The Anonymous Widower

Floating Wind Swells, Hydrogen On A High And Here Comes The 150-Hour ‘Aqueous Air’ Battery

The title of this post is the same as that of this weekly summary on Recharge.

There are three major stories.

Floating Wind Turbines

A lot more floating wind turbines are under development, by the French, Swedes, South Africans and Japanese.

I do wonder, if these structures have borrowed the work done in Cambridge by Balaena Structures, for which I did the calculations, as I wrote about in The Balaena Lives.

From what I remember of my calculations fifty years ago, I suspect these floating turbines can be massive and places, in areas, where the winds are really strong.

I also believe that some could have built-in hydrogen generators and could be placed over depleted gas fields and connected to the existing gas pipes.

Hydrogen

The article describes how oil giants; BP and Shell are moving towards hydrogen.

Battery Storage

They also talk about Form Energy and their mysterious ‘aqueous air battery, which Recharge covered earlier. I discussed that article in The Mysterious 150-hour Battery That Can Guarantee Renewables Output During Extreme Weather.

Conclusion

This article is a must-read.

Recharge is also a site to follow, if you are interested in the developments in renewable energy.

May 18, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Climate Change: ‘Bath Sponge’ Breakthrough Could Boost Cleaner Cars

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

A new material developed, by scientists could give a significant boost to a new generation of hydrogen-powered cars.

The article is a must read and the development could make it a lot easy to store hydrogen in vehicles.

The problem is that hydrogen is extremely light and the article says this about storage.

In normal atmospheric pressure, to carry 1kg of hydrogen which might power your car for over 100km, you’d need a tank capable of holding around 11,000 litres.

That is rather large. This extract from the article describes the solution.

To get around this problem, the gas is stored at high pressure, around 700 bar, so cars can carry 4-5kg of the gas and travel up to 500km before refilling.

That level of pressure is around 300 times greater than in a car’s tyres, and necessitates specially made tanks, all of which add to the cost of the vehicles.

Now researchers believe they have developed an alternative method that would allow the storage of high volumes of hydrogen under much lower pressure.

The team have designed a highly porous new material, described as a metal-organic framework.

As ITM Power’s hydrogen filling stations can provide hydrogen at up to 350-700 bar, I’m sure that there could be a useful coming together, that will make hydrogen-powered vehicles more common.

Could for instance, the new material mean, that hydrogen becomes the fuel of choice for heavy trucks and railway locomotives?

April 19, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen Islands

I found this concept on the ITM Power web site.

This was the sub-title.

Islands tend to have abundant renewable resources yet they rely heavily upon importing fossil fuels, often at relatively high cost.

And this was the body of the page.

The integration of renewables into an island’s power grid soon creates substantial balancing and curtailment problems. These can be overcome by deploying controllable rapid response electrolysers to produce green hydrogen for the island’s transport, heat and power sectors. Projects such as BigHit are demonstrating how this may be achieved.

It would create a zero-carbon island for an Internet tycoon or a Bond villain.

I’m certain that the concept would work for somewhere like a farm or even a small village, which is effectively a landlocked island, with perhaps wind turbines or solar panels.

April 8, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

HyDeploy

I could have called this post; What Do You Do With Surplus Electricity?.

Believe it or not, one thing you can do is inject it into the gas main, by converting it into hydrogen first.

The Project

The concept is being tested in a project called HyDeploy at Keele University.

  • The project has its own web site, from where I have obtained much of the information on this post.
  • Keele University has its own gas network.
  • Keele has a campus population similar to a small town.
  • Keele University has a reputation for research excellence.

This paragraph outlines the project.

HyDeploy is a pioneering energy demonstration to establish the potential for blending hydrogen, up to 20%, into the normal gas supply so that we can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

A 10 month live demonstration of blended gas is taking place on part of the Keele gas network and will finish in August 2020.

HyDeploy will help to determine the level of hydrogen which can be used by customers safely and with no changes to their existing domestic appliances.

The HyDeploy project has been split into the following phases.

  • Phase One will be live test using the Keele University gas network to learn about injecting hydrogen into a natural gas network.
  • Phase Two will move to a larger demonstration on public network in the North East.
  • Phase Three will be another large demonstration in the North West.

Once the evidence has been submitted to Government policy makers, we very much expect hydrogen to take its place alongside other forms of zero carbon energy in meeting the needs of the UK population.

The Electrolyser

ITM Power are providing the 0.5 MW electrolyser to turn electricity into hydrogen.

It’s only a small one, but this is about proving thetechnology.

 

 

April 7, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

Batteries Come Of Age In Railway Construction

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

It is very much a must-read article on the subject of constructing and repairing railways in a zero-carbon manner.

These are some extra comments of mine!

Smaller And Lighter First

This is a paragraph from the article.

Smaller and lighter equipment is getting the treatment first – the batteries and motors can be smaller. Volvo Construction Equipment has already supplied its first electric compact loader, to a customer in Germany.

Volvo seems to be busy creating electric loaders.

Size Appears To Be No Limit

This extract shows how a large dump truck can go electric.

If a 25-tonne excavator is not big enough, how about a Komatsu HD605-7 off-highway truck, which weighs 51 tonnes unladen and has a payload of 63 tonnes? Kuhn Switzerland, working with Lithium Storage and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), has converted this 111-tonne gross vehicle weight monster into an electric vehicle.

Out came the 23-litre, 778hp (578kW) diesel engine and in went a synchronous electric motor rated at 789hp (588kW) electric motors. An additional 120kW motor is fitted just to power the hydraulic systems. The battery was a challenge – the four large packs have a combined rating of 700kWh and weigh 4.5 tonnes.

Do you get much bigger than 111 tonne, nearly 600 kW and a 700 kWh battery pack?

Regenerative Braking

The article also says that in some applications, vehicles go up and down a route and can charge the batteries using regenerative braking on the downhill run. In one application batteries only need charging every three days.

Rail Application Of Off-Road Equipment

The article says this.

While an eDumper may be too large to use on the railway, it does show what can now be done. Between JCB’s mini-excavator and eMining’s dump truck, there is room to battery-power almost any item used on the railway today.

I would suspect that there are a lot of companies, including giants like Caterpillar, JCB, Komatsu. Volvo and others working to produce electric versions of their successful products.

What About The Workers

The article says this.

These new machines are only the tip of the ‘electric’ iceberg. As pressure mounts to cut carbon emissions and to protect workers from harmful fumes, there will be more to come.

Health and safety will lead to a big push towards electric, as electric vehicles are pollution, carbon and fume-free, with a substantial noise reduction.

Hydrogen Will Have A Part To Play

This statement is from the Wikipedia entry for ITM Power.

In March 2015 JCB made a strategic investment of £4.9M in ITM Power.

Why would a construction equipment company invest in a company, that makes equipment that generates hydrogen to power vehicles?

  • It is known, that the Bamford heir has purchased Wrightbus and intend to make hydrogen-powered buses for the world.
  • JCB have built their own diesel engines, so are they building their own hydrogen engine?
  • JCB make tractors and I believe a hydrogen-powered tractor may be more than a niche market.
  • Is it possible to build a hydrogen-powered JCB?

Buy any of these products and you get a gas station in the price.

To deliver hydrogen, all you need to do is connect it to the water and electricity mains and switch on.

If you’re using it to power rail or site construction equipment, the gas station could be on wheels, so it can be moved from site to site.

Conclusion

This is the writer’s conclusion.

It seems that ‘battery is the new diesel’. It will be fascinating to see how this sector develops over the next few years.

I don’t disagree, but would add, that I feel that JCB are the elephant in this room!

March 15, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EU Announces ‘Clean Hydrogen Alliance’ For Launch In The Summer

The total of this post is the same as this article on Euractiv.

The title is probably fairly clear, but the article is well worth a read.

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

MAHYTEC Creates World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Riding Lawnmower

I searched for hydrogen-powered lawnmower and found this page.

Surely ideal for the Prince of Wales to buy for Camilla, when she does the mowing at Highgrove.

But seriously, if you can make a hydrogen-powered ride-on mower, you can make any number of smaller horticultural and agricultural vehicles, that run on hydrogen.

How long before John Deere or one of the big Japanese manufacturers releases a hydrogen-powered lawnmower, that takes the large grass-cutting market by storm?

It won’t be just the grass, that is green!

I suspect a company like ITM Power will provide the operator with their own hydrogen generator.

I can envisage the farm of the future, having the following.

  • Hydrogen powered tractors, loaders and other powered machinery.
  • Hydrogen-powered Range-Rover to speed through the lanes.
  • Hydrogen-powered lawn mower to make the place look good.
  • Hydrogen-powered vehicles for road use.

All would be powered by the farm’s own hydrgen generator, which might use their own wind turbine.

February 28, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment