The Anonymous Widower

Centrica Re-Opens Rough Storage Facility

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

It has this sub-heading.

Rough Operational For Winter And Increases UK’s Storage Capacity By 50%.

On the face of it, this sounds like good news and these two paragraphs give more details.

Centrica has announced the reopening of the Rough gas storage facility, having completed significant engineering upgrades over the summer and commissioning over early autumn.

The initial investment programme means the company has made its first injection of gas into the site in over 5 years and is in a position to store up to 30 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas for UK homes and businesses over winter 2022/23, boosting the UK’s energy resilience.

Note.

  1. The Rough gas storage facility has been able to hold up to 100 billion cubic feet of gas in the past.
  2. Rough is a complex field with two platforms and thirty wells transferring gas to and from the facility.
  3. Additionally, there is an onshore gas-processing terminal at the Easington Gas Terminal, where it connects to the UK gas network.

It appears to be a comprehensive gas storage facility, that should get us through the 2022/3 winter.

These two paragraphs from the press release, which are the thoughts of the Centrica Chief Executive are significant.

Centrica Group Chief Executive, Chris O’Shea, said “I’m delighted that we have managed to return Rough to storage operations for this winter following a substantial investment in engineering modifications. Our long-term aim remains to turn the Rough field into the world’s biggest methane and hydrogen storage facility, bolstering the UK’s energy security, delivering a net zero electricity system by 2035, decarbonising the UK’s industrial clusters, such as the Humber region by 2040, and helping the UK economy by returning to being a net exporter of energy.

“In the short term we think Rough can help our energy system by storing natural gas when there is a surplus and producing this gas when the country needs it during cold snaps and peak demand. Rough is not a silver bullet for energy security, but it is a key part of a range of steps which can be taken to help the UK this winter.”

Note.

  1. Effectively, in the short term, Rough is a store for gas to help us through the winter.
  2. In the long-term, Rough will be turned into the world’s largest gas storage facility.
  3. It will be able to store both methane (natural gas) and hydrogen.

Having worked with project managers on complex oil and gas platforms and chemical plants, I wouldn’t be surprised to find, that when the design of this facility is released, it will be something special.

Centrica certainly seem to have upgraded Rough to be able to play a significant short term role this winter and they also seem to have developed a plan to give it a significant long-term role in the storage of hydrogen.

Aldbrough Gas Storage

A few miles up the coast is SSE’s and Equinor’s Aldbrough Gas Storage, which is being developed in salt caverns to hold natural gas and hydrogen.

Blending Of Hydrogen And Natural Gas

I believe that we’ll see a lot of blending of hydrogen and natural gas.

  • Up to 20 % of hydrogen can be blended, without the need to change appliances, boilers and processes.
  • This cuts carbon dioxide emissions.

I wrote about this in a post called HyDeploy.

It might be convenient to store hydrogen in Aldbrough and natural gas in Rough, so that customers could have the blend of gas they needed.

With two large gas stores for hydrogen under development, the HumberZero cluster is on its way.

October 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ørsted Awarded Contract For World’s Single Biggest Offshore Wind Farm

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

This is the sub-title.

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has awarded Ørsted a contract for difference for its Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm. The project was awarded at an inflation-indexed strike price of GBP 37.35 per MWh in 2012 prices.

And this is the first paragraph, which describes the size of the farm.

With a capacity of 2,852 MW, Hornsea 3 will produce enough low-cost, clean, renewable electricity to power 3.2 million UK homes, making a significant contribution to the UK Government’s ambition of having 50 GW offshore wind in operation by 2030 as part of the British Energy Security Strategy. 

This map from Ørsted shows the location of the Hornsea wind farm and its three sections.

Note.

  1. The Hornsea Wind Farm, when fully developed, with a fourth section, is likely to have a capacity of around six GW.
  2. The Lincs, Race Bank and the Westernmost Rough wind farms are about another GW.

Looking at the map, I can see Humberside hosting the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser to feed into the Humber Zero hydrogen network.

 

July 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | 5 Comments

Air Products Partners Up On Hydrogen Production In The UK

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

These three paragraphs explain the project.

Air Products has joined with power generator VPI to push forward a hydrogen hub on the south bank of the Humber Estuary in the UK, primarily meant to decarbonise VPI’s power production in Immingham.

The companies said they will develop an 800-megawatt production facility called the Humber Hydrogen Hub (H3) that would include carbon capture and storage and aim to capture up to 2 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide.

Hydrogen produced at the facility will first substitute fuel for VPI’s existing third gas turbine power train.

Note.

  1. VPI is a UK-based power company, providing energy to the National Grid.
  2. Immingham Power station is currently a 730 MW gas-fired power station, which is being expanded to 1240 MW.
  3. It looks like that expansion will use hydrogen.

It is all part of HumberZero.

July 8, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce Lists Sites For New Reactor

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

The headline is a bit misleading, as the site is for a factory to build the reactors.

These paragraphs list the sites.

Rolls-Royce, the engineering company, has shortlisted six sites for a factory that will build its proposed small nuclear reactors.

The constituency of Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, in Richmond, North Yorkshire, is among the locations, which have been whittled down from more than 100 proposals.

The other sites are Sunderland, Deeside in Wales, Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire, Stallingborough in Lincolnshire, and Carlisle.

As Rishi Sunak resigned last night, does that rule out Richmond?

I feel that Rolls-Royce will choose this location with care, as any good company would.

I have a few thoughts.

Will Rolls-Royce Go For Zero-Carbon Manufacture?

If you intend to build large numbers of small modular nuclear reactors, it is not a good idea from a marketing or public relations point of view to release tonnes of carbon in their manufacture.

This page on the Rolls-Royce web site has a title of Destination Net Zero, where this is said.

We have already pledged to reduce emissions from our own operations to net zero by 2030, and to play a leading role in enabling the sectors in which we operate to reach net zero by 2050. Now, we are now laying out our technology pathway and setting clear short-term targets to show how we will achieve those goals.

I am sure Rolls-Royce will go for zero-carbon manufacture.

This will probably mean the site will need to have access to the following.

  • Renewable electricity from wind, solar or hydro.
  • Hydrogen
  • Zero-carbon steel, copper and other raw materials

An external supply of hydrogen may well be the least important, as they recently purchased a German electrolyser developer and manufacturer, that I wrote about in Rolls-Royce To Develop mtu Hydrogen Electrolyser And Invest In Hoeller Electrolyser.

Will The Factory Have A Rail Connection?

A rail connection could have four main purposes.

  • Bringing in raw materials like steel.
  • Delivering manufactured components to site.
  • If the factory is a major source of employment, rail is the greenest way to bring in staff from further away.
  • If large shipments are brought in and delivered by zero-carbon rail, it generally doesn’t annoy the locals.

Note.

  1. The huge Britishvolt gigafactory at Blyth will have a rail connection for the transport of lithium and finished batteries.
  2. Transport of nuclear fuel and waste around the UK is generally done by train, with perhaps the last few miles by truck.

I think it will be very unlikely, that the new factory will not have a rail connection.

Will Power Station Modules Be Transportable By Rail?

Given that in the UK, there will need to be a railhead at or near the power station for fuel and waste, I believe that if modules were transportable by rail, this could give big advantages to the roll-out of the reactors.

If a former Magnox nuclear site like Bradwell is to be home to a fleet of small modular reactors, the electrified railhead is already in place at Southminster station.

The crane and the track probably need a bit of a refurbishment, but overall, it looks in reasonable condition.

If you sell nuclear as zero-carbon, rail is the easiest way to ensure zero-carbon delivery of modules.

The standard loading gauge in the UK is W10, which is 2.9 metres high and 2.5 metres wide.

  • A standard twenty-foot container is six metres long, which must help.
  • W10 gauge allows the transport of standard Hi-Cube shipping containers, which are 9 ft 6 in. high, on flat rail wagons.
  • If the modules can fit into Hi-Cube shipping containers, this would make transport easier everywhere, as all ports and railways can handle these containers.

Would it be possible to fit all components into this relatively small space?

It could be difficult, but I suspect it is possible to achieve, as it would make the reactors easier to sell.

  • Sites would only need to be able to receive Hi-Cube shipping containers.
  • These could be trucked in from a nearby railhead.
  • Containers on a railway are a very secure way of transporting goods.
  • Rolls-Royce has masses of experience in shipping large turbofan engines in standard shipping containers. Some are shipped in very carefully controlled air conditions to minimise damage.
  • Hi-Cube shipping containers can go through the Channel Tunnel.

I am fairly sure, that Rolls-Royce are designing the power station, so that it fits into a number of Hi-Cube shipping containers. It would give other advantages.

  • Smaller components would probably speed up assembly.
  • Smaller components may also mean that smaller cranes could be used for assembly.

There may need to be some gauge enhancement to be able to access some sites in the UK.

  • This article on Rail Engineer, is entitled Showing Your Gauge, and it details how gauge is being enhanced to W10 and W12 in the UK.
  • Network Rail have also published a map, which shows where W10 gauge is possible. Click here to view.

I am fairly certain, that most railways in the world can handle Hi-Cube shipping containers.

Availability Of Staff

Rolls-Royce will obviously opt for a place, where there is good availability of staff.

Conclusion

I feel that any of the sites mentioned could be the ideal place for the factory.

If I had to have a bet, I’d put it the factory at Stallingborough in Lincolnshire.

  • It is close to the Zero Carbon Humber energy and hydrogen hub.
  • There is plenty of space.
  • There is a rail connection.
  • It is close to the Port of Immingham.
  • It is close to British Steel at Scunthorpe.

It is also not that far from Derby by road or rail.

 

 

July 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SSE Thermal And Equinor To Acquire Triton Power In Acceleration Of Low-Carbon Ambitions

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

SSE Thermal and Equinor have entered into an agreement to acquire Triton Power Holdings Ltd from Energy Capital Partners for a total consideration of £341m shared equally between the partners.

The transaction represents another step forward for the two companies’ existing collaboration, supporting the long-term decarbonisation of the UK’s power system whilst contributing to security of supply and grid stability through flexible power generation in the shorter term.

Triton Power operates Saltend Power Station which is 1.2GW CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) and CHP (Combined Heat & Power) power station located on the north of the Humber Estuary in East Yorkshire.

This deal is more complicated than it looks and these are my thoughts.

What About The Triton Power Workers?

The press release says this.

The 82 existing employees will continue to be employed by Triton Power. In line with just transition principles, the joint venture is committed to transitioning the assets for the net zero world through responsible ownership and operation, and in consultation with the local workforce and representatives.

It does sound that they are following the right principles.

Saltend Power Station

Saltend power station is no tired ancient asset and is described like this in Wikipedia.

The station is run on gas using single shaft 3 × Mitsubishi 701F gas Turbines machines with Alstom 400 MWe generators. The station has a total output of 1,200 MW; of that 100 MW is allocated to supply BP Chemicals. Each gas turbine has a Babcock Borsig Power (BBP) heat recovery steam generator, which all lead to one steam turbine per unit (single shaft machine means Gas turbine and Steam Turbine are on the same shaft). The waste product of electricity generation is steam at the rate of about 120 tonnes/h which is sold to BP Chemicals to use in their process. This makes Salt End one of the most efficient[clarification needed] power stations in the UK. The plant is scheduled to use hydrogen from steam reformed natural gas for 30% of its power.

Note.

  1. It was commissioned in 2000.
  2. It appears there are seven CCGT power stations in England that are larger than Saltend.
  3. The power station seems to have had at least four owners.

The press release says this about SSE and Equinor’s plans for Saltend power station.

The transaction underscores SSE Thermal and Equinor’s shared ambition to decarbonise the Humber, which is the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region, as well as the UK more widely. Initial steps to decarbonise Saltend Power Station are already underway, targeting partial abatement by 2027 through blending up to 30% of low-carbon hydrogen. In addition, carbon capture provides an additional valuable option for the site. SSE Thermal and Equinor will continue to work towards 100% abatement.

Note.

  1. It appears that initially, Saltend power station will move to running on a mixture of 30 % hydrogen and 70 % natural gas.
  2. Carbon capture will also be applied.
  3. It looks like that in the future all carbon-dioxide emitted by the power station will be captured and either stored or used.

The press release says this about the source of the hydrogen.

Saltend Power Station is a potential primary offtaker to Equinor’s H2H Saltend hydrogen production project. H2H Saltend is expected to kick-start the wider decarbonisation of the Humber region as part of the East Coast Cluster, one of the UK’s first carbon capture, usage and storage clusters.

H2H Saltend is described in this page on the Equinor web site, which has a title of The First Step To A Zero Carbon Humber, where this is said.

This project represents a bold but practical first step towards delivering the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040. This unparalleled project can play a leading role in the UK’s journey to net zero by 2050, renew the UK’s largest industrial cluster, and unlock technology that will put the UK at the forefront of a global hydrogen economy.

There is also a video.

SSE Thermal And Equinor Low-Carbon Thermal Partnership

This is a section in the press release, where after giving their policy about the workers, it says this about the acquisition of Triton Power.

This acquisition strengthens SSE Thermal and Equinor’s portfolio of joint projects, which bring together expertise in power, natural gas, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. This portfolio includes three development projects within the Humber region:

  • Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, which could be the UK’s first flexible power station equipped with carbon capture.
  • Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations.
  • Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, located in East Yorkshire, which could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

The two companies are also developing Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station, situated on the Aberdeenshire coast in Scotland and there are further opportunities for hydrogen blending across SSE’s generation portfolio, including at Keadby 2.

Note.

  1. There is no mention of the three Doggerbank Wind Farms, each of which will be 1200 MW, that are owned by SSE Renewables and Equinor.
  2. I wrote about Aldbrough Gas Storage in The Massive Hydrogen Project, That Appears To Be Under The Radar.
  3. According to this press release from Equinor, which is entitled SSE Thermal And Equinor Join Forces On Plans For First-Of-A-Kind Hydrogen And Carbon Capture Projects In The Humber, Keadby Hydrogen power station will have a capacity of 1800 MW.

The Complete System

The system has the following power sources.

  • Dogger Bank A – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2023/24
  • Dogger Bank B – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2024/25
  • Dogger Bank C – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2024/25
  • Keadby power station – 735 MW
  • Keadby 2 power station – 893 MW – Could be Part-Hydrogen
  • Keadby 3 power station – 910 MW – Carbon Capture
  • Keadby Hydrogen power station – 1800 MW – Hydrogen
  • Saltend power station – 1200 MW – Part-Hydrogen

That totals up to 9138 MW.

Fuel will come from three sources.

  • The God of the winds.
  • Natural gas
  • Hydrogen

Hydrogen will be sourced from.

  • Blue hydrogen from H2H Saltend
  • Green Hydrogen could come from electrolysers driven by wind power.

Hydrogen would be stored in Aldbrough Gas Storage.

I am by training a Control Engineer and controlling these power sources is either a wonderful dream or your most entwined and complicated nightmare.

Conclusion

I suspect on an average day, this cluster of power stations and sources could reliably supply as much zero-carbon power as two large nuclear stations.

 

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shell To Develop Blue Hydrogen Plant

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

The article is based on this press release from Shell, which is entitled Shell And Uniper To Work Together On Blue Hydrogen Production Facility In The UK.

These are the three bullet points of the press release.

  • Shell and Uniper sign co-operation agreement to progress plans for low-carbon hydrogen production at Uniper’s Killingholme site in North Lincolnshire
  • Hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise heavy industry, transport, heating and power across Humber and beyond.
  • Project recently passed eligibility phase for UK Government’s Phase-2 carbon capture, usage and storage Cluster Sequencing Process.

Note.

  1. The Killingholme site is currently occupied by the 900 MW gas-fired Killingholme power station.
  2. Heavy industry on Humberside includes chemicals and oil refineries and the Scunthorpe steelworks.

This Google Map shows the location of Killingholme power station.

Note.

  1. Killingholme power station is marked by the red arrow.
  2. The river is the Humber.
  3. The Port of Immingham is on the power station side of the river.
  4. Cleethorpes Beach is marked by the green dot in the bottom-right hand corner.
  5. Grimsby is to the North of Cleethorpes.
  6. Between Grimsby and Killingworth power station is a mass of chemical works.

This second Google Map shows the area to the South-East of the power station.

Note.

  1. Killingholme power station is marked by the red arrow.
  2. The Hornsea 02 substation to the North of the power station.
  3. The large Uniper site to the South of the power station.
  4. The large number of tanks inland from the port and the chemical works.

I have some thoughts.

A Full Description Of The Project

This paragraph from the press release described the project.

Uniper has signed an agreement with Shell to progress plans to produce blue hydrogen at Uniper’s Killingholme power station site in the East of England. The hydrogen produced could be used to decarbonise industry, transport and power throughout the Humber region.

The Humber Hub Blue project includes plans for a blue hydrogen production facility with a capacity of up to 720 megawatts, using gas reformation technology with carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The captured carbon would be fed through the proposed Zero Carbon Humber onshore pipeline, part of the East Coast Cluster, recently selected as one of two CCS clusters to receive initial government support under the government’s cluster sequencing process.

I suspect that a lot of the plant from the existing Killingholme power station will be repurposed.

This is the specification of the power station.

The Uniper (Formerly E.ON UK) plant consists of two 450 MW Siemens V94.2 gas turbine modules each connected to a heat recovery steam generator using only a single steam turbine in a 2 into 1 configuration. Gas is supplied from a 26-mile pipeline from Theddlethorpe.

When it was built by Powergen (now called Uniper) and opened in April 1993 it was only the second gas-fired power station built in the UK. It was taken out of service in 2002 due to the lower price of electricity and was then restored to full service in August 2005, with one of the 450 MW units returning to service in April 2005.

It was announced that the power station will be closed in 2015.

Will The Project Use The Shell Blue Hydrogen Process?

Will the plant use the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process, that I described in Shell Process To Make Blue Hydrogen Production Affordable?

It appears the Shell Blue Hydrogen Process offers advantages.

  1. Shell are claiming, that with carbon dioxide costing $25-35/tonne, that their process is more economic than grey or green hydrogen.
  2. Steam reforming also needs steam, but this new process actually generates steam as a by-product, which further improves the economics, as integrated chemical plants use a lot of steam. Killingholme’s neighbours would probably welcome the steam.
  3. Shell are reporting capturing 99% of the carbon.
  4. It looks like savings of between 10 and 25 % are possible.

 

The most-fervent greens, may claim blue hydrogen is totally wrong.

But if it is more affordable than both grey and green hydrogen and all but one percent of the carbon dioxide is captured, I believe that this should be an option, that is fully investigated.

This appears to be a victory for top-class chemical engineering.

Northern Endurance Partnership

The Northern Endurance Partnership is described on this page of the Equinor web site, where this is said.

BP, Eni, Equinor, National Grid, Shell and Total today confirmed they have formed a new partnership, the Northern Endurance Partnership (NEP), to develop offshore carbon dioxide (CO2) transport and storage infrastructure in the UK North Sea, with bp as operator.

This infrastructure will serve the proposed Net Zero Teesside (NZT) and Zero Carbon Humber (ZCH) projects that aim to establish decarbonised industrial clusters in Teesside and Humberside.

There is also a map.

Note.

  1. One facility would appear to serve the Tees and the Humber.

It looks like the depleted gas fields could hold a lot of carbon dioxide.

Carbon Capture

Some points from the Equinor press release about carbon capture.

  • Blue hydrogen production at Killingholme could see the capture of around 1.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of carbon a year through CCS.
  • The UK Government has set a target to capture 10 Mt of carbon a year by 2030.
  • NEP has submitted a bid for funding through Phase 2 of the UK Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, aiming to accelerate the development of an offshore pipeline network to transport captured CO2 emissions from both NZT and ZCH to offshore geological storage beneath the UK North Sea.

These projects could could decarbonise a lot of businesses  on Teesside and the Humber.

Carbon Capture And Use

The Equinor press release says this about carbon capture and use.

The Northern Endurance Partnership will channel the extensive experience of its members to develop and deliver the offshore transport and storage infrastructure we need to unlock the enormous benefits of deploying CCUS across the Humber and Teesside. We’re delighted to start working together with five really world class energy companies to deliver a solution that will play a critical role in decarbonising the UK’s largest industrial heartland and protecting tens of thousands of jobs in the process.”

Uses include.

  • Feeding to salad vegetables, tomatoes, soft fruit and flowers in giant greenhouses.
  • Creating sustainable aviation fuel.
  • Creating building products like blocks and plaster board.
  • Making better concrete.

This is a list that will grow.

Making Hydrogen With An Electrolyser

The Shell press release says this.

Uniper continues to develop a separate green hydrogen project, using electrolytic hydrogen production technology, as part of the overall Humber Hub development at Uniper’s Killingholme site. Uniper, along with its project partners, will shortly complete the Project Mayflower feasibility study, part funded by the Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, administered by InnovateUK, looking at the decarbonisation of port related activities at the Port of Immingham.

Note that the sub station for the 1.4 GW Hornsea 2 wind farm is close to both Killingholme power station and the Uniper web site.

What Will Happen To Shell’s Blue Hydrogen Plant?

I think there are two possible scenarios.

  • It will be closed when Uniper’s electrolyser is fully on stream.
  • It will become an emergency hydrogen source, when the wind is not blowing.

In both cases it will produce less carbon dioxide, thus leaving more space in the Northern Endurance Partnership.

Conclusion

It looks like there could be a comprehensive hydrogen production facility at Killingholme.

 

 

 

 

April 13, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beeching Reversal – Firsby And Louth

This is one of the Round 3 bids of Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

The Proposed Route

This route was part of the historic East Lincolnshire Railway, which is shown in this diagram from Wikipedia.


Note.

  1. North of Louth, the line used to connect to Grimsby Town, Immingham and Cleethorpes.
  2. The loop that goes through Mablethorpe.
  3. Boston is to the South.
  4. The Poacher Line between Boston and Skegness is the only section that is still open.

These Google Maps show sections and features of the route.

North From Spilsby Road Level Crossing

The Spilsby Road level crossing is in the South-West corner, with the track of the old railway between Firsby and Louth going to the North-East.

Junction With The Poacher Line

This is an enlargement of the South-West corner of the map.

  • The Spilsby Road level crossing can be seen.
  • The Poacher Line does a loop and goes South-East on its way to Skegness.
  • It looks like Firsby station was quite important, with three platforms and lots of facilities.

A junction could be built here to connect the Firsby and Louth line to the Poacher Line.

Would a station built between the lines, be possible to provide interchange between the Louth and Skegness trains?

Willoughby Station

Note.

  1. The scar of the East Lincolnshire Railway can be followed from the South-East corner to the North-West corner of the map.
  2. The green scar of the Mablethorpe loop can be seen branching off from the East Lincolnshire Railway to the North-East corner of the map.

Could a station be rebuilt at Willoughby?

Alford And Alford Town Station

Note.

  1. The green scar of the East Lincolnshire Railway can be can be followed from the South-East corner to the North-West corner of the map.
  2. The town is Alford
  3. If you click on the map to enlarge it, you can see Station Road, which must have been the location of Alford Town station.

I would have thought a station would be needed.

Straight Between Alford And Louth

Note.

  1. The green scar of the East Lincolnshire Railway can be can be followed from the South-East corner to the North-West corner of the map.
  2. There are three stations on this section; Aby for Claythorpe, Authorpe and Legbourne Road.

This section would appear to be a rail engineer’s dream.

How many stations would be needed?

Louth

Note.

  1. The green scar of the East Lincolnshire Railway can be can be followed from the South-East corner to the North edge of the map.
  2. Louth is the largest town in Lincolnshire without a station.

It could be difficult to thread the line through the town.

Onward To Grimsby

 

The map shows the final section of the route between Louth and Grimsby.

Note that from North of New Waltham, the track bed has been used for Peeks Parkway.

Does this mean that any reopened rail line between Firsby and Louth must end at New Waltham or Louth?

Grimsby Town Station And Centre

Note.

  1. Grimsby Town station is in the West.
  2. The rail line between Grimsby Town and Cleethorpes stations runs across the map.
  3. Peeks Parkway runs up the East side of the map.
  4. It looks to me, that this was once a large triangular junction, that also allowed trains to go between Grimsby Town an Louth stations.

Grimsby town centre seems to have been planned for cars and losers without cars can go elsewhere.

Thoughts On The Firsby And Louth Rail Link

I have a few thoughts on the possible design of a rail link between Firsby and Louth.

Should The Line Allow Freight Trains?

It might be a future need that freight trains will need to go between say Peterborough and Immingham, but I don’t think any use that route at present.

So other than the occasional maintenance train, I think the route could be freight-free at present.

Should The Line Terminate at Grimsby?

Consider.

  • Grimsby is a town of 88,000
  • It is a large centre for food processing, which needs large numbers of people.
  • Grimsby is becoming an increasing important centre for the development of renewable energy.
  • Grimsby and Boston are nearly fifty miles apart, which illustrates that Lincolnshire is not a small county.

I believe in a perfect world, Grimsby would have an hourly train service to Boston via Louth and several other stops.

Terminating at Louth rather than Grimsby would be like terminating all trans pennine services at Leeds.

So how would a line terminate at Grimsby?

  • The missing side of the triangular junction could be rebuilt, so that traIns could run between Grimsby Town and Louth stations.
  • Trains could terminate at a new Grimsby South station on the outskirts of the town.
  • Trains could continue through Grimsby Docks station and terminate at Cleethorpes. with possibly an additional station in Grimsby town centre.

There is always an innovative tram-train solution, where with a small amount of street running, they sneaked into the town centre and called at Grimsby Town station and the major places people needed to visit.

This solution has been proposed for Ipswich and Felixstowe by East West Rail to increase the capacity on the Felixstowe Branch. I wrote about this scheme in Could There Be A Tram-Train Between Ipswich And Felixstowe?.

It would be challenging, but I think that it might be possible.

Failing that, I believe that a single-track could be sneaked along Peeks Parkway and go through the town centre to Grimsby Docks and Cleethorpes. stations.

The distance between Cleethorpes and New Waltham is about 7 miles.

A train would probably take about ten minutes.

Any town centre station could be a single platform.

Would An Hourly Service Be Enough?

An hourly service between Boston and Louth would probably be enough, but in an ideal world two trains per hour (tph) would probably be better.

  • A single-track section between New Waltham and Cleethorpes could probably handle four tph working bi-directionally.
  • Two tph is also regularly handled on single platform stations, like Galashiels and Newcourt.
  • The long straight sections of the route offer lots of scope for loops.

My feeling, is the service should start hourly, but that it can be designed to be upgraded to two tph. Or it could even work at two tph at certain times of the day.

Could Boston and Cleethorpes Be Run In Fifty Minutes?

Consider.

  • This time would be ideal for a service as it would give ten minutes to turn the trains at both ends.
  • Boston and Cleethorpes would be the longest service that would be run and it is 50 miles.
  • Fifty minutes would need an average speed including stops of 60 mph.
  • Ipswich and Cambridge is run at an average of 43.2 mph with seven stops.
  • The straight and flat Breckland Line has an operating speed of between 75 and 90 mph.
  • Trains between Cambridge and Norwich average 53 mph with six stops.

I believe that the Firsby and Louth line could be built with an operating speed of up to 90 mph and fifty minutes between Boston and Cleethorpes could be possible.

Will Firsby And Louth Be Single Track?

I believe that the route can be single track with one platform stations.

This will save both space and costs and would probably allow two tph with careful design.

As there are long straight sections to the North of Alford, I suspect it wouldn’t be difficult to add passing loops, if they were required.

What Rolling Stock Would Be Used?

Lincolnshire is a renewable energy-rich county and because of offshore wind and the HumberZero project, Lincolnshire will probably have more wind power and green hydrogen per head of population, than any other area of the UK.

So undoubtedly, the trains will be zero carbon, which means, electrification, battery electric or hydrogen trains.

If new trains are in the budget, then the obvious candidate is the Hitachi Regional Battery Train.

The specification is given in this Hitachi infographic.

Note that it is a 100 mph train with a range of 56 miles.

It would need to be charged at both ends of the route.

In Cleethorpes Station – 16th September 2020, I suggested that electrification be added between Cleethorpes and Habrough stations should be electrified, so Cleethorpes and Manchester services could be run by Hitachi Regional Battery Trains.

This electrification could be used to charge the trains at Cleethorpes or a charging system could be installed.

This Google Map shows Boston station.

Note.

  • The station has only two platforms.
  • It looks like there were two North-facing bay platforms.

A charging system would be added to charge the trains.

The other obvious train for the route, would be Alstom’s Class 600 train, which is powered by hydrogen.

This is a visualisation of the train.

The specification has not been published yet, so there is no idea of the operating speed, although the range will be several hundred miles.

I speculated about the train in Breeze Hydrogen Multiple-Unit Order Expected Soon.

  • There will be plenty of hydrogen available in Lincolnshire if the Humber Zero project goes to plan.
  • Trains may be able to do several trips between refuelling.
  •  Trains will not need any infrastructure at Boston.

The forsby and Louth route would be an ideal route for both trains.

The Hitachi product will probably be slightly larger, faster and new!

 

 

 

March 17, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

H2 Green Steel Plans 800 MW Hydrogen Plant In Sweden

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

The title says it all.

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

This would mean that H2 Green Steel’s electrolyser could be producing around one hundred and forty thousand tonnes of hydrogen per year or 380 tonnes per day.

What About Scunthorpe?

I very much believe that Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire, would be the ideal place for hydrogen steelmaking in the UK as I outlined in Green Hydrogen To Power First Zero Carbon Steel Plant.

So could 800 MW of electricity be available to produce the hydrogen in the area.

Currently, the world’s largest offshore wind farm is Hornsea One with a capacity of 1218 MW, which feeds into the National Grid at Killingholme.

This Google Map shows the distance between Scunthorpe and Killingholme.

Note.

  1. Scunthorpe is in the South-West corner of the map.
  2. Killingholme is in the North-East corner of the map.

The distance is about twenty miles.

When fully developed, the Hornsea Wind Farm is planned to have a capacity of 6 GW or 6000 MW, so there should be enough renewable energy.

Could The Hydrogen Be Created Offshore?

In ITM Power and Ørsted: Wind Turbine Electrolyser Integration, I wrote about combining wind turbines and electrolysers to create an offshore wind turbine, that generates hydrogen, rather than electricity.

This approach may be ideal for the later phases of the Hornsea Wind Farm.

  • Redundant gas pipes can be used to bring the hydrogen ashore.
  • Worked-out offshore gas fields can be used to store hydrogen.
  • Worked-out gas fields in the area, are already being used to store natural gas from Norway.
  • The hydrogen can be fed directly into the HumberZero hydrogen network.

But the main reason, is that some serious commentators feel it is more affordable approach in terms of capital and maintenance costs.

It is also easy to convert hydrogen back to zero-carbon electricity, if you have a handy gas-fired power station. There could be as many of three of these at Keadby.

Conclusion

It’s all coming together on Humberside.

Anything the Swedes can do, we can do better!

March 1, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Green Hydrogen To Power First Zero Carbon Steel Plant

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

This is the two introductory paragraphs.

A new industrial initiative, backed by EIT InnoEnergy, will build the world’s first large-scale steel production plant powered by green hydrogen, in north Sweden.

The H2 Green Steel industrial initiative, which will mobilise €2.5bn of investment, aims to deliver a project that will create a new green steel producer from inception.

These further points are made.

  • There will be downstream steel products manufacture.
  • The initiative will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • Production could start in 2024.
  • Up to five million tonnes of steel could be produced by 2030.

The plant will be built in the Boden-Lulea area of Northern Sweden.

Note.

  1. Boden is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Lulea is in the South-East corner of the map.

H2 Green Steel has a web site, which explains more.

What About Scunthorpe?

Surely, the obvious location for green steel production plant in the UK would be Scunthorpe.

  • The HumberZero network can bring in hydrogen and take away any carbon dioxide.
  • The steelworks makes world-class products like railway rails.
  • It is a massive site.
  • The site has good rail access.

But there don’t seem to be any plans for hydrogen steelmaking at Scunthorpe.

Conclusion

I hope we’ve not missed the boat for hydrogen steelmaking.

  • We’ve certainly got the sites, the renewable energy and the hydrogen technology.
  • On the other hand, I can remember sensible arguments for lots of much smaller steel plants from fifty years ago, as an alternative to nationalisation of the steel industry by the Wilson Government in 1967.
  • I can also remember proposals for nuclear steelmaking.

I just wonder, if a design of hydrogen steelmaking plant could be developed, perhaps even using a small modular nuclear reactor to generate the hydrogen.

If we are going to have a steel industry in the future, we must do something radical.

February 27, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Batteries Could Save £195m Annually By Providing Reserve Finds National Grid ESO Trial

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

The title gives the findings of the Arenko-led trial.

What Is The National Grid Reserve Service?

It’s all about providing capacity for the National Grid Reserve Service, which is described in this Wikipedia entry. This is the introductory paragraph.

To balance the supply and demand of electricity on short timescales, the UK National Grid has contracts in place with generators and large energy users to provide temporary extra power, or reduction in demand. These reserve services are needed if a power station fails for example, or if forecast demand differs from actual demand. National Grid has several classes of reserve services, which in descending order of response time are: Balancing Mechanism (BM) Start-Up, Short-Term Operating Reserve, Demand Management and Fast Reserve.

The Wikipedia entry is very comprehensive.

A Collateral Benefit

This is a paragraph from the article.

Additionally, unlike CCGT plants, batteries do not need to be producing power in order to provide Reserve as they can charge when there is abundant renewable energy on the grid, and then wait to react when needed. As CCGT’s need to be producing power to provide this service, it can led to renewables switched off in favour of the more carbon intensive fossil fuel generation, to ensure Reserve is available if needed.

The article concludes that Reserve from Storage could help National Grid ESO’s reach their target of net-zero operation by 2025.

Could We Replace CCGT Plants With Batteries?

CCGT or combined cycle gas-turbine power plants are efficient ways to turn natural gas into electricity.

  • Typical sizes are around 800 MW.
  • They are reasonably quick and easy to build.
  • As their fuel comes by a pipeline, they don’t need to be connected to the rail network, unlike biomass and coal power plants.

Because they burn methane, they still emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide, although levels much less than an equivalent coal-fired power station.

In Energy In North-East Lincolnshire, I described the three Keadby power stations.

  • Keadby – In operation – 734 MW
  • Keadby 2 – Under construction – 840 MW
  • Keadby 3 – In planning – 910 MW

In total, these three power stations will have a capacity of 2484 MW.

By comparison, Hinckley Point C will have a capacity of 3200 MW.

Add Keadby 4 and the four CCGTs would provide more electricity, than Hinckley Point C.

I think it would be very difficult to replace a cluster of CCGT gas-fired power stations or a big nuclear power plant with the sort of batteries being deployed today. 2.5 to 3 GW is just so much electricity!

I do believe though, that instead of building a 3200 MW nuclear power plant, you could build a cluster of four 800 MW CCGTs.

But What About The Carbon Dioxide?

Using the Keadby cluster of CCGTs as an example.

  • Keadby 2 and Keadby 3 are being built to be upgraded with carbon-capture technology.
  • The HumberZero gas network will take the carbon dioxide away for  storage in worked-out gas fields in the North Sea.
  • Some carbon dioxide will be fed to salad vegetables and soft fruits in greenhouses, to promote growth.
  • Keadby 2 and Keadby 3 are being built to be able to run on hydrogen.
  • The HumberZero network will also be able to deliver hydrogen to fuel the power stations.

I’m certain we’ll see some of the next generation of wind turbines delivering their energy from hundreds of miles offshore, in the form of hydrogen by means of a pipe.

The technology is being developed by ITM Power and Ørsted, with the backing of the UK government.

  • Redundant gas pipelines can be used, to bring the hydrogen to the shore
  • The engineering of piping hydrogen to the shore is well-understood.
  • Redundant gas pipelines can be used if they already exist.
  • Gas networks can be designed, so that depleted gas fields can be used to store the gas offshore, in times when it is not needed.

But above all gas pipelines cost less than DC  electricity links, normally used to connect turbines to the shore.

I can see very complicated, but extremely efficient networks of wind turbines, redundant gas fields and efficient CCGT power stations connected together by gas pipelines, which distribute natural gas, hydrogen and carbon dioxide as appropriate.

Could Offshore Hydrogen Storage And CCGTs Provide The Reserve Power

Consider.

  • Using a CCGT power station  to provide Reserve Power is well understood.
  • Suppose there is a large worked out gasfield, near to the power station, which has been repurposed to be used for hydrogen storage.
  • The hydrogen storage is filled using hydrogen created by offshore wind turbines, that have built in electrolysers, like those being developed by ITM Power and Ørsted.
  • One of more CCGTs could run as needed using hydrogen from the storage as fuel.
  • A CCGT power station running on hydrogen is a zero-carbon power station.

Effectively, there would be a giant battery, that stored offshore wind energy as hydrogen.

I can see why the UK government is helping to fund this development by ITM Power and Ørsted.

Could We See Cradle-To-Grave Design Of Gas Fields?

I suspect that when a gas field is found and the infrastructured is designed it is all about what is best in the short term.

Suppose a gas field is found reasonably close to the shore or in an area like the Humber, Mersey or Tees Estuaries, where a lot of carbon dioxide is produced by industries like steel, glass and chemicals!

Should these assessments be done before any decisions are made about how to bring the gas ashore?

  • After being worked out could the gas field be used to store carbon dioxide?
  • After being worked out could the gas field be used to store natural gas or hydrogen?
  • Is the area round the gas field suitable for building a wind farm?

Only then could a long-term plan be devised for the gas-field and the infrastructure can be designed accordingly.

I suspect that the right design could save a lot of money, as infrastructure was converted for the next phase of its life.

Conclusion

It does appear that a lot of money can be saved.

But my rambling through the calculations shows the following.

Wind Turbines Generating Hydrogen Give Advantages

These are some of the advantages.

  • Hydrogen can be transported at less cost.
  • Hydrogen is easily stored if you have have a handy worked-out gas field.
  • The technology is well-known.

Hydrogen can then be converted back to electricity in a CCGT power station

The CCGT Power Station Operates In A Net-Zero Carbon Manner

There are two ways, the CCGT station can be run.

  • On natural gas, with the carbon-dioxide captured for use or storage.
  • On hydrogen.

No carbon-dioxide is released to the atmosphere in either mode.

The Hydrogen Storage And The CCGT Power Station Or Stations Is Just A Giant Battery

This may be true, but it’s all proven technology, that can be used as the Power Reserve.

Power Networks Will Get More Complicated

This will be inevitable, but giant batteries from various technologies will make it more reliable.

 

 

 

February 12, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment