The Anonymous Widower

Drilling Starts For ‘Hot Rocks’ Power In Cornwall

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

For as long as I can remember, there have been plans to tap the ‘hot rocks’ under Cornwall for heat and convert it into electricity.

Geothermal power is used in many places around the world.

The Wikipedia entry is worth a read and the Utility-Grade Stations section has this paragraph.

The largest group of geothermal power plants in the world is located at The Geysers, a geothermal field in California, United States. As of 2004, five countries (El Salvador, Kenya, the Philippines, Iceland, and Costa Rica) generate more than 15% of their electricity from geothermal sources.

This is also said.

Enhanced geothermal systems that are several kilometres in depth are operational in France and Germany and are being developed or evaluated in at least four other countries.

As the Cornish project appears to have a degree of EU funding, it looks like Cornwall is one of the four other countries.

The BBC also had a report on the Cornish drilling this morning. They made a point to say that this project has nothing to do with fracking.

Fracking is an emotive project, but we seem to forget that a lot of the engineering and drilling techniques used in the process are also used in other applications, like obtaining fresh water and drilling very deep holes, as is proposed in Cornwall.

It is also enlightening to look at this Wikipedia entry, which describes geothermal power in Germany.

This is said about the sustainability of the power source in Germany.

n the same year (2003) the TAB (bureau for technological impact assessment of the German Bundestag) concluded that Germany’s geothermal resources could be used to supply the entire base load of the country. This conclusion has regard to the fact that geothermal sources have to be developed sustainably because they can cool out if overused.

Based on this, I can understand the enthusiasm for using the technique in Cornwall.

On the BBC this morning, it was said that the Cornish borehole could produce enough electricity for 3,000 homes.

A page on the OVO Energy website, says this.

Household electricity use in the UK dropped under 4,000kWh for the first time in decades in 2014. At an average of 3,940kWh per home, this was about 20% higher than the global average for electrified homes of 3,370kWh.

At 4,000 kWh a year, a home would use an average of 0.46 kW per hour.

This means that to run 3,000 houses needs 1.4 MW per hour.

A typical price of a kWh of electricity is thirteen pence excluding VAT, which means that this plant could earn around £178 per hour or £1.6million a year.

A Project Video

Access the project video here.

Conclusion

I feel that geothermal power could have a promising future in Cornwall.

 

 

 

 

 

November 6, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

A Detailed Layout Drawing For A Class 345 Train

Someone has requested this using a Freedom of Information request.

Click to access the detailed layout drawing for a Class 345 train.

The formation of a Class 345 train is as follows.

DMS+PMS+MS1+MS3+TS(W)+MS3+MS2+PMS+DMS

Note.

  1. Eight cars have motors and only one doesn’t.
  2. The train is composed of two identical half-trains, which are separated by the TS(W) car.
  3. There are four wheelchair spaces in the TS(W) car.

There is also other information on the drawing.

  • 454 seated passengers.
  • 1046 standing passengers calculated using a density of 4.025/m² of available floor standing area.
  • 4 wheelchair spaces.
  • 1500 passengers total
  • 51 priority spaces compliant with PRM-TSI
  • Trailer car length is 22,500 mm.
  • Driver car length is 23,615 mm.
  • Train length is 203,380 over mm. body ends.

There’s more information, based on what I read off the end of a train in Weight And Dimensions Of A Class 345 Train.

I estimated the weight of a nine car train to be 328.40 tonnes.

Kinetic Energy Of A Full Class 345 Train

I will assume the following

Train weight is 328.4 tonnes.

It is jam-packed with 1,500 passengers, with an average weight of 90 Kg. with their baggage.

Passenger weight is 13.50 tonnes

This gives a total train weight of 341.9

Calculating the kinetic energy for various speeds gives.

30 mph – 8.5 kWh

50 mph – 23.7 kWh

75 mph – 53.4 kWh

90 mph – 76.9 kWh

I used Omni’s Kinetic Energy Calculator.

Currently, the cost of a kWh of electricity is about fifteen pence to domestic customers, so accelerate a full Class 345 train to 90 mph, costs at that rate around £11.50.

The Deep Resource web site gives various conversion factors.

  • A kilogram of coal can be converted into 8.1 kWh.
  • A litre of diesel can be converted into 10 kWh.
  • A kilogram of hydrogen can be converted into 33.6 kWh.

It’s so easy to do these calculations today, as you can find little calculators and information all over the Internet.

 

 

July 1, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Hot Air From The Underground

This article on IanVisits is entitled London Railway Upgrades – A Progress Report.

These are three entries from a long list.

Northern Line

  • The pump house steelwork on Islington’s Bunhill scheme has been completed. When working, waste heat from the Northern line will be piped into nearby homes.

Piccadilly Line

The York Road disused station is being studied for a possible heat extraction upgrade, with low grade heat then supplied to a nearby user.

Victoria Line

Work on a feasibility study into a heat extraction scheme at Forest Road vent shaft at the northern end of the Victoria line to reuse the heat for local homes is under way.

It is good to see waste heat from the Underground being used for a serious purpose.

I would hope that extracting heat, also cools the tunnels!

 

 

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Where The Queen Gets Her Energy

Yesterday’s edition of Countryfile on BBC1, was entitled Royal Special: Windsor.

In the program, they shows how Windsor Castle and the surrounding estate, use an Archimedes screw in the River Thames to generate electricity.

I found this video on the Internet.

There is also this document on the Internet.

It may look crazy, but after reading the document, it would appear to be cost effective.

This Google Map gives aerial view of the weir and the installed screws.

The two screws are installed in two sections of the weir at the right end.

It may look crazy, but after reading the document, it would appear to be cost effective.

  • At peak flow the two units generate a total of 320kW/hour.
  • There is a six year return on investment.
  • The design life is fifteen years..
  • The owner of the generators has a forty year lease on the site.

I suspect, we could see more units like this!

 

May 28, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Artificial Photosynthesis Offers Clean Source Of Hydrogen

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

This is the first paragraph.

Devices made using conventional semiconductor technologies could make hydrogen using just fresh or saltwater and sunlight.

It would appear to be an interesting concept, but after reading the article, there is still a lot of research and development to be done before it is an affordable proposition.

But I do feel, it could be one of those technologies that are commonplace in a few decades.

May 5, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments

Britain Powers On Without Coal For Three Days

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

This is the first paragraph.

Britain has not generated electricity from coal for more than three days – the longest streak since the 1880s.

Let’s hope we keep out our commitment to phase out coal completely by 2025!

April 24, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

OVO Energy Drops 4 Product Bombshells, Including New Vehicle-to-Grid Charger

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

This is the first paragraph.

n London yesterday, OVO Energy took to the stage and dropped not one new product but four product bombshells that are aimed at creating a new energy ecosystem that is accessible to residential energy consumers.

The products are.

  • A Vehicle-to-Grid Charger for the Masses
  • 7kW Smart Charger
  • One Ring To Rule Them All
  • Residential Energy Stoage

The article discusses them in detail.

If I still drove, I’d be very interested in the vehicle-to-grid charger, as I’d fit one in my garage.

The amount of car use, I would have would probably be fairly minimal, so most of the time the car would be sitting in the garage, acting as a storage battery for the National Grid.

Suppose ten million homes in the UK, had a vehicle-to-grid charger and an electric car with a 30 kWh battery. that would be 300 MWh of energy storage, which would be ideal for storing wind energy generated at night.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Steam Methane Reforming

In The Liverpool Manchester Hydrogen Clusters Project, I used an extract that describes the project.

This was a paragraph from the extract.

It proposes converting natural gas into clean-burning hydrogen gas, using a process called steam methane reforming. The process also removes CO2 from the gas, which can then be captured using existing carbon and capture storage technology and stored in depleted offshore gas reservoirs.

So what is steam methane reforming?

Methane is a chemical compound consisting of one carbon and four hydrogen atoms, that is the major component of natural gas.

This first paragraph is from the Wikipedia entry for steam reforming.

Steam reforming is a method for producing hydrogen, carbon monoxide, or other useful products from hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas. This is achieved in a processing device called a reformer which reacts steam at high temperature with the fossil fuel. The steam methane reformer is widely used in industry to make hydrogen. There is also interest in the development of much smaller units based on similar technology to produce hydrogen as a feedstock for fuel cells. Small-scale steam reforming units to supply fuel cells are currently the subject of research and development, typically involving the reforming of methanol, but other fuels are also being considered such as propane, gasoline, autogas, diesel fuel, and ethanol.

If the process has a problem, it is that is produces carbon dioxide, which in the case of the Liverpool Manchester Hydrogen Clusters Project is captured and will be stored depleted gas reservoirs.

April 10, 2018 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Huisman Weighs Into Storage

The title of this post is the same as thia article in RENews.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Edinburgh start-up Gravitricity is teaming up with Dutch lifting specialist Huisman to develop gravity-fed energy storage projects at the sites of disused mines in Scotland.

The partners plan to develop a 250kW demonstration project and test it early next year, and ultimately aim to scale up to 20MW commercial systems.

I think that this idea has a chance to be a success.

As an aside, one of my first experiences of industry was working at Enfield Rolling Mills. On one of their rolling mills, there was a ninety-three tonnes two-metre ring flywheel, which was attached to the mill. The flywheel was spun to 3000 rpm, before the copper wirebar was passed through the mill. You could see the flywheel slow, as it passed it’s energy to the mill, as it turned the wirebar into a thinner strand of copper, so that it could be drawn into electrical cable.

I think, that flywheel had an energy storage of over a MwH. Shimatovitch, the Chief Engineer reckoned that if had come of its mountings at full speed, it would have gone a mile before the houses stopped it.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Large Scale Electricity Interconnection

We have several related problems with electricity.

  • We are using more and more.
  • Electric cars, buses and trucks will mean, that we’ll use even more.
  • A lot of electricity will be produced in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
  • Not everybody uses the same local voltages as our 250 VAC.
  • We need ways of storing electricity.
  • Some methods of generating electricity, emit a large amount of green-house gases.

In the UK, we have a very sophisticated energy grid, which includes a certain amount of energy storage, that moves energy around from where it is generated to where it is needed.

As an example, I’m sure we’ll see industries that need a lot of electricity, taking advantage of wind energy generated at night.

In my lifetime, I can only remember two periods of severe power shortages.

  • In the 1950s, as people bought more electrical equipment like fridges, cookers, kettles and TVs, there was sometimes power cuts at Christmas.
  • In theb1970s, shortages were caused by industrial action.

But in recent decades the National Grid has generally kept the electricity flowing.

Most power cuts have been local equipment failure or weather-related.

As the future unfolds, the grid will get better and of a higher capacity to handle all the extra needs of our lifestyle.

Countries, states, towns and cities will develop their own sophisticated networks to look after their people, industry and transport.

Regional Electricity Networks

These smaller networks are now increasingly being connected together to create larger networks.

One of the first interconnectors was the HVDC Cross-Channel between England and France. Wikipedia gives this history.

The first Cross-Channel link was a 160 MW link completed in 1961 and decommissioned in 1984, while the second was a 2000 MW link completed in 1986.

The current 2000 MW link, like the original link, is bi-directional and France and Britain can import/export depending upon market demands.

I’ve read that in recent years, we’ve been using French nuclear power and they’ve been using our wind power.

According to this page on UtilityWise, there are.

  • Four operational interconnectors are operational.
  • Four interconnectors are being constructed.
  • Seven interconnectors are being planned.

They also have this diagrammatic map.

Note.

  1. If the Icelandic interconnector gets built, it could be a big source of zero-carbon power for the UK and Europe and a large income for Iceland.
  2. Two big interconnectors to Norway are planned, where there is lots of hydro-electric power.
  3. A big interconnector is being built between Germany and Norway, which is not shown.
  4. There will be seven links to France to tap into their nuclear network.
  5. Our contribution to Western Europe’s power will be mainly from our extensive wind farms, which will soon contribute twenty percent of our power needs.

It will all grow like a gigantic spider’s web, connecting excess power in one place to users, who need it, in another.

Large Scale Electricity Interconnection

This document on the International Energy Agency web site, gives a lot more information about Large Scale Electricity Interconnection.

HVDC Connections

Although, domestic connections have used alternating current (AC) for over a hundred years, these interconnectors use High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC)

This means the following.

  • Terminal costs at the end of a link are more expensive.
  • The cost of the cable is less per kilometre.
  • Longer interconnectors have a cheaper cost per kilometre over about 600-800 km.
  • Current technologies give a break-even distance of about 600-800 km.

The article says this about future projects.

With the increase in demand for long-distance interconnection, a number of projects have been envisioned that would greatly improve upon the current status. Projects in the pipeline include the undersea North Sea Network (NSN) link between the Nordic zone and the United Kingdom, which will deliver up to 1.4 GW of power through an undersea cable 730 km in length.

This entry in Wikipedia gives more details on the Norway-UK Interconnector.

Connecting Asynchronous Grids

The document says this.

When AC systems are to be connected, they must be synchronised.

This means that they should operate at the same voltage and frequency, which can be difficult to achieve. Since HVDC is asynchronous it can adapt to any rated voltage and frequency it receives. Hence, HVDC is used to connect large AC systems in many parts of the world.

This may seem technical, but it is important.

Connecting Large Energy Resources And Loads

As the voltage in the interconnector increases, it makes it more economic to connect remote energy resources to where the power is needed.

It gives these examples from around the world.

  • Distant hydro resources in the Chilean Patagonia or in Brazil
  • Hydro power in Western China
  • Solar power in the Rajasthan desert in India.

In the Uk, we ae developing two long interconnectors to Norway and one to Iceland.

Acommodating Variable Renewable Electricity

The document says this.

Variable renewable energy (VRE) deployment requires flexible transmission links. One of the key drivers behind HVDC lines and interconnectors is the ability to shift intermittent renewables to areas of high demand when conditions would otherwise lead to curtailment.

Hopefully, the wind will be blowing somewhere, when the sun isn’t shining somewhere else.

Conclusion

Interconnectors will become a massive part of our distributed electricity system.

I must also say something about energy storage.

Electric vehicles could eventually turn out to be a large part of our mechanism to store excess energy.

Suppose there is excess energy at night, perhaps from wind, waves and tides and it is used to charge the batteries of electric vehicles. It has not gone to waste and is now stored for use when required.

The corollary of this will be, that every parking space or garage, where vehicles are left overnight will have to have a charging point for an electric car.

 

 

 

 

March 16, 2018 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment