The Anonymous Widower

Conference Calls For More Freight Routes To And From Spain

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

This is the first paragraph.

Salvador Galve, Chairman of the Railway Commission of the General Council of Industrial Engineers, presented the European Alliance for the Development of Railway Corridors in the Iberian Peninsula initiative at a conference held in Madrid on March 9.

These are some points from the article.

  • Less than 4% of freight is currently transported by rail in Spain, compared with an average of 18% across the EU.
  • The Spanish government wants to raise this to 20%.
  • Incidentally, in the UK, rail freight is at a level of 5 %.
  • Italy has seven main lines connecting it to its neighbours, Spain has only two!
  • Spain also has a break of gauge, whereas the UK and Italy do not!
  • Plans exist for more freight corridors in Spain, and linking these to ports in North Africa and logistics hubs in the rest of Europe.
  • Zaragoza, could be turned into a key southern European logistics hub, linked by tunnels to the main line between Toulouse and Bordeaux.

But to me the most interesting plan is set out in this paragraph.

On March 1 the Infrastructure Ministry gave its provisional approval for study into the feasibility of converting the single track, non-electrified line from Huesca to Canfranc from 1 668 mm gauge to 1 435 mm gauge, ahead of any possible reconstruction of the through route to Pau in France in the longer term.

It has always been on my bucket list to visit the magnificent Canfranc station.

March 28, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Battery And Hydrogen Trains For ScotRail ‘Could Make Scotland A Global Leader’ In Zero-Emission Transport

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in the Scotsman.

This is the first paragraph.

New fleets of cutting-edge trains expected to include battery and hydrogen power are to be ordered for ScotRail which the rail industry believes will put Scotland at the forefront of zero-emission transport.

Other points from the article.

  • Talgo appear to have passed the story to Scotland on Sunday.
  • Three routes are mentioned; Borders Railway, Fife Circle and Glasgow-East Kilbride.
  • The new trains could help phase out diesel trains by 2035, which is Scottish Government policy.
  • The Inter7City trains might be replaced by 2030.
  • Talgo hopes to win an order for its factory in Fife.

Talgo’s Managing Director is quoted as saying, they are starting testing of a hydrogen and electric train with a range of 311 miles.

Consider.

  • I wrote about this train in Talgo To Begin Fuel Cell Loco Trials.
  • Talgo’s hydrogen and electric train would be ideal for Scotland’s railways of which only forty percent are electrified.
  • A four or five-car high specification hydrogen and electric train would be ideal for the Inter7City routes, if it were built specifically for the routes.
  • The range would cover all of Scotland.
  • Hydrogen hubs are being planned all over Scotland.
  • Scotland have 26 Inter7City trainsets.

This could be a rather nice order to fund the factory and test all the trains close to the factory.

Is there a better place to show off your new train to a prospective buyer than the Highlands of Scotland?

In A Class 319 Train, But Not As We Know It!, I told this tale.

I am reminded of a tale, that I heard from a former GEC manager.

He was involved in selling one of GEC’s Air Traffic Control radars to a Middle Eastern country.

The only working installation of the radar was at Prestwick in Scotland, so he arranged that the dignitaries and the sales team would be flown to Prestwick in GEC’s HS 125 business jet.

As they disembarked at Prestwick and walked to the terminal, the pilot called the GEC Manager over.

The pilot told him “The Scottish Highlands at this time of the year, are one of the most beautiful places in the world! Would you and your guests like a low-level tour on the way back? I can arrange it, if you say so!”

Despite knowing GEC’s draconian attitude to cost control he said yes.

The sale was clinched!

I’m sure that Talgo will exploit the scenery and the local produce.

Talgo’s Hydrogen Trains

This page on the Talgo web site, is entitled Talgo’s Hydrogen Train Will Be Ready In 2023.

This paragraph gives an overview of Talgo’s hydrogen power system.

This system is configured as a modular solution that can be installed on all types of trains, as well as in upgrades from diesel to hydrogen. However, it has been specifically designed for the Vittal platform for Commuter and Regional trains, which Talgo has presented in the bidding process for various tenders in Spain and other countries.

And these two paragraphs describe Talgo’s hydrogen trains in more detail.

This innovative system uses hydrogen batteries that provide the energy for the train’s electric motors. It is powered by renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic or wind, which produce hydrogen that is stored and then used to power fuel cell-based propulsion systems, such as the one designed by Talgo. The system is complemented by batteries that increase the speed of the train when it starts, taking advantage of the braking system to recharge it.

Unlike the extended battery systems in the automotive industry, hydrogen (H2) technology is the logical answer to the needs of heavy transport and, in particular, of those railway lines that do not have catenary electrification systems, and which today depend on trains powered by diesel engines. The hydrogen system designed by Talgo enables conventional network lines to be “electrified” without the need for costly and lengthy adaptation operations, and without the use of fossil fuels.

What do they mean by hydrogen batteries? Looking at the German and the Spanish on the page, I think Talgo means hydrogen fuel cells.

The Rebuilding Of Ukraine

It should be noted that Talgo have sold trains in the past to Russia, which has a gauge of 1.520 metres, which lies between Iberian gauge of 1.668 metres and our standard gauge of 1.435 metres.

  • Talgo have also sold trains to Germany, who use standard gauge.
  • Talgo have built Strizh trains for Russia, that are both standard gauge and Russian gauge for running between Berlin and Moscow.
  • According to the BBC and The Times, Ukraine’s railways have been an important lifeline during the Russian invasion, but pictures show they are in need of modernisation and more electrification.
  • The Strizh trains or a development would surely be ideal for running between Kviv and Berlin, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw.
  • There would also appear to be a need for a hydrogen and electric regional train to reconnect the country back together.
  • Other countries using Russian gauge include Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland.

So are Talgo positioning themselves to take part in the modernisation of Ukraine’s railways, once the war is over?

  • Development and testing is done in Spain and Scotland.
  • Manufacturing could be done in Spain and Scotland.
  • Delivery from Scotland could either be by ship or if they were dual-gauge trains, they could be hauled through the Channel Tunnel and then through Germany and Poland.

As Talgo has the technology, I can certainly see them exploiting the Russian gauge market once Vlad the Mad has gone.

 

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

Gelion To Trial Battery At Spanish Solar Plant

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

This is the first two paragraphs.

Gelion has signed a test and supply contract with European renewables supplier Acciona Energia to trial its zinc-bromide battery technology at a solar plant in Spain.

Acciona Energia’s Montes del Cierzo photovoltaic solar plant in Navarra, northern Spain, will trial the energy storage system, following a competitive process launched in September 2020.

As Gelion’s Chief Executive indicates, this must be a show of confidence in their technology.

There is a full press release on the Gelion web site.

I just wonder, if Gelion could be a technology to be successful.

February 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , | 4 Comments

Spanish Consortium Forms For $4.4 Billion Green Hydrogen Investment

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

This paragraph outlines the project.

A thirty-three company consortium, called the Spanish Hydrogen Network (Shyne) will be investing into a spectrum of green hydrogen technologies, including the installation of 500 megawatts of renewable H2 capacity by 2025. From there, the capacity will increase to 2 gigawatts by 2030. This represents half of the Spanish government’s goal for the entire country by that year, which is 4 gigawatts of capacity.

The article says this about the creation of hydrogen hubs.

The green hydrogen project’s goal is to “generate an ecosystem that connects” three H2 hubs.
The goal of the project is to develop an ecosystem in which three planned industrial H2 hubs in the Murcia, Catalonia and Basque regions will be connected. The project is also meant to support the development of two new innovation hubs in Castile-La Mancha and Madrid and will target the development of solid-oxide electrolyzers and photoelectrocatalysis.

Note that photoelectrocatalysis is the direct production of hydrogen from solar energy.

January 25, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two-Hour Energy Storage Offers Better Value As UK Frequency Response Market Saturating, Investor Gresham House Says

The title of this post, is the same as this article on Energy Storage News.

I would agree with what Gresham House says and it is my view that we need a lot more energy storage.

I like the system that Highview Power are building at Carrington near Manchester.

  • It has an output of 50 MW.
  • It has a capacity of 250 MWh.

This means it can supply 50 MW for five hours.

As they have sold other systems to Chile, Spain and the United States, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of their systems sold in the UK.

January 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment

Could The Morocco-UK Power Project Be Developed Into A Western Europe And Africa Interconnector?

This page on the Xlinks web site, describes the Morocco-UK Power Project, which is proposed to generate solar and wind power in Morocco and deliver it to the UK.

  • The plan envisages 10.5 GW of electricity being generated.
  • There will be a 5GW/20GWh battery in Morocco.
  • They will export 3.6 GW of electricity to the UK for at least twenty hours per day.
  • The electricity will be exported to the UK by an Interconnector that skirts to the West of Spain, Portugal and France.
  • The interconnector will be 3,800 kilometres long.

I described the project in detail in Moroccan Solar-Plus-Wind To Be Linked To GB In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Xlinks Project.

This Google Map shows Western Europe And North Africa.

Note.

  1. The light blue of the Continental Shelf
  2. The darker blue of deeper water.
  3. The Southern end of the Morocco and the UK interconnector will at Guelmim Oued Noun in the South of Morocco, which is indicated by the red arrow.
  4. The UK end of the cable will be at Alverdiscott between Barnstaple and Bideford in North Devon.
  5. Southern Morocco and Algeria look to be mainly in the Sahara Desert.

If we look at the route of the cable, it connects a lot of possible renewable energy sources.

  • Morocco – Solar and wind
  • Spain – Solar and wind
  • Portugal – Solar and wind
  • France – Nuclear, tidal and wind
  • UK – Nuclear and wind.

Could the UK and Morocco interconnector be developed into a bigger power project?

  • Solar and wind power from Algeria could be added.
  • Tidal power from a Severn Barrage could be added.
  • Connections could be added to Gibraltar, the Irish Republic and Wales.

I believe that there could be a large amount of electricity developed on the Western costs of Europe and Africa.

An interconnector would move it to where it is needed.

 

September 29, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Power Of Solar With A Large Battery

This post is based on this press release from Highview Power, which is entitled Highview Enlasa Developing 50MW/500MWh Liquid Air Energy Storage Facility In The Atacama Region Of Chile.

This is the first paragraph.

Highview Enlasa, the 50/50 joint venture between Highview Power, a global leader in long duration energy storage solutions, and Energía Latina S.A.-Enlasa, the largest backup power generation provider in Chile, is pleased to announce that it is developing the first liquid air long duration energy storage project in Chile. This 50MW/500MWh (10 hours) CRYOBattery™, which represents an estimated investment of USD $150 million, will be located in Diego de Almagro in the Atacama Region.

Ican deduce these points from this paragraph.

The power output of 50 MW appears to be standard for all of Highview Power’s CRYOBatteries, which is not surprising as the centre of each system appears to be a standard turbomachinery solution from MAN Energy Solutions, as I wrote about in MAN Energy Partners With Highview Power On Liquid-Air Energy-Storage Project.

But whereas the first system at Carrington, near Manchester, can only store 250 MWh, this plant in Chile is twice the size and can provide 50 MW of electricity for ten hours. The Chile plant will just have twice the number of storage tanks for liquid air.

I can no reason, why if Carrington needed to store more electricity, that more tanks couldn’t be added.

This Google Map shows the area around the city of Diego de Almagro.

Note.

  1. The city of Diego de Almagro is in the centre of the map.
  2. In the North-Western corner is the Planta Fotovoltaica ENEL Diego de Almagro, which even my rudimentary Spanish, identifies as a solar power plant.
  3. In the North-Eastern corner of the map, is appears that a second solar power plant is under construction.

The city is surrounded by the large Atacama Desert.

This second Google Map shows the location of Diego de Almagro, with respect to the Chilean Coast.

Note.

  1. The red arrow indicates the solar powerplant at Diego de Almagro.
  2. La Paz in Bolivia is in the North-East corner of the map.
  3. The sandy-beige colour indicates the Atacama Desert.

The area would appear not to lack sun.

This extract is from the press release.

With one of the highest solar irradiations in the world, the Atacama Region has the potential to generate all the country’s electricity. By pairing solar with cryogenic energy storage, Chile can benefit from 24/7, 100% renewable energy.

The Wiukipedia entry for Solar Power In Chile, is not as optimistic as the press release, but does show the rapid growth in the amount of solar power.

Conclusion

Solar power installed with large batteries, will transform the electricity supply in countries like Australia, Chile and India and those in Africa and other places, where there are large hot deserts.

In Europe, Spain is investing heavily in solar power and is a big innovator in solar technology.

 

 

July 1, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

All You Want To Know About Highview Power

This article on Power is entitled Market Prospects Heating Up for Cryogenic Energy Storage.

It talks in detail about the technology, financing and market prospects for Highview Power and their CRYOBattery.

  • Their batteries store energy by liquifying air and storing it in large tanks.
  • To recover the energy, the air is encouraged to go to a gaseous phase and put through an air turbine.
  • Their first commercial system is being built at Carrington near Manchester.
  • The Carrington system will have an output of 50 MW and be able to store up to 250 MWh.
  • Other systems are under development for Vermont and Spain.
  • The systems are built like Leho from readily available components from the oil and gas industry.

One of my regrets in life, is that I missed the crowdfunding for this company!

Read the article as you might find one of Highview Power’s CRYOBatteries coming to a site near you.

Power’s article is the best yet on describing the technology.

 

June 2, 2021 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Highview Power Unveils $1bn Of Liquid-Air Energy Storage Projects In Spain

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

The article is based on this press release from Highview Power, which is entitled Highview Power Developing 2 GWh of Liquid Air Long Duration Energy Storage Projects in Spain.

This is the introductory paragraph from the press release.

Highview Power, a global leader in long duration energy storage solutions, announced today it is developing up to 2 GWh of long duration, liquid air energy storage projects across Spain for an estimated investment of around $1 billion. These projects will enable several Spanish regions to move towards their net zero emissions target.

The press release also says this about location and size.

Highview Power is planning to develop up to seven CRYOBattery™ projects ranging from 50 MW/300 MWh in Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla y Leon, and the Canary Islands.

Three of these areas are in Northern Spain and the other is a group of islands.

As Spain has at least two large pumped storage systems, perhaps geography rules this proven technology out in these areas.

System Modularity 

According to the Wikipedia entry for Highview Power, the two current CRYOBatteries under development are sized as follows.

  • Carrington, Manchester, UK – 50 MW/250 MWh – Under construction
  • Vermont, USA – 50 MW/400 MWh – Under development

Do the figures indicate that several systems will share the same 50 MW core power system, with a number of liquid air tanks to give the appropriate capacity?

I have extensively modelled chemical plants in my past to see, how different sizes work and I am fairly certain, that Highview Power have developed a design, that is extremely flexible.

It looks like if initial calculations show that a system capable of supplying 50 MW for five hours is needed, but operation proves that a capacity of six hours would be better, that all Highview Power need to do is add another 50 MWh tank.

This is surely an operator’s dream, as if say a developer builds a thousand dwellings and/or a windfarm nearby and more energy storage is needed, an appropriate number of extra tanks can be added.

Sourcing The 50 MW Core Power System

I talked about how the first system at Carrington will use a system from MAN Energy Solutions in MAN Energy Partners With Highview Power On Liquid-Air Energy-Storage Project.

This surely is an approach that minimises risk.

Sourcing The Storage Tanks

I have been searching the Internet for manufacturers of cryogenic gas tanks and I’ve found them in countries like Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.

But then most hospitals have one for their liquid oxygen.

This image was from shutterstock.

They are not difficult to find.

Spain And Renewable Energy

Spain is a large producer of renewable energy and also a leader in wind and solar power technology.

See Renewable Energy in Spain on Wikipedia for more details.

Siemens Gamesa, which was created by a merger of a German and a Spanish company and is headquartered at Zamudio in Spain,  have also developed the Siemens Gamesa ETES, which is a volcanic rock-based energy storage system about the same size of Highview Power’s CRYOBattery.

Conclusion

It looks to me, that Highview Power have closed a good sale.

May 20, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , | 4 Comments

Remodelled Station Opens In Canfranc Ahead Of Reopening Of Cross-Border Link

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

On April 15, a RENFE DMU carrying invited guests from Zaragoza became the first train to arrive at the remodelled and relocated station in Canfranc, marking a further step in the long-running plan to reinstate the railway through the Pyrénées mountains linking Pau with Huesca.

I have an ambition to visit Canfranc station, where the Spanish and French railways meet at one of the largest stations in Europe.

  • On the French side the Pau-Canfranc Railway is gradually being reopened.
  • On the Spanish side there is a railway to Zaragoza, from where there are high speed trains to Barcelona and Madrid.

Both routes appear to be mainly single-track

There would appear to be pressure for reopening  the full route In a Section entitled Renovation and Reopening, Wikipedia says this.

In present economic development, the transport route beneath the Aspe peak via the Gave d’Aspe valley is changing from a relatively unknown into a major transport channel. This is not only due to the regional pressure between Bordeaux and Zaragoza (which on the Spanish side alone has a regional population of 1 million people), but also the importance of the international route between Paris and Valencia. These economic pressures – in part driven by the General Motors plant located in Zaragoza – have in recent years resulted in heavy truck and car traffic on the roads of the upper Gave d’Aspe valley, and an increased number of accidents.

Sounds like this indicates a powerful case.

Madrid And London By The Scenic Rail Route

The route would be as follows.

  • Madrid and Zaragoza by High Speed Train.
  • Zaragoza and Canfranc by local train  through the mountains.
  • Canfranc and Pau by local train  through the mountains.
  • Pau and Paris by TGV
  • Paris and London via Eurostar.

Note.

  1. According to the Railway Gazette, a luxury hotel is being built at Canfranc.
  2. Bordeaux is a good city for an overnight stop.
  3. Prior to the covids, Eurostar were hoping to run a direct London and Bordeaux service.

I hope to do this trip in the next couple of years.

April 19, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments