The Anonymous Widower

Plan For New Nuclear Reactors At Wylfa And Trawsfynydd A Step Closer As Natural Resource Wales Looks At Designs

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Plans for new nuclear power stations at Trawsfynydd and Wylfa have taken a step closer after the UK Government asked government regulators to assess designs for the reactors.

Natural Resources Wales will be among those assessing the designs by Rolls-Royce, with both Wylfa and Trawsfynydd have been named as potential sites for housing them within the UK.

These are points about the reactors.

  • They will cost £1.8 billion each.
  • They are capable of powering a city the size of Cardiff, which has a population of about half-a-million.
  • I’ve read elsewhere that the reactors are planned to have a nameplate capacity of 470 MW.

The article did mention, that the Nimbys were lining up.

The Wylfa Site

The original Wylfa power station was a Magnox nuclear station generating 980 MW, that was decommissioned in 2015.

This Google Map shows the location of the site on Anglesey.

This second Google Map shows the site in more detail.

The power station doesn’t appear to have had a rail link, but there is a railway line a few miles away, with sidings that might have been used to handle fuel flasks.

There has been a proposal for a hybrid plant consisting of a wind farm and small modular nuclear reactors, which is described in this Wikipedia section, where this is said.

In January 2021, Shearwater Energy presented plans for a hybrid plant, to consist of a wind farm and small modular reactors (SMRs), to be installed adjacent to the existing Wylfa power station but separate from the proposed Wylfa Newydd site. Shearwater has signed a memorandum of understanding with NuScale Power for the SMRs. The plant could start generation as early as 2027 and would ultimately produce up to 3 GW of electricity and power a hydrogen generation unit producing up to 3 million kg of hydrogen per year.

Note.

  1. Wylfa Newydd was a proposal by Hitachi to build a nuclear station on the site.
  2. Shearwater Energy is a UK developer of energy opportunities.
  3. NuScale Power is an American company with its own design of small modular nuclear reactor.

In Holyhead Hydrogen Hub Planned For Wales, I talked about hydrogen and the port of Holyhead.

The Trawsfynydd Site

The original Trawsfynydd power station was a Magnox nuclear station generating 470 MW, that was decommissioned in 1991.

This Google Map shows the location of the site in North Wales.

This second Google Map shows the site in more detail.

Note.

  1. The power station was built on the Northern shore of Llyn Trawsfynydd.
  2. Llyn Trawsfynydd is a man-made lake, that was built in the 1920s to supply water to the 24 MW Maentwrog hydro electric power station.
  3. There is a railway from near the site, that connects to the Conwy Valley Line at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The Trawsfynydd site is a lot more than just a decommissioned Magnox power station.

Pumped Energy Storage In Snowdonia

Currently, there are two existing pumped storage in Snowdonia.

A third scheme is under development at Glyn Rhonwy, which could have a capacity of 700 MWh.

Looking at the size of Llyn Trawsfynydd, I do wonder, if it could be the top lake of a future pumped storage scheme.

  • Llyn Trawsfynydd, contains 40 million tonnes of water.
  • There is a head of 190 metres.

That could give energy storage of 20 GWh. That sounds a lot of GWhs! But with two possible small modular nuclear reactors at possibly 500 MW each nearby and some help from windfarms, it could be filled within a day, if there is a suitable low-level reservoir.

Rolls-Royce And The Duisburg Container Terminal

In Rolls-Royce Makes Duisburg Container Terminal Climate Neutral With MTU Hydrogen Technology, I showed how Rolls-Royce and its subsidiary were providing an innovative climate neutral solution for Duisburg Container Terminal in Germany.

A North West Wales Powerhouse

Could Rolls-Royce be planning a Duisburg-style solution for North West Wales.

  • Small modular nuclear reactors at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd.
  • Hydrogen electrolysers to create hydrogen for the Port of Holyhead and heavy transport.
  • Adequate pumped hydro storage for surplus energy.

But there could be little serious above-ground construction.

Conclusion

Something is awakening in North West Wales.

March 11, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Embraer, Widerøe And Rolls-Royce Announce Partnership To Research Innovative Technologies For Sustainable Regional Aircraft

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

This is the body of the press release.

Embraer, Widerøe and Rolls-Royce have today announced plans to study a conceptual zero-emission regional aircraft.

The 12-month cooperation study – in the context of pre-competitive research and development – will address passenger requirements to stay connected in a post Covid-19 world, but do so sustainably, and seeks to accelerate the knowledge of the technologies necessary for this transition. Such technologies will allow national governments to continue to support passenger mobility while reusing most of the existing infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

Advances in scientific research can make clean and renewable energy a major enabler of a new era of regional aviation and the three companies will share their combined in-depth knowledge of aircraft design, market demand, operations and propulsion solutions to further develop their understanding of zero-emission technologies and how they can be matured and applied to future regional aircraft.

Among other topics, the study will cover a wide range of applications for new propulsion technologies to examine a range of potential solutions – including all-electric, hydrogen fuel cell or hydrogen fueled gas turbine powered aircraft.

These are my thoughts.

An Aircraft For Existing Infrastructure

This is an extract from the press release.

Such technologies will allow national governments to continue to support passenger mobility while reusing most of the existing infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

If I was the CEO of an airline, I’d want an aircraft that fitted the airports and their facilities, where I wanted to fly.

No Propulsion System Is Ruled Out

This is an extract from the press release.

Among other topics, the study will cover a wide range of applications for new propulsion technologies to examine a range of potential solutions – including all-electric, hydrogen fuel cell or hydrogen fueled gas turbine powered aircraft.

It would appear no propulsion system is ruled out.

In LNER Seeks 10 More Bi-Modes, where I talked about LNER ordering ten new trains, they also said they would accept any type of power, that was suitable.

Embraer

Embraer are a successful Brazilian aerospace company, who according to Wikipedia, are the third largest producer of civil aircraft, after Boeing and Airbus.

I first flew in one of their EMB 110 Bandeirantes in the 1970s from Norwich to Stavanger and I’ve flown on several of their aircraft since.

Embraer’s current jet aircraft line-up includes.

  • Embraer E-Jet – Twin-jet regional airliner – 66-124 passengers – 1596 produced
  • Embraer E-Jet E2 – Twin-jet regional airliner – 88-146 passengers – 50 produced

Note.

  1. The E-Jet E2 is the successor to the E-Jet with new engines, new avionic, fly-by-wire controls and other improvements.
  2. Production numbers are as of 31st March 2021.
  3. Embraer don’t seem to produce turboprop aircraft any more, although a lot of their former products are still flying.

I certainly wouldn’t avoid flying in Embraer products, as I would in other aircraft and on some airlines.

Have Embraer identified a market for a smaller sustainable or even zero-carbon aircraft that could extend their product range below the jets?

Widerøe

Widerøe are a long-established and well-respected Norwegian airline.

Their fleet consists of forty De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop aircraft of various variants and three Embraer E-Jet E2 jet airliners.

Wikipedia says this about their fleet.

Widerøe plans to replace most of its Dash-8 by 2030.

Given that the Dash 8 seats between 40 and 80 passengers, I wonder if a sustainable or even zero-carbon aircraft with an appropriate number of seats and the STOL performance of the Dash 8, would suit Widerøe’s route network, which includes many small airfields.

Rolls-Royce

In What Does 2.5 MW Look Like?, I talked about Rolls-Royce’s development of a 2.5 MW Generator.

I am inserting the start of the linked post.

This press release on the Rolls-Royce web site is entitled Rolls-Royce Generator Delivered For Most Powerful Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System In Aerospace.

This Rolls-Royce picture shows the generator installed on a test bed.

These are the first three paragraphs of the press release.

The generator that will be at the heart of the most powerful hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion system in aerospace has arrived for installation at our specialist testbed.

The generator, and related power electronics, was delivered to the newly-renovated Testbed 108 in Bristol, UK, from the Rolls-Royce facility in Trondheim, Norway, having completed an extensive development test programme. It will form part of the 2.5 megawatt (MW) Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) demonstrator programme, for future regional aircraft. In addition to hybrid-electric propulsion, the generator could also be used as part of a “more-electric” system for larger aircraft or within future ground or marine applications.

PGS1 forms an important element of our sustainability strategy, which includes developing innovative electrical power and propulsion systems.

I must say that as an engineer this 2.5 MW generator really excites me, as I see so many possibilities.

Could this engine become the power unit of a hydrogen-powered regional airliner?

Rolls-Royce, Tecnam And Widerøe

In Rolls-Royce And Tecnam Join Forces With Widerøe To Deliver An All-Electric Passenger Aircraft Ready For Service In 2026, a similar deal to the Embraer, Widerøe and Rolls-Royce deal is discussed.

I am inserting the start of the linked post.

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

This is the first paragraph.

Rolls-Royce and airframer Tecnam are joining forces with Widerøe – the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market, ready for revenue service in 2026. The project expands on the successful research programme between Rolls-Royce and Widerøe on sustainable aviation and the existing partnership between Rolls-Royce and Tecnam on powering the all-electric P-Volt aircraft.

This picture from Rolls-Royce shows the proposed aircraft.

The P-Volt aircraft is based on the Tecnam P2012 Traveller.

Conclusion

Perhaps, the first deal is progressing so well, Rolls-Royce and Widerøe decided to repeat the exercise.

 

 

February 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce And Hydrogen

This page on the Rolls-Royce web site given their view on hydrogen.

This is the first paragraph.

We see an important role for hydrogen in helping to lower emissions; fuelling buses and lorries as well as for energy storage and home heating. Interest in its use in aviation is growing too, especially to power smaller aircraft using fuel cells. Hydrogen has the potential to power larger aircraft as a direct gas turbine engine fuel, and is being investigated with significant technical and operational challenges needing to be overcome.

Good to see the company confirm later in the page, that hydrogen can be used as fuel in a gas-turbine.

February 15, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , | 2 Comments

Rolls-Royce And Porterbrook Agreement Will Drive Rail Decarbonisation

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

This is the important part of the press release.

Rolls-Royce is teaming up with Porterbrook to identify and develop technological innovations to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality across the rail network. The two companies, who have signed a memorandum of understanding, will investigate the potential for the use of synthetic and net zero fuels, including hydrogen, both in fuel cells and internal combustion engines. Building on their recent success of jointly introducing hybrid battery-diesel railcars into passenger service, the two companies will also explore the potential for advanced hybridisation.

The relationship also includes considering the role of the wider rail ecosystem in decarbonisation, including fuel chain supply, infrastructure and operational models that can aid innovation and the transition to net zero.

The UK’s railway accounts for approximately 1% of all domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions* and the Government’s ambition is to remove all diesel-only trains – both passenger and freight – from the network by 2040 and achieve a net zero rail network by 2050. The UK Government has identified a number of different routes to this target including alternative forms of power such as hydrogen, fuel cells, batteries, hybrid-electric and sustainable fuels.

Rolls-Royce have issued a similar press release.

I believe this agreement could result in significant benefits to the UK rail industry, in respect to reduction in diesel consumption, noise and carbon emissions.

Examples could include.

Unfortunately, I can’t add more examples as there is no Porterbrook fleet list on their web site.

February 14, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

UK’s First 100mph Battery-Diesel Hybrid Train Enters Passenger Service

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

The UK’s first 100mph battery-diesel hybrid train is entering passenger service to cut carbon emissions and boost air quality.

It was developed by adding a powerful battery to a 20-year-old diesel train to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25%, according to owner Porterbrook.

The firm added that the two-carriage train, named HybridFLEX, also provides a 75% decrease in noise and a 70% decrease in nitrogen oxide.

The battery-diesel hybrid transmission is from MTU, who are a Rolls-Royce company and they go further with this press release which is entitled World Premiere: MTU Hybrid PowerPack From Rolls-Royce Enters Passenger Service.

This is the first paragraph.

Rolls-Royce, Porterbrook and Chiltern Railways are making rail history together with a climate-friendly world premiere: A hybrid diesel-battery-electric train that reduces CO2 emissions by up to 25% entered passenger service in the UK today for the first time. The so-called HybridFLEX train is powered by two mtu Hybrid PowerPacks and is operated by Chiltern Railways on the route between London Marylebone and Aylesbury. Together with the leasing company Porterbrook and Chiltern Railways, Rolls-Royce has converted a Class 168 DMU into the HybridFLEX train. The partners are proving that existing rail vehicles can be used in a climate-friendly way without the need to install complex and expensive new infrastructure. It is the world’s first regular passenger operation with mtu Hybrid PowerPacks, of which 13 have already been ordered.

This is significant for the railways of the UK.

The train that has been converted is a Class 168 train, which itself had been converted from a Class 170 train, when it transferred to Chiltern Railways in 2016.

I think this means that all Bombardier Turbostars in Classes 168, 170, 171 and 172 can probably be fitted with MTU Hybrid PowerPacks.

That is the following numbers of trains and cars.

  • Class 168 – 28 trains – 86 cars
  • Class 170 – 139 trains – 372 cars
  • Class 171 – 20 trains – 56 cars
  • Class 172 – 39 trains – 93 cars

Note.

  1. This totals to 226 trains and 607 cars.
  2. As each car has an engine, this will be an order of 607 PowerPacks, if all trains were to be converted.

This could certainly help to meet the Government’s aim of getting rid of all diesel only trains by 2040.

Can The CAF Civities Be Converted?

There are three Classes of CAF Civity diesel multiple units; 195, 196 and 197, all of which have Rolls-Royce MTU engines.

Could these be converted to hybrid operation by the swapping of the current diesel engines for MTU Hybrid PowerPacks?

I would suspect they could, as the CAF Civity trains might have been designed after MTU disclosed plans of the MTU Hybrid PowerPack to train builders prior to its announcement in September 2018.

Conclusion

MTU Hybrid PowerPacks could go a long way to eliminating diesel-only trains on UK railways. They could even run the diesels on Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) to lower their carbon-footprint further.

 

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Quiet, Clean And Fast – MTU Hybrid Drive From Rolls-Royce For Lake Constance Belt Railway

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

It is the earliest press release from the company, about the MTU Hybrid PowerPack that I can find.

It dates from May 2018.

The press release opens with these bullet points.

  • Successful simulation of hybrid train operation on Lake Constance Belt Railway
  • MTU Hybrid PowerPack reduces emissions, noise levels and operating costs on the existing infrastructure
  • Development is part of the Rolls-Royce electrification strategy.

It looks to me, that the press release was produced as marketing material for the launch of the MTU Hybrid PowerPack, which took place in 2018.

These are my thoughts.

Lake Constance Belt Railway

The Lake Constance Belt Railway is introduced like this by Wikipedia.

The Lake Constance Belt Railway (German: Bodenseegürtelbahn) is a continuous, single-track railway from Stahringen to Lindau-Aeschach in the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. It runs mainly along the northern shore of Lake Constance (Bodensee).

Note.

It was originally built by three different railway companies in what were then three different countries that are all now states in Germany; Bavaria, Baden and Wurttemberg.

  1. It is a 74 kilometre or 46 mile line.
  2. It is a standard gauge railway.
  3. The line has lots of curves.
  4. It appears to have about a dozen stations.

The railway also passes through Friedrichshafen, where MTU Friedrichshafen is based.

Note.

  1. MTU Friedrichshafen factory is indicated by a red arrow.
  2. The Lake Constance Belt Railway running between the factory and marina.

It’s all very handy for the factory.

Railway Operations

Services on the railway appear to be run using DB Class 611 trains.

  • They are two-car tilting, diesel multiple units.
  • They have a top speed of 160 kph or 99 mph.
  • They have two MTU engines of 540 kW.
  • Forty are still in service.

These trains were replaced with similar but more modern DB Class 612 trains.

Forty of the earlier trains are are still in service on the Lake Constance Belt Railway and other routes.

It would appear that electrification could be the solution for this single track railway, which is only forty-six miles long.

But it appears some of the locals have objected.

Could it be that MTU Friedrichshafen felt they could provide a better solution?

Simulation Of The Route

The press release describes how the route was simulated.

The operation of the current VT 612 railcar was simulated – it had been retrofitted in virtual reality with MTU Hybrid PowerPacks. That such a retrofit is also possible in a real-world environment has also been demonstrated by a feasibility study carried out by the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary, DB Systemtechnik. This is particularly relevant because these are vehicles that travel fast on curving track. Only these trains, which are fitted with “tilt technology“, are able to negotiate the numerous curves encountered on the Lake Constance Belt Railway track at high speed and thus provide a fast service between Basel and Ulm.

It looks to be an interesting solution to maintain a fast service on a difficult route, that has a twisty bit in the middle.

The press release also describes the MTU Hybrid PowerPack to provide an efficient solution.

The MTU Hybrid PowerPack is a high-tech product from Friedrichshafen and the result of collaboration between the local companies Rolls-Royce Power Systems and ZF Friedrichshafen. It combines the following components to produce an intelligent drive system: a modern MTU diesel engine with exhaust gas aftertreatment, which meets current emission regulations in addition to the future EU Stage V that will come into force as of 2021, an innovative ZF automatic transmission, an electric motor that recovers energy in braking mode and also serves as a drive unit, and an advanced battery system to store the recovered brake energy. The Hybrid PowerPack has demonstrated its reliability, for example, in real-life test runs with a length of around 15,000 kilometres.

Certainly, MTU have done their research and where better, than with a local problem?

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce Provide mtu Trigeneration Plant For Largest Data Centre In Romania

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on the Rolls Royce web site.

  • mtu Series 4000 gas generator sets to provide electricity, heat and cooling for ClusterPower’s Technology Campus in Craiova
    The completed campus will feature five data centers and provide a significant boost to the region’s global IT infrastructure competitiveness
  • Rolls-Royce, along with its distributor partner Knopf & Wallisch (K&W), has supplied three mtu customized and containerized combined cooling, heat and power plant (CCHP) trigeneration units to Romanian cloud service provider ClusterPower. They will be used for the efficient and sustainable energy supply at its new technology campus near the southern Romanian city of Craiova, where the IT company will open the largest data center in Romania.

The press release also says that trigeneration plants are hydrogen-ready.

The engines are gas engines, that can be converted to running on a mix of 25 % hydrogen and natural gas or eventually to pure hydrogen.

Conclusion

This would appear to be a neat way to sell the end customer an engine that can handle natural gas now and convert it over time to hydrogen.

January 14, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Energy, Hydrogen | , , , | Leave a comment

Will We See Class 43 Power Cars Converted To Hydrogen?

To say that the Class 43 power cars of the InterCity 125 trains are iconic is rather an understatement.

Note.

They were built by British Rail in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

  • They have an operating speed of 125 mph.
  • They are now powered by a modern MTU 16V4000 R41R diesel engine after being re-engined earlier this century.
  • They have an electric transmission.

According to Wikipedia, there are over a hundred and twenty in service.

At the back of the power car there is a lot of space, as this picture shows.

This press release from Rolls-Royce is entitled Rolls-Royce Launches mtu Hydrogen Solutions For Power Generation.

These are the introductory bullet points to the press release.

  • From 2022 mtu Series 500 and Series 4000 ready for 25% hydrogen
  • From 2023 mtu engines and conversion kits available for 100% hydrogen

And what engine is there in a Class 43 power car? – It’s an MTU 16V4000 R41R diesel engine.

Is it an mtu Series 4000 engine?

If it is, there is space in the back of the power car for the hydrogen tank and the diesel engine can be converted to run on hydrogen, Rolls-Royce have everything they need break the speed record for hydrogen-powered trains. After all power cars; 43102 and 43159 hold the diesel-train speed record at 148 mph.

That would be some Roller.

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , | 9 Comments

Rolls-Royce Invests In Methanol Technology For Climate-Friendly Shipping

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

The press report starts with these bullet points.

  •  Rolls-Royce Power Systems to set standards in high-speed marine methanol engines
  •  New engines based on proven mtu technologies
  •  Methanol and synthetic diesel as key fuels of the future for climate-friendly engine operation
  •  Fuel cell another option on the way to climate-neutral ship operation

It then says this

Rolls-Royce is focusing on methanol as a fuel for climate-friendly shipping: Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems is currently working on mtu engines for use with methanol. The new high-speed four-stroke engines, which are based on proven mtu technologies, are planned to be available to customers as soon as possible for use in commercial ships and yachts.

This paragraph gives the reasons, why Rolls-Royce is in favour of methanol.

Methanol offers a number of advantages for Rolls-Royce’s efforts to make shipping more climate-friendly and ultimately climate-neutral: The fuel can be produced in a CO2-neutral manner in the so-called power-to-X process, in which CO2 is captured from the air. The energy density of methanol is high compared to other sustainable fuels and, thanks to its liquid state, it can be easily stored and refuelled at ambient temperatures. Existing infrastructure can continue to be used in many cases. Unlike ammonia, methanol is not highly toxic and is environmentally safe. The combustion of methanol in a pure methanol engine can be climate-neutral with significantly reduced nitrogen oxide emissions, thus eliminating the need for complex SCR exhaust gas aftertreatment. Methanol tanks can be flexibly arranged in the ship and require significantly lower safety measures compared to hydrogen or ammonia. Besides the safety aspects and the lower complexity, the lower investment costs for users are a further upside of the methanol tank system.

Methanol seems to be a convenient and safe fuel, which is easier to incorporate into the marine environment, than hydrogen or ammonia.

Wikipedia says this about methanol’s use in shipping.

Methanol is an alternative fuel for ships that helps the shipping industry meet increasingly strict emissions regulations. It significantly reduces emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter. Methanol can be used with high efficiency in marine diesel engines after minor modifications using a small amount of pilot fuel (Dual fuel).

Rolls-Royce certainly seem to be keen to use the fuel. They also seem to have the technology.

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rolls-Royce Makes Duisburg Container Terminal Climate Neutral With MTU Hydrogen Technology

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.

  • As the graphic was named hydrogen technology for ports, I would assume that this is a Rolls-Royce mtu system that will be deployed at more than one port around the world.
  • Note the H2 CHPs in the graphic. Could these be applications for Rolls-Royce’s beer keg-sized 2.5 MW electrical generator based on a Super Hercules engine?
  • One of Rolls-Royce’s small modular nuclear reactors could be ideal for a large port outside Germany.

This is the last paragraph of the press release.

“Hydrogen technology is no longer a dream of the future, but hydrogen technology will prove itself in everyday use in Duisburg. The parallel use of fuel cell solutions and hydrogen engines shows that we have taken the right path with our technology-open approach to the development of new solutions for the energy supply of the future,” says Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

Rolls-Royce mtu appear to be very serious about the possibilities of hydrogen.

 

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment