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Author Topic: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers  (Read 30722 times)
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #165 on: June 26, 2022, 01:52:38 pm »

Amazing how far aviation has come in this respect and very encouraging for the future. It'll make it much easier for Greta to get to Glastonbury in future!

Why when it is easy to do that journey by rail!

Apologies - I forgot about GWR (Great Western Railway)'s service from Stockholm to Castle Cary.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #166 on: June 26, 2022, 05:21:25 pm »

While on the subject of Greta...

Some 200,000 converge on Somerset for Glastonbury,  very few using the train due to the strikes.  Performers fly in from all around the world to entertain them. WOW! Just think of the enormous carbon footprint of the event.

But as Greta is attending it's all OK isn't it? Huh
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broadgage
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« Reply #167 on: June 26, 2022, 06:56:32 pm »

While on the subject of Greta...

Some 200,000 converge on Somerset for Glastonbury,  very few using the train due to the strikes.  Performers fly in from all around the world to entertain them. WOW! Just think of the enormous carbon footprint of the event.

But as Greta is attending it's all OK isn't it? Huh

Cant blame those attending for the train strike. Many had already purchased expensive tickets with the intention of travelling by train.

Otherwise I agree, vast fuel use both in flying performers to the venue, and diesel fuel for electricity generation on site. Some renewabl;e energy is used, but I suspect that it is a very small part of the total.

Also an appalling waste of tents and other camping equipment much of which is discarded after a single use.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
didcotdean
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« Reply #168 on: June 26, 2022, 07:02:44 pm »

The trains that did run to Castle Cary were fairly empty going by a few pictures taken by people on them being pleasantly surprised.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #169 on: June 26, 2022, 09:23:12 pm »

While on the subject of Greta...

Some 200,000 converge on Somerset for Glastonbury,  very few using the train due to the strikes.  Performers fly in from all around the world to entertain them. WOW! Just think of the enormous carbon footprint of the event.

But as Greta is attending it's all OK isn't it? Huh

Cant blame those attending for the train strike. Many had already purchased expensive tickets with the intention of travelling by train.

Otherwise I agree, vast fuel use both in flying performers to the venue, and diesel fuel for electricity generation on site. Some renewabl;e energy is used, but I suspect that it is a very small part of the total.

Also an appalling waste of tents and other camping equipment much of which is discarded after a single use.

Much of the tents, sleeping bags, camping equipment etc are recycled and given to charity to be fair and the cost of the cleanup is factored into the £285 ticket price (clearly there are 200,000 people not experiencing a  cost of living crisis anyway!)

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TonyK
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« Reply #170 on: June 26, 2022, 10:25:17 pm »

While on the subject of Greta...

Some 200,000 converge on Somerset for Glastonbury,  very few using the train due to the strikes.  Performers fly in from all around the world to entertain them. WOW! Just think of the enormous carbon footprint of the event.

But as Greta is attending it's all OK isn't it? Huh

I thought the angry young lady was Billie Eilish.
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GBM
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« Reply #171 on: July 23, 2022, 02:05:50 pm »

I missed this initially, only just seen it.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-62086128

An electrically powered aircraft had to carry out a forced landing after its battery was switched off as part of a flight test, a report said.

The modified Piper PA (Public Address)-46-350P was undertaking "experimental" tests when it "suffered a loss of power to the electrical motors", the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB (Air Accident Investigation Branch)) said......(Continues).........
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« Reply #172 on: July 23, 2022, 02:24:24 pm »

An unfortunate accident but we must remember that electric flight is still a new technology and that accidents are inevitable whilst the technology is developed, tested, and improved.

A lot of petrol powered aircraft crashed in the early days, often with far worse results than this accident.

I suspect that battery powered aircraft will soon be in general use for short hops to remote islands and similar routes. I doubt that we will EVER see battery aircraft that can carry dozens of passengers across major oceans at speeds of 500 MPH or more. The energy density of even the best batteries is not sufficient.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #173 on: July 24, 2022, 12:13:09 am »

I have some experience of flying light aircraft, as do others here, although not electric obviously. Before I started to read the full report, I wondered why an experiment with the energy system would be carried out at a point in the flight where complete failure of the power system would present the greatest risk. Why not do it on the downwind leg of the circuit?

I also wondered why the pilot even considered trying to turn back at such a low altitude. It is drilled into the student that you don't do that with an engine failure at a low altitude, such as just after taking off, unless you want a sharp and painful lesson on the preservation of kinetic energy.

Then I wondered if the idea of electric aviation is flawed completely, with inherent risks that don't exist in conventional aircraft.

The report addressed all these points, and more. In the first, the effect of an earlier power change was being discussed, and the pilot had been watching instruments including the power management screen below the power lever - not in front of him like most instruments are. He flew further downwind than intended. He could have flown along the length of the runway and gone round the circuit again, but didn't because it would use more battery power, and carried on with the experiment because it hadn't gone wrong before. This shows that there is obviously a first time for everything.

In the second, the pilot said he was going to turn back because he had lost sight of his altitude while concentrating on trying to get the motors running again, although he quickly realised the situation and changed his mind. That ended reasonably well, probably because of the experience of the pilot, but my text books say several times at various points on various topics: "First, fly the aircraft". In an emergency, while you have your head down in the controls, the Earth will be rushing upwards to meet you, so look out of the window.

Nothing in that report shows that hydrogen cell and high voltage battery systems are never going to be safe, but it does seem that the race to get there before the competition blinkered the team somewhat. Corners were not cut deliberately, but it does seem that some things were not considered that should have been looked at in greater detail on the ground first - particularly this issue of a windmilling propeller generating enough electrical power to overload the system. The development team will probably have had that "Oh yeah - didn't spot that" moment, and it is very likey that other companies around the globe will be thankful they got away with it.

I would imagine that the hybrid battery and fuel cell pattern will be the winner in the electric aircraft story, because of the need for high power at take-off and a few other points in the flight. I was surprised that the fuel cell generated so much heat, which looks like energy wasted. I think I'll wait a bit longer before buying one.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2022, 08:30:18 am by TonyK » Logged

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broadgage
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« Reply #174 on: July 25, 2022, 03:00:51 am »

I do not feel that electric flight is fundamentally flawed, the risks are arguably less than being reliant on a single petrol engine.
Electric motors are very reliable, and batteries are modular which makes complete failure very unlikely.

Only suitable for short ranges at low speeds due to the low energy density of batteries.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #175 on: July 25, 2022, 09:43:00 am »

I do not feel that electric flight is fundamentally flawed, the risks are arguably less than being reliant on a single petrol engine.
Electric motors are very reliable, and batteries are modular which makes complete failure very unlikely.

Only suitable for short ranges at low speeds due to the low energy density of batteries.

I'm sure it isn't inherently dangerous, but it introduces a level of complexity that is avoided in light aircraft as much as possible. That needs to be sorted out and made idiot proof before electric planes rule the sky. And you overstate the risk of that single engine.

If you look under the engine cowling of a light aircraft, you will probably think "Where's the rest?" There's a lot less involved than in a family car. I flew Piper Cherokees, which have a four-cylinder short bore horizontally opposed air-cooled engine  - the Malibu has a six-cylinder engine, but very similar otherwise. There are injection engines, mine had a carburettor. Each cylinder has two spark plugs, fed from two magnetos (remember them?), a rudimentary heater for the carb, which basically diverts hot air on the few occasions it is in use, and an alternator to charge the battery. That was about it. Before every flight, I would check the oil and look for any evidence of leaks in the engine compartment. Before taking off, I would run up the engine to 2,000 rpm, check that the carb heater is working by watching for a slight drop in rpm, and switch off each magneto in turn to make sure both were working. In the take-off run, there are brief checks to make sure all is well before leaving the ground behind. The engine had a check every 50 hours by the licenced engineer, and had a lifetime of 1,500 hours before being returned to the factory for reconditioning. If every car was of the same simplicity, serviced as regularly, and checked before leaving home, the AA and RAC would be in trouble.

In general aviation, it is said that the main advantage of having two engines is that it doubles your chances of an engine failure. Losing one of a pair on take-off is as big if not bigger a challenge than losing the only one. On practically every flight with an instructor after about the fifth, I would be merrily pootling along when it would suddenly go very quiet as my instructor cut the power to have me prepare for a forced landing. Before I took off on my first solo flight, I had to show that I could handle an engine failure at take-off by finding somewhere to land with a good chance of me flying later that day, if not the aircraft. My apologies to anyone who was at the rugby ground at Cribbs Causeway that day. All this preparation was for an event with a vanishingly small percentage chance of actually happening with the level of competence checked annually (more often in the commercial world), something that doesn't happen in private motoring.

You are right on energy density, something that is also the case with hydrogen. In one perverse sense, the ecological campaign industry has much to thank aviation for, even if they don't acknowledge it. Since the mid-1970s, research has been centred on getting more out of every drop of aviation fuel. The new generation of engines used on carrying holidaymakers to Benidorm are hugely more efficient than those on the early machines, and that progress will continue, with spin-offs throughout other industries like in the space race. There is a demonstration version of a solar powered reactor that uses hydrogen and carbon dioxide to make aviation fuel. Woefully inefficient and expensive at present, but still a step towards turning the Sahara into a zero-carbon aviation fuel centre. Aviation attracts a lot of research money in comparison to that addressed at removing the carbon from the other 98% of worldwide energy use because it's the bad boy used by the rich and famous on the way to the next climate change protest. And if airlines use less fuel per kg of passenger or freight carried, they make more money. Win-win.

I can't see synthetic hydrocarbons ever being practical for surface transport that could use electricity, but this could work for shipping and transport in remote areas.
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stuving
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« Reply #176 on: November 28, 2022, 07:07:15 pm »

Here's an update on what turns out to be called LODES - the Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Programme Stream - which started in March last year. The initial batch of money (phase 1) was doled out in February, and stream 2 phase 2 today. The stream are: stream 1, for demonstrating things ready for that; stream 2, for things needing work to get them demonstrable.

Most of stream 1 is usual suspects, but none are thermal stores. I'd have thought that new ways of using what is an old principle could be demonstrated now, but there's no need for new research - but apparently it's the other way round.

"Power-to-X" is X for hydrogen, with only one winner, and four are electrical storage: GraviSTORE with its weights-down-mineshafts, a flow battery, and two using compressed air. One of those is the Cheshire Energy Storage Centre (or Hub) wanting to repurpose "mothballed EDF gas cavities". Funny, I'd have though just now they would be unmothballing them to store gas.

Stream 2, being more speculative, has more winners in phase 1 (and smaller sums of money) and they are more speculative. Phase 1 has 5 for thermal stores, 4 for Power-to-X, and 10 for electrical stores. Phase 2 give much bigger sums to five of the above, two for domestic thermal stores, two for electrical stores, and one hydrogen store.

The most eye-catching one is the last one, though you'd not know that from the BEIS announcement - which leaves out a lot of interesting details. This is from E&T:
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    StorTera will receive just over £5m to build a prototype demonstrator of its energy-dense single liquid flow battery (SLIQ) technology that is designed to boost grid flexibility.

    Sunamp will receive £9.25m for a project that will trial its advanced thermal storage system in 100 homes across the UK (United Kingdom). The project will extend Sunamp’s existing heat battery to provide increased storage duration and capacity and pair it with household energy systems to tackle periods of low renewables generation on the grid.

    The University of Sheffield will receive £2.60m to develop a prototype modular thermal energy storage system which allows for flexible storage of heat within homes.

    RheEnergise will receive £8.24m to build a demonstrator near Plymouth of its ‘High-Density Hydro’ pumped energy storage system. The system uses a mineral-rich fluid which is more than two and half times denser than water to create electricity from gentle slopes, without requiring steep dam walls or high mountains like traditional hydropower. The project will use surplus electricity to pump the fluid uphill, then later when electricity is needed by the grid, the fluid will be released back down the hill through turbines to generate electricity.

    EDF UK R&D will receive £7.73m to develop a hydrogen storage demonstrator utilising depleted uranium.

The last one is called HyDUS, includes the University of Bristol with EDF and Urenco, and they say:
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This will be a world first technology demonstrator which is a beautiful and exciting translation of a well proven fusion-fuel hydrogen isotope storage technology that the UK Atomic Energy Authority has used for several decades at a small scale. The hydride compounds that we’re using can chemically store hydrogen at ambient pressure and temperature but remarkably they do this at twice the density of liquid hydrogen. The material can also quickly give-up the stored hydrogen simply by heating it, which makes it a wonderfully reversible hydrogen storage technology.

And the fourth one - that's heavy water, isn't it?


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TonyK
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« Reply #177 on: November 28, 2022, 10:11:07 pm »


And the fourth one - that's heavy water, isn't it?


Not quite - heavy water is deuterium oxide, in other words water formed of an isotope of hydrogen with a neutron in the middle, as well as the usual proton. In other respects, it is water, but about 10% heavier by volume than the normal stuff that drops out of holes in the sky. The stuff in this new gizmo is said to be two and a half times as dense as water. The idea seems to be similar to pumped storage such as Dinorwig in what used to be called Snowdonia, but with a denser fluid, either less will be needed or a shorter drop in height to achieve the same effect. The image that springs to mind is a half-size replica of a hollow Welsh mountain, with a tarn filled with Golden Syrup on top.
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stuving
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« Reply #178 on: November 28, 2022, 10:14:52 pm »

The image that springs to mind is a half-size replica of a hollow Welsh mountain, with a tarn filled with Golden Syrup on top.

Watch out for one of those near Plymouth, then.
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« Reply #179 on: November 29, 2022, 12:29:34 am »

...

The most eye-catching one is the last one, though you'd not know that from the BEIS announcement - which leaves out a lot of interesting details.
...
The last one is called HyDUS, includes the University of Bristol with EDF and Urenco, and they say:
Quote
This will be a world first technology demonstrator which is a beautiful and exciting translation of a well proven fusion-fuel hydrogen isotope storage technology that the UK (United Kingdom) Atomic Energy Authority has used for several decades at a small scale. The hydride compounds that we’re using can chemically store hydrogen at ambient pressure and temperature but remarkably they do this at twice the density of liquid hydrogen. The material can also quickly give-up the stored hydrogen simply by heating it, which makes it a wonderfully reversible hydrogen storage technology.

I suppose it would be beautiful and exciting to someone who is wondering what to do with a stockpile of depleted uranium. As the method seems to involve storing the hydrogen as uranium hydride, UH3, I its storage density would be good volumetrically, but not by mass (storing a tonne of hydrogen would take 79 tonnes of uranium). That suggests static storage uses only.



Format corrected by TonyK, all words remain the same
« Last Edit: November 29, 2022, 01:53:14 pm by TonyK » Logged
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