The Anonymous Widower

Shetland Blasts Off Into Space Race As Britain’s First Rocket Launch Pad Skyrora

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

This second paragraph, explains what Skyrora are doing.

Skyrora, a technology company with its headquarters in Edinburgh, has agreed a deal for scores of rocket launches over the next decade from a site on Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland islands.

This Google Map shows the most Northerly part of Unst.

There’s not really much there, except birds, trees and the most northerly house in Britain.

Enlarging to the West of the house, gives this second Google Map.

Note the Remote Radar Head Saxa Vord, which has a Wikipedia entry as RAF Saxa Voe.

  • It is now a fully-operational radar station again, after closure in 2006.
  • It is at the same latitude as St. Petersburg and Anchorage.
  • In 1992, it measured a wind speed of 197 mph, before the equipment blew away.

The Wikipedia entry is worth a read, as it gives a deep insight into radar and its tracking of Russian intruders in the Cold War.

This third Google Map shows a 3D closeup of the radar.

No staff are based at Saxa Vord, although maintenance staff do visit.

According to The Times, the space port will be at Lamba Ness, which is to the East of the most northerly house in Britain.

The peninsular in the South-East is marked Lamba Ness.

It may seem a very bleak place, but it could have one thing, that rocketry will need – rocket fuel!

In Do BP And The Germans Have A Cunning Plan For European Energy Domination?, I introduced Project Orion, which is an electrification and hydrogen hub and clean energy project in the Shetland Islands.

The project’s scope is described in this graphic.

Note

  1. Project Orion now has its own web site.
  2. A Space Centre is shown on the Island of Unst.
  3. There is an oxygen pipeline shown dotted in blue from the proposed Sullom Voe H2 Plant to the Fish Farm and on to the Space Centre.
  4. I suspect if required, there could be a hydrogen pipeline.

The Space Centre on Unst could be fuelled by renewable energy.

Who Are Skyrora?

They have a web site, which displays this mission statement.

Represents a new breed of private rocket companies developing the next generation of launch vehicles for the burgeoning small satellite market.

The Times also has this paragraph.

At the end of last year, the company also completed trials of the third stage of its Skyrora XL rocket, including its orbital transfer vehicle which, once in orbit, can refire its engines 15 times to carry out tasks such as acting as a space tug, completing maintenance or removing defunct satellites.

The company seems to have big ambitions driven by innovation and a large range of ideas.

Conclusion

I shall be following this company.

 

October 12, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oxygen Supplies In Disaster Management

The title of this post is the same as this peer-reviewed paper on PubMed.

This is the Abstract.

Mass casualty events and disasters, both natural and human-generated, occur frequently around the world and can generate scores of injured or ill victims in need of resources. Of the available medical supplies, oxygen remains the critical consumable resource in disaster management. Strategic management of oxygen supplies in disaster scenarios remains a priority. Hospitals have large supplies of liquid oxygen and a supply of compressed gas oxygen cylinders that allow several days of reserve, but a large influx of patients from a disaster can strain these resources. Most backup liquid oxygen supplies are attached to the main liquid system and supply line. In the event of damage to the main system, the reserve supply is rendered useless. The Strategic National Stockpile supplies medications, medical supplies, and equipment to disaster areas, but it does not supply oxygen. Contracted vendors can deliver oxygen to alternate care facilities in disaster areas, in the form of concentrators, compressed gas cylinders, and liquid oxygen. Planning for oxygen needs following a disaster still presents a substantial challenge, but alternate care facilities have proven to be valuable in relieving pressure from the mass influx of patients into hospitals, especially for those on home oxygen who require only an electrical source to power their oxygen concentrator.

The Covid-19 situation in India, may be a total different type of disaster, but what is happening in the country is having the same outcome – A serious lack of medical oxygen!

It should not be forgotten, that we nearly had serious oxygen problems last year in the UK.

A Possible Solution

I feel we need to develop a reliable oxygen system that can supply large amounts of medical grade oxygen, which can be delivered quickly and easily to site.

Could The System Be Electrolyser-Based?

I feel that this could be an a possibility.

  • Electrolysers need just a water and electricity supply.
  • They produce both hydrogen and oxygen.
  • If the hydrogen isn’t wanted it can be added to the gas main.

Electrolysers may offer size, safety, weight and other advantages in difficult environments.

The System Must Be Air-Transportable

This would be absolutely essential amd as the equipment might be flying into a serious disaster, surely it would be preferable if it could be fitted into a Hercules.

Conclusion

As I write this post, this article on the BBC has just been published, which is entitled UK Sends Supplies To India Amid Record Virus Surge.

This is an extract.

The assistance package includes 495 oxygen concentrators – which extract oxygen from the air to give to patients – as well as ventilators.

India is seeing thousands of deaths a day amid oxygen shortages.

Will that be enough?

We certainly must be as well-prepared as we can.

April 25, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

Steam, But Not As You Know It…

The title of this post, is the same as that of a sub-section of this news article on the IMechE web site.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Burning vast amounts of coal, wood or oil, traditional steam locomotives are hardly environmentally friendly. Steamology Motion hopes to give steam a modern makeover with its W2W Zero Emissions Power System, a range extender for Vivarail Class 320 rolling stock.

This paragraph gives an outline of the technology.

Few details are available, but the project aims to boost air quality at stations and reduce noise and pollution. W2W stands for water-to-water, and the system has a compact energy dense steam generator at its heart. “Steam is generated using energy stored as compressed hydrogen and oxygen gas in tanks,” the project summary says. “High pressure, superheated steam is used to drive a turbine to do useful work by generating electricity.”

There is only a fine line between madness and genius.

 

June 17, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Big London Hospital Was Close To Running Out Of Oxygen

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

With COVID-19 and all those ventilators and CPAP devices, this sounds like a tragedy about to unfold.

I also remembered a story told to me by a friend, who used to be the Chief Pharmacist at a London hospital.

Oxygen was one of their problems, as the tanks were in a small yard with gates opening on to a busy street, about two hundred metres, away from the hospital.

The problem was that illegal parkers would block the gates, so that delivery couldn’t be made.

Knowing my physics and the reliability of deliveries in parts of London, I thought on-site electrolysis might be a better idea. So I consulted my bible.

There on page 760, it is all described how water can be split into two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen by electrolysis.

ITM Power are the experts on electrolysis, so I sent them an e-mail and asked if they could make an electrolyser, that produced oxygen instead of hydrogen.

The reply came swiftly and confirmed, that they could make an electrolyser that supplied oxygen. They also said, that the oxygen was of a high purity.

Just Connect Electricity And Tap Water

All these electrolysers would need is supplies of electricity and tap water to create hydrogen and/or oxygen.

No trucks would be needed to deliver tonnes of liquid gases, which can be rather dangerous to move around city streets.

ITM Power’s hydrogen electrolysers are starting to appear in filling stations, so they can refuel hydrogen-powered vehicles.

One could be installed in a hospital to provide a continuous stream of pure oxygen, which could be piped into the current oxygen delivery system.

What To Do With The Hydrogen

The hydrogen electrolysers produce oxygen as a by-product, which I suspect is just vented to the atmosphere!

But you can’t vent large amounts of hydrogen to the atmosphere, as it is an inflammable gas!

However, you could do either of the following options.

  1. Connect it to a hydrogen fuel pump to refuel hydrogen vehicles.
  2. Inject the hydrogen into the gas main, as is regularly done with hydrogen produced by surplus renewable electricity.

I prefer the first option, as it could mean that health-care could start to use hydrogen-powered ambulances, that are zero carbon and pollution-free.

Perhaps not an appropriate saying for the industry, but it would genuinely kill two birds with one stone.

 

 

 

April 3, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments