The Anonymous Widower

Zero Emission Powering of Auxiliary Loads In Stations

This project was one of the winners in the First Of A Kind 2022 competition run by Innovate UK.

In this document, this is said about the project.

Project No: 10038972

Project title: Zero Emission Powering of Auxiliary Loads In Stations
Lead organisation: WABTEC UK LIMITED
Project grant: £59,921

Public description:

This project provides a solution to substantially reduce emissions including NOx and PM when diesel passenger trains are idling.

There are over 3,500 passenger rail vehicles in the UK currently fitted with a diesel engine, the large majority of these would significantly benefit from emissions reduction, especially in and around stations, where diesel engines currently continue to idle, or elevated idle whilst stationary, sometimes for up to 30 minutes at a terminal station. This is a significant contributor to local air quality issues from NOx, PM emissions etc.

Brecknell Willis aim to further develop their existing current collection product portfolio by producing
a low-cost, automated shore supply for powering the auxiliary loads of each vehicle and enabling
the diesel engines to be disabled while stationary.

This project will enable several key cost and decarbonisation benefits to the railway.

  • It shall enable zero emissions, including NOx and PM, in and around the station, by
    enabling a DMU to dwell at any enabled station or depot with the engine switched off
    through an automated shore supply.
  • It shall enable a proportional average reduction in all emissions, through reduced fuel consumption due to not using the diesel engine whilst the vehicle is stationary.
  • It shall enable reduced operating costs for the train operator through fuel saving.
  • It will not require any modification to the existing diesel engines or drivetrain and will compliment any other decarbonisation initiatives.
  • It shall provide a substantially lower cost and risk solution when compared to any other previous or current hybrid solutions.

My Thoughts And Conclusions

 

November 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

Axle Mounted Motor For Retrofit To DMU’s To Enable Zero Emissions In Stations

This project was one of the winners in the First Of A Kind 2022 competition run by Innovate UK.

In this document, this is said about the project.

Project No: 10038683

Project title: Axle Mounted Motor For Retrofit To DMU’s To Enable Zero Emissions In Stations
Lead organisation: WABTEC UK LIMITED
Project grant: £59,450

Public description: This project provides a solution to substantially reduce emissions including NOx and PM when
diesel passenger trains are idling.
There are over 3,500 passenger rail vehicles in the UK currently fitted with a diesel engine, the
large majority of these would significantly benefit from emissions reduction, especially in and
around stations, where diesel engines currently continue to idle, or elevated idle whilst stationary,
sometimes for up to 30 minutes at a terminal station. This is a significant contributor to local air
quality issues from NOx, PM emissions etc.

Furthermore, rail vehicles require large amounts of energy and power to accelerate (and therefore
contributing more emissions), and yet, on the approach to stations significant amounts of energy
are “lost” through “braking”.

This project will address both issues by recovering the braking energy during deceleration and reusing it for auxiliary loads in station and traction to accelerate out of station, this will enable diesel
engines to be isolated in and around stations, whilst also reducing the average emissions such as
PM and NOx over a complete drive cycle by up to 35% and operational costs by up to 30%.

Our objective is to develop and integrate a small, low mass, yet high peak torque and peak power,
axle mounted motor, for retrofit and upgrade for DMU/DEMU passenger vehicle applications. This
motor shall enable kinetic energy recovery during the braking application and also provide power to
the trailer bogie wheels whilst accelerating.

This project will enable several key cost and decarbonisation benefits to the railway.

  • It shall enable zero emissions, including NOx and PM, in and around the station, by
    enabling a DMU to approach, dwell and depart from a station with the engine switched off.
  • It shall enable a proportional average reduction in all emissions, through reduced fuel consumption resulting from the electrical energy recovery from regenerative braking and re-deployment through auxiliary and traction use.
  • It shall enable less brake wear thus reducing particulate emissions from brake pads especially around stations.
  • It shall enable reduced operating costs for the train operator through fuel saving, engine/transmission maintenance savings and brake pad saving.
  • It will not require any modification to the existing diesel engines or drivetrain and will compliment any other decarbonisation initiatives.
  • It shall provide a substantially lower cost and risk solution when compared to any other previous or current hybrid solutions.

My Thoughts And Conclusions

This is a classic simple solution, that could have big benefits.

I suspect, it can also be paired with Wabtec’s other proposal; Zero Emission Powering of Auxiliary Loads In Stations.

November 18, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , | 7 Comments

Research And Development Agreement Signed For Hydrogen Combustion Trains In US

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on H2-View.

This is the opening paragraph.

Hydrogen combustion engine-powered trains are set to be at the centre of a collaborative research and development agreement between Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories and Wabtec in a bid to decarbonise US rail.

The US is certainly calling up the heavy brigade in Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratories and Wabtec.

This appears to be the main objective.

It is hoped the team will be able to design train engines that will deliver the same power, range, and cost-effectiveness as current diesel technology.

The article states that there are 25,000 diesel locomotives in the United States, but because of exports to large parts of the world, including the UK, this research could clean up a lot more than just the United States.

The omens are good, in that both Cummins and Rolls-Royce mtu, who are two of the world’s big diesel engine manufacturers have successfully launched hydrogen combustion engines.

 

 

November 12, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wabtec Signs $600M MoU With Kazakhstan Railway Company

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Wabtec announced Tuesday signing of a $600M memorandum of understanding with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy for 150 FLXdriveTM battery-electric shunters and modernization work to transform the mainline fleet into NextFuelTM liquid natural gas-powered (LNG) locomotives.

Note.

  1. It is for 150 shunting locomotives, which is not a small number.
  2. A lot of the work will be done in Kazakhstan.
  3. Wabtec certainly seem to be getting their FLXdrive technology about.
  4. Obviously LNG locomotives must be a good route to reduce carbon emissions for diesel locomotives.
  5. The Kazahks seem pleased with the deal for economic and decarbonisation reasons.

But what surprises me about this deal, is that it has not gone to Russia. Does this say something about Putin’s lack of friends.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fortescue Unveils World-First Electric Train Using Gravity To Recharge

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

These two paragraphs summarise the project.

Fortescue has announced the development of an electric train that recharges itself using gravity, as the Australian resources giant finalises its acquisition of UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering.

Fortescue is dedicating $50 million, in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), for research and development on the Infinity Train, which fully recharges its battery using gravitational energy when it descends.

Note.

  1. Most of Australia’s iron ore is mined in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
  2. There are at least four railways in Pilbara leading to the coast.
  3. As the mines are higher than the coast, the heavily loaded trains will be going downhill, whereas the empties will be going uphill.
  4. There would certainly appear to be scope for charging going to the coast and coming back on a full battery with the empties.
  5. 94 % of Australia’s iron ore exports are transported by train from Pilbara to the coast.

There are hundreds of locomotives used for transportation of Iron ore from Pilbara to the coast.

Will Williams Convert Existing Locomotives?

I suspect they will as this is route that Wabtec is taking with their FLXdrive locomotives.

Will Williams Convert Locomotives For Other Pilbara Companies?

I suspect what Andrew Twiggy Forest wants he gets.

Could Williams Convert Other Diesel Electric Locomotives

I suspect they could and I wouldn’t rule out seeing a battery-electric Class 66 locomotive.

I laid out my thoughts in Could Class 66 Locomotives Be Converted Into Battery-Electric Locomotives?.

March 2, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Union Pacific Railroad Makes Largest Investment In Wabtec’s FLXdrive Battery-Electric Locomotive

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

This is the first three paragraphs.

Union Pacific Railroad (NYSE: UNP) today announced the purchase of 10 FLXdrive battery-electric locomotives from Wabtec Corporation (NYSE: WAB). The order, which marks the largest investment in battery technology by a North American railroad, will upgrade Union Pacific’s rail yard infrastructure and support its commitment to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“As an industry leader, Union Pacific is pioneering a major application of battery power in its rail yards,” said Rafael Santana, President and CEO for Wabtec. “Battery power is an ideal solution to reduce the environmental impact and costs of yard operations. Using the FLXdrive in the rail yard can significantly improve local air quality, as well as reduce noise by up to 70% for neighboring communities.”

The approximately 2.5-MWh locomotives are each powered solely by 7,000 battery cells, providing Union Pacific a zero-emission solution for its yard operations. The 10 FLXdrives will enable the railroad to eliminate 4,000 tons of carbon annually from its rail yards, the equivalent of removing 800 cars from the highway. The new locomotives will be manufactured in the United States with the first units being delivered to Union Pacific in late 2023.

It would appear that the major use will be in their rail yards.

There is also this second press release from Union Pacific, which is entitled Union Pacific Railroad To Assemble World’s Largest Carrier-Owned Battery-Electric Locomotive Fleet.

This is the first paragraph.

Union Pacific Railroad (NYSE: UNP) today announced plans to purchase 20 battery-electric locomotives for testing in yard operations. The combined purchases and upgrades to yard infrastructure are expected to exceed $100 million, representing the largest investment in battery-electric technology by a U.S. Class I railroad. The locomotives will be acquired from Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, and Wabtec Corporation (NYSE:WAB), two companies at the forefront of locomotive innovation, and will be the world’s largest carrier-owned battery-electric locomotive fleet in freight service.

The press release also says that Union Pacific will be netzero by 2050.

Conclusion

All of this action in the United States and Australia with battery-electric locomotives, from two manufacturers; Progress Rail and Wabtec, leads me to the conclusion, that proposals to create battery-electric locomotives from Class 66 or Class 68 locomotives in the UK, will soon be being discussed by the owners of the locomotives and Wabtec and Stadler.

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

BHP To Trial Battery Locos On Pilbara Iron Ore Network

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

The article summarised all the battery-electric locomotives ordered to bring the iron ore to the coast by mining companies; BHP, Fortescue, Rio Tinto and Roy Hill.

The article indicates some of the innovative operations that will be tried. This is a sentence from the article.

A key element will be to assess the potential for capturing regenerated braking energy on the loaded downhill runs, and storing it to power empty trains back uphill to the mines.

I would hope that the South Wales Metro, the Buxton branch and the East Kilbride branch will use similar energy conservation techniques.

January 26, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Future Of The Class 68 Locomotives

This post has been brought on by the comments to two posts I have written today.

Both Direct Rail Services and TransPennine Express are major users of Class 68 locomotives, with each having a fleet of fourteen locomotives.

In addition, Chiltern Railways has a smaller fleet of six locomotives.

  • Direct Rail Services use their locomotives for various passenger and freight duties, including the important one of moving nuclear material around the country.
  • TransPennine Express use their locomotives on their passenger services across the North of England.
  • Chiltern Railways use their locomotives on their passenger services between London and Birmingham and sometimes Oxford.

The design was a bespoke one by Stadler for Direct Rail Services and the first one entered service in 2014.

The picture shows one of TransPennine’s Class 68 locomotives at Scarborough. As the picture shows, they are a smart and purposeful-looking locomotive, that wouldn’t look out of place in the right livery on the front of the Royal Train.

It has some good features.

  • It is a 100 mph locomotive.
  • It seems to be well-liked by operators.
  • It can haul both passenger and freight trains.
  • It can act as a Thunderbird or rescue locomotive.

But they have three problems; emissions, noise and diesel.

This is from Wikipedia.

The locomotive’s propulsion system is compliant with Stage III A of the European emission standards, but not the more stringent Stage III B requirements.

But noise is a another problem and this has caused council action in Scarborough.

More important than emissions or noise, is the fact, that the locomotive is diesel-powered, so the fleet will probably have to be retired from the railway, at a time, when there is still useful life left in the locomotives.

The Class 68 locomotive is a member of the Stadler Eurolight  family, of which there are three versions.

All follow similar design principles, differing mainly in dimensions, with Spain, Taiwan and the UK ordering upwards of twenty-thirty locomotives.

The UKLight branch of the family has two other members.

The Class 88 locomotive is an electro-diesel version of the Class 68 locomotive and the development of the design is described in this extract from the Class 88 locomotive’s Wikipedia entry.

Amid the fulfillment of DRS’ order for the Class 68, Stadler’s team proposed the development of a dual-mode locomotive that could be alternatively powered by an onboard diesel engine or via electricity supplied from overhead lines (OHLE). Having been impressed by the concept, DRS opted to place an order for ten Class 88s during September 2013. Having been developed alongside the Class 68, considerable similarities are shared between the two locomotives, amounting to roughly 70 percent of all components being shared.

According to Wikipedia, the type had a smooth entry into service.

The Class 93 locomotive will be the next development of the UKLight branch of the family, when it is delivered in 2023.

It will be a tri-mode locomotive, that will be capable of being powered by 25 KVAC overhead electrification, an onboard diesel engine and batteries.

It will be a 110 mph locomotive.

It can haul both passenger and freight trains.

Rail Operations Group have ordered 30 locomotives.

This is the first paragraph of the section in Wikipedia called Specification.

The Class 93 locomotive has been developed to satisfy a requirement for a fast freight locomotive that uses electric power while under the wires, but is also capable of self-powered operations. Accordingly, it is capable of running on diesel engines, from overhead wires, or from its onboard batteries. These batteries, which occupy the space used for the braking resistors in the Class 88, are charged via the onboard transformer or regenerative braking; when the batteries are fully charged, the locomotive only has its friction brakes available. The diesel engine is a six-cylinder Caterpillar C32 turbocharged power unit, rated at 900 kW, conforming with the EU97/68 stage V emission standard. The batteries units are made of Lithium Titanate Oxide and use a liquid cooling solution, enabling rapid charge and discharge.

It is a truly agnostic locomotive, that can take its power from anywhere.

The last paragraph of the specification compares the locomotive to the Class 66 locomotive.

In comparison with the Class 66, the Class 93 can outperform it in various metrics. In addition to a higher top speed, the locomotive possesses greater acceleration and far lower operating costs, consuming only a third of the fuel of a Class 66 along with lower track access charges due to its lower weight. ROG has postulated that it presents a superior business case, particularly for intermodal rail freight operations, while also being better suited for mixed-traffic operations as well. Each locomotive has a reported rough cost of £4 million.

It is no ordinary locomotive and it will change rail freight operations in the UK.

I have a feeling that the Class 93 locomotive could be a lower-carbon replacement for the Class 68 locomotive.

But I also believe that what Stadler have learned in the development of the Class 93 locomotive can be applied to the Class 68 locomotive to convert them into zero-carbon locomotives.

It may be just a matter of throwing out the diesel engine and the related gubbins and replacing them with a large battery. This process seems to have worked with Wabtec’s conversion of diesel locomotives to FLXdrive battery-electric locomotives.

 

January 22, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Wabtec’s 100% Electric Locomotive Trickle Suddenly Becomes International Flood

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Whelp, that was fast. The locomotive manufacturer Wabtec lit up the Intertubes last November when it debuted the new FLXdrive 100% electric locomotive in Pennsylvania, but that was just the beginning. The company has nailed down two clients in Australia for its carbon-free choo-choo while also locking in a spot on the new Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, which aims to green up railway systems throughout Europe.

It certainly has been quick.

Usually, only in times of war, do things go that fast.

But you could argue that climate change is as big a threat to the world than China, Iran, North Korea or Russia.

January 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

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