The Anonymous Widower

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

Fortescue Buys Williams Engineering In Major Push Into High Performance Batteries

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

This is the opening paragraph.

Fortescue Future Industries has made its first major push into battery storage and high performance batteries with the $A310 million purchase of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), the offshoot of the Formula 1 specialists Williams Grand Prix Engineering.

Andrew Forrest certainly has a wide-ranging plan.

This article on Railway Gazette is entitled Formula 1 Technology Company To Support Development Of Battery Train, was published later and gives more details.

This is the first paragraph.

Fortescue Metals Group’s green technology division Fortescue Future Industries is developing what it says is a ‘world leading’ battery electric train concept.

It will be interesting to see what technologies are at the heart of the ‘world leading’ concept.

If you are controlling a complex chemical or nuclear plant, you will often have a model of the plant inside the control system, so that the operating strategy can be consistently optimised.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see techniques like this and other advanced techniques be used to reduce the carbon footprint of rail transportation of iron ore and other minerals.

Perhaps, the ideal power for one of these heavy haul trains would consist of a master battery-electric locomotive up front with the crew, assisted by up to three hydrogen-, diesel- or battery-powered slaves.

  • All braking would be regenerative to battery.
  • Power would be called for from the slave locomotives as required.
  • Modelling would determine, if some sections needed electrification to charge the batteries.

I suspect there are opportunities to optimise round trips, as returning the empties will surely need less power.

 

 

 

January 24, 2022 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments