Thoughts On Hydrogen

Consider.

  • The Alstom Coradia iLint train has a range of about 1,000 km. on hydrogen.
  • Companies like Airbus, Boeing and a host of rocket makers will improve the storage and safety of hydrogen.
  • A range of a 1,000 km. would allow refuelling at one end of the route.
  • Trains could be multiple units or a hydrogen-electric locomotive pulling a rake of coaches with a driving van trailer.

I feel that hydrogen would be very feasible as a power source.

Alstom Could Offer A Hydrogen Aventra

Consider.

  • Alstom are developing a hydrogen-powered Aventra.
  • Bombardier were offering a 125 mph Aventra.
  • A typical Aventra like a Class 720 train seats a hundred passengers a car.

A hydrogen Aventra would be feasible.

Hitachi Could Offer A Battery-Electric Or Hybrid AT-300

In 2021, in Hitachi And Eversholt Rail To Develop GWR Intercity Battery Hybrid Train – Offering Fuel Savings Of More Than 20%, I wrote about the announcement of the Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Hybrid Train, which is shown in this Hitachi infographic.

Note.

  1. Batteries replacing an engine to cut fuel usage and reduce carbon emissions.
  2. First time a modern UK intercity train, in passenger service, will use alternative fuel.
  3. These Hitachi trains use mtu engines, so I suspect they will be switched to sustainable fuel like HVO.
  4. The trains are 125 mph and 140 mph with the latest digital signalling.
  5. Great Western Railway already have 58 five-car Class 800/802 trains and 35 nine-car 800/802 trains.
  6. They would not need any changing stations or other infrastructure changes.
  7. Staff retraining would be minimal.

Testing of the prototype of these trains must be getting very close or even underway.

Stadler Could Offer A Battery-Electric Flirt Akku

Consider

  • Stadler have run a Flirt Akku on batteries for 243 km.
  • Flirt Akkus will go into service soon.
  • Flirts have been designed for 125 mph running.

With charging at Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance, I believe a Flirt Akku could handle the route.

Are Hitachi Home And Hosed?

I have a feeling that the announcement has been made about retiring the Castles as the prototype Hitachi Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Hybrid Train is under test and is performing well.

So I wouldn’t be surprised to see an order for twelve more Class 802 trains soon.

 

 

November 27, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments