The Anonymous Widower

Velocys Signs Agreement For Commercial-Scale Biomass-To-Jet Fuel In Japan

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

I am very hopeful about Velocys, who are a UK public company, that were spun out of Oxford University and do clever things in the area of chemical catalysts.

Velocys’ Fischer-Tropsch technology does seem to be a good way of creating sustainable aviation fuel from household rubbish and biomass.

February 18, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nippon Steel Pledges To Be Carbon Neutral By 2050

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Nippon Steel has set a goal to reach net-zero emission by 2050, Nikkei learned on Thursday, a move that could nudge other manufacturers to try to meet Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s pledge to achieve carbon neutrality across the country by the same year.

Nippon Steel, Japan’s biggest steelmaker, will introduce a new way of steelmaking using hydrogen which can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80% compared with conventional methods of production. The steelmaker’s new green target will be unveiled in a business plan it is currently drafting which will be published by March 2021.

To my mind, hydrogen is the way to go!

December 11, 2020 Posted by | Business, Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

High Speed Train Seats Used To Deliver Fresh Fish

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

East Japan Railway is testing the use of high speed passenger trains to move fresh fish from Sendai to Tokyo.

The last paragraph explains the title.

These services do not use passenger accommodation, unlike JR East’s latest test programme where the No 1 car is closed to passengers so that the seats can be used to transport the containers of fish.

But then the idea isn’t new as Great Western Railway ran a trial in 2015, with the fish travelling in the back of the locomotive on an Intercity 125. That story is also in Railway Gazette.

August 27, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Japan A ‘Very Interesting Market’ For Gore Street As It Becomes An ‘Enabler’ Of JXTG’s Transition

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Solar Power Portal.

This is the introductory paragraph.

London Stock Exchange-listed energy storage fund Gore Street has outlined how it sees Japan as a “very interesting market” following its investment from JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation.

I like Gore Street’s philosophy and its execution.

I am not an investor and probably never will be, but they seem to be based on sound principles and do their modelling well. I’ve built enough large financial models to know a good one from its results.

Gore Street is normally investing in lithium-ion batteries.

  • These batteries now have a predictable reliability profile and I suspect cash-flow from owning a battery is fairly predictable.
  • The control and monitoring software will get better as time goes by and these batteries will probably update themselves automatically.
  • They probably aren’t that affected by COVID-19, as lockdown still needs energy to be balanced and these batteries are probably performing as normal.
  • The heat of the last few weeks probably caused more grief than COVID-19.
  • If a site visit is necessary, they can probably be done with one man in a van with a key to the security system. So maintenance is probably easy to do, whilst maintaining social distance.

I also liked this paragraph from the article.

, Gore Street Capital CEO, Alex O’Cinneide, said that the fact that the deregulation of the Japanese market over the next few years makes it of interest to the company, alongside it having the same characteristics of the UK in terms of the decommissioning of coal, nuclear and gas and increasing levels of renewables.

Could Gore Street Energy Fund, be a safe investment for today’s difficult times?

 

July 2, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Finance, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

South Korea Is On The Hunt For An Overseas Hydrogen Production Location

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

It is an interesting article, which talks about how both South Korea and Japan are looking to source hydrogen from another country and how Australia is in prime position.

This Wikipedia entry, which is entitled Energy In South Korea, has this breakdown of electricity production in South Korea.

  • Thermal – 65.3%
  • Nuclear – 31.1%
  • Hydro – 1.6%
  • Other – 2%

Note that at the time of writing the UK is producing 39.0% of electricity from renewables and 15.9% from low-carbon sources.

Consider.

  • As South Korea imports a lot of liquified natural gas and has no oil or gas resources of its own, importing hydrogen is just replacing a carbon-dioxide producing fuel with a zero-carbon one, that is produced from renewables.
  • Other than Australia, other possible sources of hydrogen mentioned include Saudi Arabia and the United States, but is their hydrogen produced from renewables or steam-reforming of methane?
  • I suspect another could be South Africa, as they can develop a lot of wind power around the Cape.

I think we’ll see more countries going down the same route as Japan and South Korea and importing large quantities of hydrogen.

  • Countries with lots of renewables like geothermal, hydro, solar and wind will benefit.
  • Countries with plenty of gas can use steam-reforming to create hydrogen.

But surely, the biggest beneficiaries will be world-class companies, like ITM Power in Rotherham, who build electrolysers.

 

June 25, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding Floatovoltaics

Floatovoltaics is mounting panels on floats, on an appropriate stretch of water.

This video, which I think from some of the words in the commentary, is shown to visitors who visit the floating solar farm at Yamakura Dam.

It describes all the advantages of floating solar and shows how this 13.7 MW solar farm was constructed.

We’ve even got a couple of these floating solar farms in the UK.

This Google Map shows the farm in the Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir, near Walton-on-Thames.

There is also this article in the Guardian, which is entitled World’s Biggest Floating Solar Farm Powers Up Outside London. It gives a good description of the project.

The article also states that unlike large solar arrays on land, no planning permission is required.

United Utilities have also installed a system at Godley Reservoir in Hyde, near Manchester, as this Google Map shows.

They must like the first installation, as this Press Release from United Utilities indicates that they are now building a second floating solar farm at Langthwaite Reservoir near Lancaster.

Some points from the Press Release.

  • The floats are made locally.
  • Godley is three times the size of Langthwaite.
  • Godley can generate up to 3 GWh per year.
  • It is thought that the panels help to stop the growth of algae in the water.
  • United Utilities already has 45 MW of installed solar and intends to add 22 more sites in the next two years.

In some ways, this embracing of solar is a bit surprising, as the North West, is England’s wettest region.

Conclusion

If my excellent physics teacher in the 1960s had said that it will be commonplace by 2020 to generate electricity using solar panels floating on water, I would not have believed him!

 

June 5, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , | 3 Comments

‘Earthquake Mode’ Battery Packs To Be Fitted To N700S Shinkansen Fleet

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

The Japanese are fitting batteries into the latest N700S Shinkansen trains.

  • Eight of the sixteen cars will be fitted with batteries.
  • It is quoted that they may be for rescue modes at low speed.
  • The batteries seem to be a proven component from Toshiba.

I would be very surprised if they didn’t handle the regenerative braking.

I feel in a few years time, no manufacturer will build a train without batteries, as it will save energy and provide a rescue mode.

October 30, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Rugby Is A Team Game And So Is Formula One!

On Saturday morning, the Japanese rugby team, showed how teamwork is important, as they hardly seemed to make a mistake.

The Welsh and the Australians, both played their parts in an excellent match.

And then we had the Russian Grand Prix at lunchtime!

Mercedes got the teamwork like clockwork and they won.

As to Ferrari, the two drivers felt out with each other and Vettel didn’t obey team orders.

I have watched Formula One for many years, and every so often Ferrari seem to lose the plot!

 

September 29, 2019 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Perhaps We Should Ask The Japanese To Sort Out The Problem Of The Irish Backstop?

September 28, 2019 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | 3 Comments

Toyota Fuel Cell Buses Expected To Be Big Seller Of Hydrogen At 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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

This is the first paragraph.

Toyota fuel cell buses are likely to be the clean transportation to take center stage at the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Japanese automaker intends to roll out 100 of these buses at the event to shuttle visitors between venues.

It would appear to be an exercise to publicise their technology.

If you read the Wikipedia entry for hydrogen fuel cell buses, no-one has yet built and deployed a fleet as large as Toyota’s for the Olympics.

The UK has two major deployments of hydrogen fuel cell double deck buses, under development, that I wrote about in the following posts.

In 2012, I went to a lecture about the New Routemaster Bus at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, which I wrote about in The Development of the New Bus for London.

Wrightbus had obviously done their research and I got the impression, that designers can put heavy and bulky components all over the place in a modern double-decker bus.

On the New Routemaster components are placedas follows.

  • The single traction motor is under the floor.
  • The battery is under the front stairs.
  • The Cummins diesel engine is half-way up the back stairs.

As the New Routemaster is based on a specially-designed chassis and not a standard one from Volvo or Mercedes, I wonder if to be successful, a hydrogen-powered bus needs a custom-designed chassis, to properly accommodate the various components.

  • Traction motor
  • Hydrogen tank
  • Hydrogen fuel cell
  • Battery

It certainly looks like Toyota have gone down this route. But then they can afford to for the Tokyo Olympics.

September 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment