The Anonymous Widower

My First Ride In A Refurbished New Routemaster

When I went to see the Queen’s flowers, that I wrote about in The Queen’s Flowers In Green Park, the 38 bus, I rode to Green Park, was a refurbished New Routemaster.

Note.

  1. It appears to have scrubbed up well.
  2. There is a new fabric and all the gold metal parts have been re-anodised.
  3. The priority seats for those with limited mobility are now labelled.
  4. As they are now up to eleven years old, will they now be good for at least another ten?

This article on Key Buses is entitled New Routemaster Refurbishment Underway, where this is said.

Despite coming under threat as a result of Tf L’s funding crisis the first New Routemasters have now returned from refurbishment. These include buses in the Abellio London, Metroline and London United fleets. The latter now carry RATPDev Transit London fleetnames. The first 200 vehicles are expected to be refurbished by March 31, 2023.

With 200 buses, I should get a lot of chances to add some more pictures.

In Could London’s New Routemaster Buses Be Converted To Hydrogen Power?, I came to this conclusion.

I believe from my knowledge of Cummins and the way they work, that they will come up with a hydrogen-based solution, that will replace the Cummins diesel in these buses with a zero-carbon engine.

If Cummins don’t then someone else will.

Whoever solves the problem of converting London’s new Routemasters to hydrogen will have one of the best adverts for their product, there has ever been.

After converting London’s thousand Routemasters, the engineers could move on to anything powered by a Cummins engine.

Since then I’ve written Werner Enterprises Signs Letter Of Intent Planning To Secure 500 X15H Engines From Cummins, which describes the application of Cummins technology to convert heavy trucks to hydrogen power.

 

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

Werner Enterprises Signs Letter Of Intent Planning To Secure 500 X15H Engines From Cummins

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

This is the first paragraph.

Werner Enterprises, a premier transportation and logistics provider, and Cummins Inc., a global power solutions provider, announced today Werner signed a letter of intent to purchase 500 Cummins’ 15-liter hydrogen internal combustion engines upon availability. The two companies announced earlier this year, Werner Enterprises plans to validate and integrate Cummins’15-liter natural gas and Cummins’ X15H hydrogen engines, both part of Cummins’ fuel agnostic platform, into their fleet.

More details of the X15H engine are given in this earlier press release, which is entitled Cummins Inc. Debuts 15-Litre Hydrogen Engine At ACT Expo, which has this first paragraph.

Today, Cummins Inc. debuted its 15-liter hydrogen engine at ACT Expo in Long Beach, California. This engine is built on Cummins’ new fuel-agnostic platform, where below the head gasket each fuel type’s engine has largely similar components, and above the head gasket, each has different components for different fuel types. This version, with expected full production in 2027, pairs with clean, zero-carbon hydrogen fuel, a key enabler of Cummins’ strategy to go further faster to help customers reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

I certainly like the concept of a fuel-agnostic platform, where below the head gasket, everything is similar, and above the head gasket, there are appropriate components.

I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Rolls-Royce mtu and JCB have used a similar concept for their hydrogen internal combustion engines.

Cummins have also developed a 6.7 litre engine.

This is a paragraph from the press release.

Hydrogen internal combustion engines use zero-carbon fuel at a lower initial price of a fuel cell or battery electric vehicle with little modification to today’s vehicles. Accelerated market adoption of hydrogen engine powered vehicles is driven by the technology’s high technology maturity, low initial cost, extended vehicle range, fast fueling, powertrain installation commonality, and end-user familiarity.

I certainly feel it is the way to go technically.

Take London’s New Routemaster buses.

  • These buses are powered by a Cummins B-series engine, which has four cylinders and a capacity of 4.5 litres.
  • This engine powers large numbers of trucks and pick-ups.
  • For the UK, they are manufactured in Darlington.
  • It appears that Cummins 6.7 litre engine is a six cylinder B-series engine.

It would certainly be more affordable to change the cylinder heads of these buses and power them by hydrogen, than purchase a new fleet.

Cummins have an excellent tutorial on hydrogen internal combustion engines on their web site.

September 13, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 4 Comments

Hydrogen Tourist Transport Network Trialled In The Peak District

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

This paragraph outlines the trial.

A trial is taking place in the Peak District National Park where hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) will run together between multiple destinations and attractions.

 

Note.

  1. Toyota will provide the buses.
  2. Air Products is providing hydrogen.
  3. The services appear to be centred on Chesterfield station.

It looks like one of the objectives is to test the two types of buses against the terrain.

I can see hydrogen-powered buses being used extensively in tourist areas all over the world.

September 13, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Repowering Zero-Emission Buses As An Alternative

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

The article makes the argument for swapping out the diesel engine for a zero-emission powertrain.

I very much feel that this is a worthwhile idea, as do Ricardo.

I wrote about converting London’s New Routemasters to hydrogen in Could London’s New Routemaster Buses Be Converted To Hydrogen Power?.

July 24, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce To Develop mtu Hydrogen Electrolyser And Invest In Hoeller Electrolyser

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

These are the three main points in the press release.

  • Holdings in start-up companies in northern Germany secure Rolls-Royce Power Systems access to key green hydrogen production technology.
  • Electrolysis systems for several megawatts of power.
  • First demonstrator in 2023 using a Hoeller stack.

This is the introductory paragraph to the deal.

Rolls-Royce is entering the hydrogen production market and acquiring a 54% majority stake in electrolysis stack specialist Hoeller Electrolyzer, whose innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from its Power Systems division. Hoeller Electrolyzer, based in Wismar, Germany, is an early-stage technology company that is developing highly efficient polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) stacks, under the brand name Prometheus, for the cost-effective production of hydrogen.

This page on the Hoeller Electrolysis web site gives details of Prometheus.

  • Hoeller are planning small, medium and large electrolyser modules, the largest of which is rated at 1.4 MW.
  • Load changes of between 0 and 100 % within seconds.
  • Cold start capability.
  • It will produce 635 Kg/day.
  • They are talking of a cost of 4€/Kg.

It all sounds good to me.

This paragraph is from the press release.

Founded in 2016, Hoeller Electrolyzer has positioned itself, with Prometheus, as one of the few highly specialized expert players in the field of high-efficiency PEM electrolysis stacks. Its founder, Stefan Höller, has more than a quarter of a century’s experience of developing electrolysis technology and has already registered 14 patents connected with Prometheus. Particularly high efficiency is promised by special surface technologies for the bipolar plates which significantly reduce the use of expensive precious metals platinum and iridium as catalysts, as well as increased output pressure.

I know a small amount about electrolysis and feel that Rolls-Royce may have got themselves a high-class deal.

Rolls-Royce’s large German presence in companies like mtu, will also help to smooth any doubts about the deal.

This paragraph indicates a shared belief.

Rolls-Royce and Hoeller Electrolyzer are united by a shared belief in the opportunity of zero-carbon energy – both for power supply and the propulsion of heavy vehicles. With decades of experience and systems expertise, Rolls-Royce is going to develop a complete electrolyzer system and has a global sales and service network, which opens up the potential for significant worldwide sales.

But perhaps, this is the most significant paragraph of the press release.

Armin Fürderer, who heads up the Net Zero Solutions business unit of Power Systems, said: “We’re going to launch electrolyzers with several megawatts of power right from the start. A total output of over 100 megawatts is conceivable by combining several electrolyzers.”

A quick search of the Internet, indicates that 100 MW is the size of the world’s largest electrolysers.

Applications

I can see applications for these large electrolysers.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems

This is a sentence from the press release.

Hoeller Electrolyzer, whose innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from its Power Systems division.

The Rolls-Royce Power Systems web site, has this mission statement.

The Power Systems Business Unit of Rolls-Royce is focused on creating sustainable, climate neutral solutions for drive, propulsion and power generation.

In Rolls-Royce Makes Duisburg Container Terminal Climate Neutral With MTU Hydrogen Technology, I describe one of Rolls-Royce Power Systems projects.

The title of this post, is the same as this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This is the first sentence.

Rolls-Royce will ensure a climate-neutral energy supply at the container terminal currently under construction at the Port of Duisburg, Germany.

There is also this Rolls-Royce graphic, which shows the energy sources.

It would appear batteries,  combined heap and power (CHP), grid electricity, hydrogen electrolyser, hydrogen storage and renewable electricity are being brought together to create a climate-neutral energy system.

Note.

  1. The system uses a large hydrogen electrolyser.
  2. I suspect the hydrogen will be generated by off-peak electricity and local renewables.
  3. Hydrogen will probably power the container handling machines, ships, trucks, vehicles and other equipment in the port.

Hydrogen appears to be used as a means of storing energy and also for providing motive power.

I would suspect, the ultimate aim is that the port will not emit any carbon dioxide.

Other ports like Felixstowe and Holyhead seem to be going the hydrogen route.

Refuelling Hydrogen Buses and Charging Electric Buses

If you look at the Duisburg system, I can imagine a similar smaller system being used to refuel hydrogen buses and charge electric ones.

  • The hydrogen electrolyser would be sized to create enough hydrogen for a day or so’s work.
  • Hydrogen would be generated by off-peak electricity and local renewables.
  • If an operator bought more buses, I’m certain that the architecture of the electrolyser would allow expansion.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells would boost the electricity supply, when lots of buses needed to be charged.
  • Any spare hydrogen could be sold to those who have hydrogen-powered vehicles.
  • Any spare electricity could be sold back to the grid.

It should be noted that manufacturers like Wrightbus have developed a range of hydrogen and electric buses that use the same components. So will we see more mixed fleets of buses, where the best bus is assigned to each route?

I have used buses as an example, but the concept would apply to fleets of cars, trucks and vans.

Green Hydrogen

Large efficient electrolysers will surely be the key to producing large quantities of green hydrogen in the future.

It appears that about 55 MWh is needed to produce a tonne of green hydrogen using existing electrolysers.

The Hoeller electrolyser appears to be about 53 MWh, so it is more efficient.

Green Hydrogen From An Onshore Wind Farm

If you look at the average size of an onshore wind farm in the UK, a quick estimate gives a figure of 62 MW. I shouldn’t expect the figure for much of the world is very different, where you ignore the gigafarms, as these will distort the numbers.

An appropriately-sized electrolyser could be added to onshore wind farms to provide a local source of hydrogen for transport, an industrial process or a domestic gas supply for a new housing estate.

A single 5 MW wind turbine with a capacity factor of around 30 % would produce around 680 Kg of green hydrogen per day.

Green Hydrogen From An Offshore Wind Farm

There are basic methods to do this.

Put the electrolyser onshore or put the electrolyser offshore and pipe the hydrogen to the shore.

I think we will see some innovative configurations.

In ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm, I described how Magnora ASA are developing the ScotWind N3 wind farm.

The floating turbines surround a concrete floater, which in the future could contain an electrolyser and tankage for hydrogen.

The ScotWind N3 wind farm is designed to be a wind farm rated at 500 MW.

I can see an electrolyser on the floater, of an optimal size to make sure all electricity is used.

Pink Hydrogen

Pink hydrogen, is zero-carbon hydrogen produced using nuclear-generated electricity.

There are industrial processes, like the making of zero-carbon chemicals, concrete and steel, that will require large quantities of zero-carbon green or pink hydrogen.

Rolls-Royce are developing the Rolls-Royce SMR, which will be a 470 MW small modular nuclear reactor.

One of these placed near to a steel works and coupled to one or more 100 MW electrolysers could provide enough zero-carbon electricity and hydrogen to produce large quantities of zero-carbon green steel.

Manufacturing

Rolls-Royce and their subsidiaries like mtu, seem to be extensive users of advanced manufacturing techniques and I would expect that they can improve Hoeller’s manufacturing.

Research And Development

The press release says this about the founder of Hoeller.

Its founder, Stefan Höller, has more than a quarter of a century’s experience of developing electrolysis technology and has already registered 14 patents connected with Prometheus.

If Rolls-Royce can develop and support Stefan Höller and his team, development could easily go to a higher level.

Conclusion

I think that Rolls-Royce have taken over a company, that will in the end, will design excellent efficient electrolysers.

 

 

 

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ricardo Repowers Double Decker Diesel Bus With Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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

Ricardo, a global strategic, environmental, and engineering consulting company, in partnership with Stagecoach North East, has repowered a diesel, double decker bus with a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system. Delivering zero tailpipe emissions, Ricardo is now seeking to secure customers to invest in the production of a fleet of passenger vehicles fit for the future of sustainable shared mobility.

The project, part funded by the Department of Transport, through its Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration competition, saw Ricardo, working with Stagecoach North East to retro-fitted hydrogen fuel cell technology into an existing double decker bus. It created a zero emissions demonstrator that is now undergoing a ten-week test and demonstration programme around the Tees Valley and Brighton and Hove. Feedback and data from the trials will support the team to explore future market opportunities and applications with bus operators and other partners across the UK and beyond.

Given that there are around 38,000 existing buses in the UK, many of which still have a few years of life left, this surely must be an affordable way of creating more zero-carbon hydrogen buses.

It appears that Ricardo are aiming to have an initial batch of 150 buses in service from late 2024.

June 27, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Are The Office Of Rail And Road (Or Their Lawyers) Too Risk Averse?

An article in the April 2022 Edition of Modern Railways is entitled Uckfield Third Rail Is NR Priority.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Electrification of the line between Hurst Green and Uckfield in East Sussex and the remodelling of East Croydon are the top Network Rail investment priorities south of the river, according to Southern Region Managing Director John Halsall. He told Modern Railways that third rail is now the preferred option for the Uckfield Line, as it would allow the route to use the pool of third-rail EMUs in the area. This is in preference to the plan involving overhead electrification and use of dual-voltage units put forward by then-Network Rail director Chris Gibb in his 2017 report (p66, September 2017 issue).

NR has put forward options for mitigating the safety risk involved with the third-rail system, including switching off the power in station areas when no trains are present and section isolation systems to protect track workers. ‘The Office of Rail and Road hasn’t yet confirmed third rail would be acceptable, but we are working out ways in which it could be’ Mr Halsall told Modern Railways. He added that bi-mode trains with batteries were not a feasible option on this line, as the 10-car trains in use on the route would not be able to draw sufficient charge between London and Hurst Green to power the train over the 25 miles on to Uckfield.

As an Electrical Engineer, who’s first real job in industry at fifteen was installing safety guards on guillotines nearly sixty years ago, I don’t believe that an acceptable solution can’t be devised.

But as at Kirkby on Merseyside, the Office Of Rail And Road, do seem to be stubbornly against any further third-rail installations in the UK.

I wonder what, the Office Of Rail And Road would say, if Transport for London wanted to extend an Underground Line for a few miles to serve a new housing development? On previous experience, I suspect Nanny would say no!

But is it more than just third-rail, where the Office Of Rail And Road is refusing to allow some technologies on the railway?

Battery-Electric Trains

I first rode in a viable battery-electric train in February 2015, but we still haven’t seen any other battery-electric trains in service on UK railways running under battery power.

Does the Office Of Rail And Road, believe that battery-electric trains are unsafe, with the lithium-ion batteries likely to catch fire at any time?

Hydrogen-Powered Trains

The hydrogen-powered Alstom Coradia iLint has been in service in Germany since September 2018.

But progress towards a viable hydrogen train has been very slow in the UK, with the only exception being demonstrations at COP26.

Are The Office Of Rail And Road still frightened of the Hindenburg?

Although hydrogen-powered buses have been allowed.

A Tale From Lockheed

When Metier Management Systems were sold to Lockheed, I worked for the American company for a couple of years.

I met some of their directors and they told some good American lawyer jokes, such was their disgust for the more money-grabbing of the American legal profession.

At the time, Flight International published details of an innovative landing aid for aircraft, that had been developed by Lockheed. It was a suitcase-sized landing light, that could be quickly setup up on a rough landing strip, so that aircraft, like a Hercules, with an outstanding rough field performance could land safely.

I read somewhere that a Flying Doctor service or similar had acquired some of these landing aids, so they could provide a better service to their clients.

But Lockheed’s lawyers were horrified, that they would get sued, if someone was seriously injured or even died, whilst the aid was being used.

Apparently, in the end, the aids were marked Not For Use In The USA.

Conclusion

I do wonder, if third-rail electrification, battery-electric trains and hydrogen-powered trains have come up against a wall created by over-cautious lawyers.

 

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gilbarco Veeder-Root Prepares For The Hydrogen Transport Revolution

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Gilbarco Veeder-Root today announces a strategic mission to become a pioneer in enabling future hydrogen-powered transportation.

It is making available a suite of compression, dispensing and software solutions, allowing the creation of a network of renewable or low-carbon hydrogen refuelling stations around the world.

Two statements from the article.

  • According to most industry experts, hydrogen is better suited for heavy-duty commercial vehicles than pure electric power, due to the rapid refuelling time, their weight, and duty cycles.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell trucks and buses are currently being developed by most of the leading global truck manufacturers and it’s predicted that 15% of commercial fleets will be hydrogen powered by 2030.

It looks like Gilbarco Veeder-Root have decided to join the hydrogen party.

I find this significant, as having a good hydrogen refuelling network, that operators know they can trust, will surely encourage them to decarbonise, by changing to hydrogen fuel.

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

A Planned Trip To Belfast

I’m thinking about going over to Belfast for a couple of days to have a look at the transport systems in the city and the wider Northern Ireland.

I have several things, I would like to do.

  • Ride in the latest Wrightbus hydrogen and battery-electric buses.
  • Ride in a Glider. I also intend to go to Pau to ride in a hydrogen-powered version of these Van Hool Equicity articulated buses, but Belfast is nearer.
  • Perhaps, if I have enough time, I’ll visit a few touristy bits.
  • Do a bit of research into offshore wind farms in Northern Ireland.

Has anybody got any advice?

 

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

West Midlands To Run ‘Largest Hydrogen Bus Fleet’ Due To New Funding

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

These are a few points from the article.

  • The region is set to get 124 new hydrogen vehicles.
  • The West Midlands is set to run the UK’s largest hydrogen bus fleet after securing new funding.
  • The region will get 124 new buses after it won £30m from the Department for Transport to fund a switchover.
  • Twenty four of the new vehicles will be articulated tram-style buses set to run on a new bus priority route between Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull.

Does the last statement mean, that they will buying a hundred double-decker hydrogen buses?

A few thoughts.

Riding Birmingham’s New Hydrogen-Powered Buses

These are a few pictures from Riding Birmingham’s New Hydrogen-Powered Buses.

They were excellent buses from Wrightbus.

The Tram Style Buses

The Belgian firm; Van Hool have a product called Exquicity. This video shows them working in Pau in France.

These tram buses run on rubber types and are powered by hydrogen.

Similar buses running in Belfast are diesel-electric.

Could these be what the article refers to as tram-style buses?

It should be noted, that the West Midlands and Pau have bought their hydrogen filling stations from ITM Power in Sheffield.

So has there has been a spot of the Entente Cordiale between Pau and the West Midlands?

Will The West Midlands Buy The Other Hundred Buses From Wrightbus?

There doesn’t seem to be any problems on the web about the initial fleet, so I suspect they will.

It should also be noted that Wrightbus make the following types of zero-emission buses.

These would surely enable the West Midlands to mic-and-match according to their needs.

 

March 29, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments