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Author Topic: Alstom and Eversholt to hydrogenate class 321s  (Read 5433 times)
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2019, 05:54:03 pm »


There's academics, and then there's academics... this article was written by Brian Scott-Quinn, Emeritus Professor of, er, Finance at Reading. A quick Google does nothing to suggest that he has any particular understanding of engineering...
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2019, 07:55:53 am »

I regret to say that politicians and managers listen to accountant far more than engineers or scientists. Presumably a variation of "another fine mess you got us in Olly".
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bradshaw
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« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2019, 08:37:46 am »

The high use of hydrogen in the food industry is in the processing of vegetable oils, producing the spreads we use.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2019, 10:15:54 pm »

There does seem to be quite a lot of hype currently on-line. To put it into perspective, there are just two trains running in Germany, and an order for 14 more. What's more, the maker (Alstom) has just had a proposed merger with Siemens' rail division barred by the EU, which might undermine its ability to fund further research and development.

I expect that the Railway Gazette article suffered from a sub-editor looking for the catchy headline and not checking the content, not an uncommon situation. Of more concern is that the vast increase in overall electricity consumption, the need for expensive infrastructure and safety issues canvassed earlier in this thread that seem to be ignored. We are in danger of the Treasury thinking it has an absolute answer to refuse to fund that tried and tested solution (OHL electrification) and interim diesel rolling stock with proven emission mitigating technology because it thinks one day they will be able to refit all those surplus electric trains with hydrogen tanks instead.

So - have Vivarail overlooked an important safely issue when proposing underfloor hydrogen tanks on their converted tube stock? Is their really a safety issue with hydrogen trains using tunnels? What is the likely cost of rolling out hydrogen infrastructure (not just fuelling depots, but production plants, safe means of distribution and additional electricity generation capacity)? 

 
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stuving
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« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2021, 06:38:34 pm »

I would at this point refer you to an HSE summary report on this, covering also two other accidents (both fires) at BP Grangemouth in 1987. It was produced as a warning about complacency, as BP were thought (by themselves as well) to have a good safety culture. But HSE have removed it from their web site, and I can't find it anywhere else - PM me if you must have a copy (I know we have some accident report aficionados on the forum!).

'Ive just stumbled upon this old report on line at IChemE. It's only a 48-page summary, not deeply technical.
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TonyK
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« Reply #50 on: January 27, 2021, 02:23:18 pm »


There's academics, and then there's academics... this article was written by Brian Scott-Quinn, Emeritus Professor of, er, Finance at Reading. A quick Google does nothing to suggest that he has any particular understanding of engineering...

An engineer would say there were better ways of achieving the same end, such as stringing up electric cables and running 25,000 volts through them. A chemist would say that synthesising diesel instead of producing hydrogen would achieve the same end without any expensive replacement of the rolling stock. The accountant would draw up a spreadsheet to show how much subsidy would be needed, then get the advertising guru to draw up a prospectus, with a picture of a wind turbine and a train on the cover. This could then be given to the transport minister, circulated via paid adverts on social media to get a lot of people who aren't even accountants to tell their MPs what a good idea it is.

And why not? The same sort of strategy got Donald Trump elected.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 01:51:15 pm by TonyK » Logged

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2021, 09:31:59 am »

The trouble with synthesizing diesel would be that you're then burning diesel.
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TonyK
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« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2021, 02:02:30 pm »

The trouble with synthesizing diesel would be that you're then burning diesel.

Aha! But, if you use carbon dioxide  recovered from the atmosphere using a huge plant powered by wind turbines, and at a cost of around £150 per tonne, and hydrogen produced by covering Kent in solar panels, you could make the fuel by stripping the carbon from the oxygen and combining it with the hydrogen over a suitable catalyst at the correct temperature and pressure. Voilà - 100% green diesel, with a picture of some flowers and a wind turbine on the tanker!

The unwanted side-effect of having to produce electricity by coal again to replace all the energy used can easily be blamed on someone else, or Brexit. Or the pandemic. Or the previous government. Or just ignored.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2021, 02:25:56 pm »

Ingenious! I can't understand why you don't work in marketing.  Cheesy
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TonyK
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« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2021, 02:39:28 pm »

Ingenious! I can't understand why you don't work in marketing.  Cheesy

Not while there's good money to be made lobbying the government for subsidies. I can still sell 'em snake oil!
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mjones
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« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2021, 10:17:36 pm »

Or you could turn over a huge part of the world's agricultural land to growing biofuels, or grow it in the rainforest (sustainably,  of course...). The prospectus would then have pictures of sunflowers and green leaves on it.
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TonyK
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« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2021, 10:49:40 pm »

Or you could turn over a huge part of the world's agricultural land to growing biofuels, or grow it in the rainforest (sustainably,  of course...). The prospectus would then have pictures of sunflowers and green leaves on it.

Keep going, I'm making notes ....

Another way, of course, would be to convert the engines to run on gas instead. The fuel could then be bought from Greenpeace Energy in Germany, who produce sustainable non-polluting gas by adding hydrogen to it, said hydrogen being produced by electrolysis using wind power. The proportion of hydrogen to methane varies a bit, depending on how windy it is, but as this table shows...



... it occasionally approaches 0.9%. Yes folks, Greenpeace uses its name to sell fossil fuels in Germany.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2021, 11:02:59 pm by TonyK » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2021, 08:24:41 am »

Using renewable electricity to produce hydrogen (at best 60% efficiency?)for any combustion process is appalling inefficient. Unfortunately lobbyists focus solely on the renewable origin of the energy for their individual scheme,  and ignore the overall energy efficiency. But this matters enormously as soon  as you think about scaling supply up production to make a significant contribution at a national level. Renewable electricity delivers far more heat to the home if provided as electricity,  especially if used in a heat pump, than if expensively converted to hydrogen and burned.
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TonyK
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« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2021, 10:51:44 am »

Using renewable electricity to produce hydrogen (at best 60% efficiency?)for any combustion process is appalling inefficient. Unfortunately lobbyists focus solely on the renewable origin of the energy for their individual scheme,  and ignore the overall energy efficiency. But this matters enormously as soon  as you think about scaling supply up production to make a significant contribution at a national level. Renewable electricity delivers far more heat to the home if provided as electricity,  especially if used in a heat pump, than if expensively converted to hydrogen and burned.

It is rather ingenious, though. The snag in the plan to cover the world with wind turbines and solar panels is that the wind doesn't always blow, and the sun certainly doesn't always shine. To make it worthwhile to the investors, there needs to be a perceived method of storing electricity, otherwise governments won't stump up the money. Hydrogen sounds wonderful because at least in theory, it can be piped to homes like natural gas. If it is, it will be mixed with methane, so tying us into fossil fuels. Sun and wind need backup - we now know that the wind isn't "always blowing somewhere" after some extended periods during the past couple of months when the windmills stood majestically still. CCGT is the most flexible way of doing this, giving rise to the argument that using wind and sun in large proportions will again tie us into fossil fuels.

I have been in a few places heated by air source pumps, and have yet to remove my coat in any of them. I am acquainted with someone who has only that for heating (in Bristol) and says it is costing her £250 per month to run in the cold weather. I am sure that designed, installed and used properly, they work. We should start with new houses that can be designed around them - and I may be peripherally involved in such a project soon. I'll let you know how it goes.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 11:27:59 am by TonyK » Logged

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2021, 03:27:40 pm »

But the sun is always shining somewhere, even if it's in the opposite hemisphere on the other side of the globe. On the same basis, I expect the wind is always blowing somewhere. Perhaps we are thinking too regionally. (Perhaps this changes the question from "who's going to pay for the storage?" to "who's going to pay for the Australia to Siberia interconnector?")
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