The Anonymous Widower

Work Begins In South Africa On Largest Fuel-Cell Vehicle In The World

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

This is an explanatory paragraph.

The Anglo American mining company in South Africa is seeking to lead the way in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. It will be starting this effort with a 210 metric ton truck. The fuel-cell vehicle is the largest in the world and will operate at the Mogalakwena platinum mine.

These are some points from the article.

  • The nuGen haul truck began as a Komatsu 930E with a diesel-electric powertrain.
  • The haul truck’s traction motors are now powered by eight 100-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell modules. The modules were provided by Ballard.
  • They are complemented by a Williams Advanced Engineering lithium-ion battery pack capable of outputting 1.1MW.
  • The components were integrated in Seattle by First Mode.
  • The fuel-cell vehicle’s powertrain is 2MW (2,682 hp).
  • That is adequate for the haul truck to keep up its rating of 300 metric tons.
  • The truck and payload will reach 510 metric tons combined.

There are a lot of heavy numbers there.

There is this video from Anglo American.

May 11, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 5 Comments

Will Twiggy Save The World?

This article on the Sydney Morning Herald is entitled ‘No One’s Married To Coal’: How Forrest Is Taking On The World To Save The Climate.

The article is the story of Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Damascene conversion to hydrogen.

 

These three paragraphs sums up Andrew Forrest‘s vision and ambitions.

Forrest’s companies, including its mining arm, Fortescue, and its green energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries, would be net zero by 2030. This would necessitate inventing and then developing hydrogen-powered trucks, trains and ships. This way the mining operation would avoid burning up to a billion litres in diesel a year.

The project would include the construction of vast solar and wind power stations in the Pilbara that would create green hydrogen to first fuel the trains, trucks and ships of the iron ore empire and then for export to a clean-energy starved world. The electrolysers needed to make the hydrogen for the early phases of the plan would be built by a vast new factory in Queensland, that itself would double the global supply of the machines.

Hydrogen would soon become the world’s largest shipborne trade. The Fortescue revolution would occur at a blistering pace set by the demands of addressing global warming, and it would be done for profit, to remove the excuses of governments and businesses that objected to ambitious climate action.

Note.

  1. How many other companies are intending to be net-zero by 2030?
  2. Certainly not many Chinese, German or Russian companies.
  3. And how many companies have planned to achieve net-zero at a profit?

If Forrest achieves his ambitions, the world will be a much better place.

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Forrest Snaps Up Pilbara And Gascoyne Cattle Stations For Green Energy Production

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This is the first paragraph.

Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has continued his land acquisition in Western Australia, purchasing another three cattle stations in the state’s north-west to generate renewable energy.

These are some points for the article.

  • Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries has purchased three cattle stations in northern WA
  • The stations will continue to run stock, and contribute to the production of green energy
  • FFI says it is looking at other parts of WA to acquire land for similar projects
  • The energy created will be used to decarbonise Andrew Forrest’s mining operations by 2030.
  • A renewable hub of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels will be created, which will generate 5 GW of energy.
  • The possibility of offshore energy is mentioned.
  • There is no mention of energy storage.

I have a few thoughts.

For A Reliable 5 GW Of Energy, Storage Is Surely Needed

I would think that this is probably understood by Fortescue Future Industries and given their ambitions for hydrogen, this must surely be part of an energy storage strategy.

Will Hydrogen Be Exported By Fortescue Future Industries From Australia?

I would expect this depends on three things.

  • How much green energy is generated.
  • The energy needs of Andrew Forrest’s mining companies.
  • How much hydrogen can be sold in Australia.

Fortescue Future Industries will certainly have the market, if they have a surplus.

How Much Energy Will Fortescue Future Industries Generate Per Hectare?

This paragraph from the article gives useful information.

The hub would consist of 340 wind turbines alongside solar panels across Emu Creek and Uaroo Stations, in a development envelope of more than 65,000 hectares of land and a disturbance footprint of more than 10,000 hectares.

  • If you look at the 65,000 hectares, as the area of the renewable energy hub, 0.77 MW is generated per hectare.
  • If you look at the 10,000 hectares, as the area of the renewable energy hub, 0.5 MW is generated per hectare.
  • If you look at Shell’s Scotwind E2 lease, that is 2 GW in 86,000 hectares, where 0.023 MW is generated per hectare.

So on a brief look Australia is a more efficient place for renewable energy, than the seas around the UK.

Conclusion

Andrew Forrest is developing a more detailed plan.

April 6, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Australian Start-Up Eyes Disused Mine Shafts For Giga-Scale Gravity Energy Storage

Thye title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Renew Economy.

This is the first paragraph.

A newly launched Australian start-up has unveiled its own take on gravitational energy storage technology that will use super-heavy weights in legacy mine shafts to capture and release energy, with around 3GWh of potential storage capacity already identified for development.

Note.

  1. The company is called Green Gravity.
  2. I can’t find a web site.

The idea seems very much like Gravitricity.

Gravitricity’s ideas may be patented.

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , | Leave a comment

The Glenmuckloch Pumped Storage Scheme

This article on the BBC is entitled Glenmuckloch Opencast Mine Hydro Energy Scheme Approved.

  • It appears to be capable of generating 400 MW.
  • Energy storage capability appears to be 1.6 GWh.
  • It is to be built in a disused opencast coal mine.

It is only a small scheme, but it does seem to have planning approval.

The Scheme has a web page, which is entitled Glenmuckloch Pumped Storage Hydro

  • It is being promoted by Buccleuch and 2020 Renewables and respected consultants; Arup has produced this Non-Technical Summary.
  • The Non-Technical Summary is a very professional document and an interesting read.
  • 2020 Renewables are now part of Forsa Energy.
  • It is certainly an interesting way of removing the remains of an opencast coal mine.

According to this article on the BBC, which is entitled Buyer Sought For £250m Hydro Scheme At Glenmuckloch, the project now appears to be for sale.

Whether it will sell will depend on the cost of realising the scheme, the finance and how much the scheme will earn.

Conclusion

This project appears to have stalled, but I do like the idea of using a disused mine to store energy and the engineering behind the project.

March 1, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Disused Coal Mine Could Host Gravity Energy Storage Project

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Power Engineering International.

It does seem that Gravitricity has made a breakthrough, with the announcement of a full-size demonstration project in the Czech Republic.

  • The project is based at the mothballed Staříč coal-mine in the Moravian Silesian region.
  • They have backing from the European Investment Bank.
  • This project will be delivered through the European Commission’s Project Development Assistance scheme.
  • The Czech Republic seem to have carried out checks, with their own consultants.

It looks to me, that Gravitricity have passed the due diligence procedures of some high-powered agencies.

But this paragraph from the article must be important.

Gravitricity estimates there are around 14,000 mines worldwide which could be suitable for gravity energy storage.

If they can successfully store energy in one mine in the Czech Republic, how many of the 14,000 will be suitable for use?

I doubt it will be a small number, as mining engineers tend to be a conservative bunch and most of those mines will have been built to similar rules by similar machines and techniques.

A search of the Internet indicates that Staříč coal-mine has a depth of over a kilometre.

Using Omni’s Potential energy calculator, 12,000 tonnes and a kilometre give a figure of 32.69 MWh.

32 MWh may seem a small amount, but it would power one of these 4 MW Class 90 locomotives for eight hours.

At their typical operating speed of 100 mph, whilst hauling eight coaches, they’d travel a distance of eight hundred miles or from London to Edinburgh and back!

February 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Defunct Coal Mines Could Heat UK Homes

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

In a country with no operational coal mines, the UK Coal Authority has proposed to once again turn these operations to heating homes and businesses. But this time, they will not provide coal for burning. The plan, to take warm water from flooded mines, would turn an environmental problem into a community solution, and the idea is spreading.

The reason, I’m posting this is two-fold.

There was a report on this edition of Countryfile, which should be available until the end of 2022. The relevant section starts at 38.5 minutes into the program.

Charlotte Adams is featured in this report and the Countryfile program. I first came across Charlotte and her fascinating work at a lecture in 2018, which I wrote about in Can Abandoned Mines Heat Our Future?

 

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Joins The Party On Electric Rail

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

BHP will add four battery-electric locomotives to its Western Australian rail network, becoming the fourth major miner to improve rail decarbonisation efforts in Australia since mid-December.

These are some details of the locomotives.

  • Two are from Progress Rail and two are from Wabtec.
  • The locomotives have 14.5 MWh batteries.
  • The locomotives will be delivered by 2023.

BHP will also investigate the use of regenerative braking using the topography of the rail route.

With four companies going electric, it does seem that Australian mining, is very much driving the move to battery-electric heavy-haul freight.

Considering, that Wabtec only formally launched the FLXdrive concept in Pittsburgh in September last year, which I wrote about in FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh, that would appear to have been good going.

 

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Green Ships Ahoy Along Vital Corridors

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on 7 News Australia.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Australia’s biggest miners are preparing for a day of reckoning.

Shipping accounts for two to three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions so manufacturers and retailers are no longer just considering what appears in national targets.

The article then goes on to explain how the big mining companies are cutting their emissions.

This paragraph illustrates how important mining and shipping is to Australia.

Resources and energy earnings passed $300 billion for the first time in 2020-21 and will surge towards $400 billion in 2021-22, according to December figures.

Hence the big need for ships fuelled by lower carbon fuels.

January 2, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Trains On Their Way To Power One Of The World’s Most Abundant Mining Regions

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

It is a comprehensive article, with maps, pictures and background information about the project I wrote about in Anglo American And Aurizon Look To Hydrogen-Powered Trains, that will create hydrogen-powered freight locomotives for Australia.

It should be noted that Aurizon operates a few hundred diesel-electric locomotives, so switching to hydrogen, would probably cut a lot of carbon emissions.

December 29, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment