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Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

44 Replies

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Feb 7, 2020 10:07 am

A good move, indeed! And Italy is not an outsider to this epochal change!
https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/50m-fund-for-uk-s-first-all-electric-bus-town
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51391764
https://www.sustainable-bus.com/electric-bus/alfabus-europe-delivers-its-very-first-buses-battery-electric-in-italy/
https://www.sustainable-bus.com/news/city-sightseeing-italy-presented-its-first-electric-bus-target-sustainable-tourism/

 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Roger Bryant on Feb 7, 2020 12:28 pm

Biogas powered buses using methane from waste food may be a better option:

New vehicle deliveries to First Bristol will see the second metrobus route converted to biogas operation, whilst some other services in the city will also benefit from new biogas-fuelled buses early next year

https://cbwmagazine.com/first-west-of-england-invests-in-77-new-gas-buses-for-bristol/

First Bristol and Reading Buses both chose them over battery electric buses which don't seem to be making it yet:

Attempts To Use Electric Buses In Germany Flop…”Many Disadvantages”, “Short Service Life”, “No Real Progress”

https://notrickszone.com/2019/12/17/attempts-to-use-electric-buses-in-germany-flop-many-disadvantages-short-service-life-no-real-progress/

Best regards

Roger

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Simon Barker on Feb 7, 2020 9:41 pm

I guess that's what happens when you buy cheap Chinese buses.  150km range is miserable, and they probably wore the batteries out running them flat over and over again.

They need to spend more money, buy something that doesn't keep breaking down, and with big enough batteries to last a day.  For comparison, Tesla's semi truck is designed to have a range of 480 to 800km when towing a full trailer.

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Feb 8, 2020 7:17 am

At First:
https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2017/Mar/IRENA_Biogas_for_Road_Vehicles_2017.pdf
https://euinmyregion.blogactiv.eu/2016/07/04/biogas-buses-are-the-green-solution-for-cities/
https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/the-future-of-biogas-in-europe-its-a-local-affair
And so in Italy:
https://www.sustainable-bus.com/electric-bus/3-7-billion-allocation-for-electric-gas-fuelled-buses-italy/
https://www.gas-for-energy.com/fileadmin/G4E/pdf_Datein/g4e_2_18/02_fb_Maggione.pdf
https://eng.gruppohera.it/group/business_activities/business_environment/from_waste_to_biomethane/

 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Roger Bryant on Feb 8, 2020 7:38 am

Simon Barker:
I guess that's what happens when you buy cheap Chinese buses.  150km range is miserable, and they probably wore the batteries out running them flat over and over again.

They need to spend more money, buy something that doesn't keep breaking down, and with big enough batteries to last a day.  For comparison, Tesla's semi truck is designed to have a range of 480 to 800km when towing a full trailer.

 
Where does the money come from? Like most 'Greens' you seem to think that there are infinite resources available to support your chosen solutions.

Best regards

Roger
 

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Feb 8, 2020 8:47 am

Record of renewable energy in Europe as coal sinks and renewable sources in Italy, almost 40% of electricity is green.

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&langpair=auto%7Cen&rurl=translate.google.com&sp=nmt4&u=http://www.rinnovabili.it/energia/varie-energia/energie-rinnovabili-in-europa-percentuali/&xid=25657,15700022,15700186,15700190,15700259,15700271,15700302&usg=ALkJrhjrHtSmuLggqIL-LYimGZBVa47h1w

https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&langpair=auto%7Cen&rurl=translate.google.com&sp=nmt4&u=http://www.rinnovabili.it/energia/fotovoltaico/fonti-rinnovabili-in-italia-2018/&xid=25657,15700022,15700186,15700190,15700259,15700271,15700302&usg=ALkJrhhaEOtzC4lURrvoPX5lhgWSGgCxjA



 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Denis McMahon on Feb 8, 2020 9:22 am

Closer to home - Didcot A power station. Mostly gone, apart from that huge chimney. I drive up that way along the A34 a few times each year. Each time I think to myself, "That chimney is still there." Most of the rest was demolished a while ago.

Well I saw the chimney for the last time last month. On Sunday Feb 9 it is to be demolished.

https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2020-02-07/last-chimney-at-didcot-a-power-station-to-be-demolished/
Denis McMahon "There is always a better way."

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Feb 8, 2020 9:57 am

Luciano Bacco:

Ironbridge towers demolished: As it happened

https://www.bbc.com/news/live/uk-england-shropshire-50671593
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/06/uk/power-plant-demolition-intl-scli-gbr/index.html


The competent UK Professional Demolition Engineering Body in UK
https://ide.org.uk/

More:

https://www.khl.com/demolition-and-recycling-international/explosive-design-underway-at-ironbridge/142264.article?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Demolition+%26+Recycling+International+-+6th+February+2020&utm_term=D%26RI
 
           
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Feb 8, 2020 12:34 pm

The 2020 IMechE Report on Accelerating Road Transport: Decarbonisation. A complementary approach using sustainable and low carbon fuels.

Download report

https://www.imeche.org/policy-and-press/reports/detail/accelerating-road-transport-decarbonisation
 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Denis McMahon on Feb 8, 2020 12:40 pm

Thanks, Luciano, for the link to the IDE; the professional body behind these demolitions should not go unnoticed.

What I find irritating is sensational news bulletins coming out with trite phrases like: "The product of years of construction work razed in seconds". These demolitions require many months of planning. Then the explosives need to be installed and "wired-up" under, I imagine, very strict regulations of safety and access. A date needs to be arranged with the police and road closures planned. Once the structure is down, that is where the hard work really begins - clear up the mess.

Overall, probably less time than to originally construct, but still not an inconsiderable amount of time and work.
Denis McMahon "There is always a better way."

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Simon Barker on Feb 8, 2020 12:46 pm

Roger Bryant:

Simon Barker:
I guess that's what happens when you buy cheap Chinese buses.  150km range is miserable, and they probably wore the batteries out running them flat over and over again.

They need to spend more money, buy something that doesn't keep breaking down, and with big enough batteries to last a day.  For comparison, Tesla's semi truck is designed to have a range of 480 to 800km when towing a full trailer.

 
Where does the money come from? Like most 'Greens' you seem to think that there are infinite resources available to support your chosen solutions.

Best regards

Roger
 

 

Electric vehicles cost a lot more up-front, but then cost rather less to run.  Diesel is expensive, and if you get properly tried and tested vehicles, the maintenance costs will be lower.

But ultimately, pretending that there isn't a problem doesn't make it go away.  If there is a hole in your roof, you can't pretend it's not there, even if it will be expensive to get a roofer in to fix it.  And sticking buckets down will only work for so long before your ceilings start to collapse.

If even a Conservative government under Boris Johnson thinks there is a problem, then it's safe to assume it's not just some conspiracy theory dreamt up by a number of left-wing greenies.

And it's not the greens who pretend that the World has infinite resources.
 

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Feb 8, 2020 12:57 pm

Denis McMahon:
Thanks, Luciano, for the link to the IDE; the professional body behind these demolitions should not go unnoticed.

What I find irritating is sensational news bulletins coming out with trite phrases like: "The product of years of construction work razed in seconds". These demolitions require many months of planning. Then the explosives need to be installed and "wired-up" under, I imagine, very strict regulations of safety and access. A date needs to be arranged with the police and road closures planned. Once the structure is down, that is where the hard work really begins - clear up the mess.

Overall, probably less time than to originally construct, but still not an inconsiderable amount of time and work.

A similar position is also held by this sort of Engineers:
https://iexpe.org/the-institute-its-role/

 

 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Roger Bryant on Feb 10, 2020 11:05 am

Simon Barker:

Electric vehicles cost a lot more up-front, but then cost rather less to run.  Diesel is expensive, and if you get properly tried and tested vehicles, the maintenance costs will be lower.

But ultimately, pretending that there isn't a problem doesn't make it go away.  If there is a hole in your roof, you can't pretend it's not there, even if it will be expensive to get a roofer in to fix it.  And sticking buckets down will only work for so long before your ceilings start to collapse.

If even a Conservative government under Boris Johnson thinks there is a problem, then it's safe to assume it's not just some conspiracy theory dreamt up by a number of left-wing greenies.

And it's not the greens who pretend that the World has infinite resources.
 

 

 
Lets look at the decision making process here:

I manage a bus company that delivers a transport service with a price and reliability that tempts people out of their private cars and into my buses reducing traffic congestion. I decide I want to reduce my impact on the planet what do I have to consider?

If I increase the prices or reduce the reliability more people will use private cars which defeats the object.

What technologies are available to me?

Trolley buses: Where does the electricity come from? If it is from burning fossil fuels I should probably stick with diesel buses. If it is from renewable sources how do I guarantee the supply? If it is not reliable people won't use my buses. There is a large investment required in infrastructure (poles, wires, switch gear etc). There will be objections to the installation of this infrastructure. They are inflexible (temporary route changes are difficult and expensive) so will require a back up fleet that does not require overhead wires. This solution may be valid on routes with a high traffic density.

Battery buses: Where does the electricity come from? If it is from burning fossil fuels I should probably stick with diesel buses. Straight solar is no use as I need to charge the batteries at night. I could use a second set of batteries that are charged during the day but that increases the costs and requires additional infrastructure for battery exchange and storage. Is wind reliable enough for my service? What is the real world range of the buses on my routes with hills etc. How much is the range reduced by the 'hotel' load (heating, aircon, etc). What is the real battery life? 1000 cycles is less than 3 years of daily operation. How much more expensive are battery buses than diesel buses?

Bio gas buses: Where do I source the gas? If it is from the composting of local waste products that sounds good. How much is available, so how much of my fleet can I convert? How much more expensive are gas engined buses than diesel buses? Will the engines run on fossil sourced gas in an emergency or do I need back up diesel buses?

If you were managing a bus company that has to make a profit to survive and supply a service to tempt people to use it rather than the alternatives how would your thinking go? Would you demand government (taxpayer's) subsidies? Would you, like the Germans, choose to use expensive electricity that frequently comes from dirty fossil fuel sources (brown coal) to support your virtue signaling?

Best regards

Roger
 

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by mapj1 on Feb 10, 2020 6:02 pm

Where does the electricity come from? If it is from burning fossil fuels I should probably stick with diesel buses

Not so simple. Firstly I may be trying to clean the air in the city, but less worried about the pollution from the power station.
Secondly, a diesel bus will not allow regenerative braking, and the engine runs even when you are stopped at the bus stop or in traffic (at least in older buses).
Consider this  very modern 7900 electric volvo bus
an 8 hour day of perhaps 150-200km on a full  charge.
or this
diesel figures, same manufacturer    this sort of  thing, perhaps 30 litres per 100km.

Looks like a winner - 30 litres for one hour only is 140kVA genset (  ish  -   link)
And electricity generation is a touch more efficient that a diesel genset in a proper power station.
And a lot better if like the UK we have some nuclear and some wind generation to throw in the mix.


So how far can we go on a 140 kVA battery?

usual caveats
so more like 100 to 200km in reality then.
Not clear that the electric option is worse, it may be better, even just as it is.
I'd be the first to agree there have been some noticable cock ups  on early systems 

example the Albuquerque Rapid Transit   but I suggest that shows the technology is immature, not impossible
(battery temperature control was a large part of the failure of that pilot, and the longer range per day required compared to a typical
European city bus route.)

 

regards Mike

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Luciano Bacco on Feb 10, 2020 8:50 pm

Could this new British single-seater pod 'transform future mobility'?

https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/could-this-new-british-single-seater-pod-'transform-future-mobility

 
LUCIANO BACCO

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Simon Barker on Feb 10, 2020 11:20 pm

Luciano Bacco:

Could this new British single-seater pod 'transform future mobility'?

https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/could-this-new-british-single-seater-pod-'transform-future-mobility

 

 

So somebody has just produced a brand new vehicle that's just like a Renault Twizy, except with one less seat.  The Twizy was first launched in 2012, and you can buy one from your local Renault dealer now.
 

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Simon Barker on Feb 10, 2020 11:53 pm

Roger Bryant:

If you were managing a bus company that has to make a profit to survive and supply a service to tempt people to use it rather than the alternatives how would your thinking go? Would you demand government (taxpayer's) subsidies? Would you, like the Germans, choose to use expensive electricity that frequently comes from dirty fossil fuel sources (brown coal) to support your virtue signaling?
 
To be honest, if I were running a commercial bus company now, I would still be buying diesel buses.  But it's a fast changing market, so things may be different in 5 year's time, and will certainly be different in 15 years' time.  There will be a point, not too far in the future, when it stops being virtue signalling and starts being abandoning an obsolete technology.

If I were running a public transport system for a city, I might try buying (or leasing) a few electric buses to see how well they work.  My priorities would be different to someone running a commercial outfit.  City centre pollution would be my problem, not somebody else's.

When I was in Nottingham a couple of weeks back, I was very impressed with their electric trams, and how well they went up quite steep hills, in a way that normal trains don't.

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Roger Bryant on Feb 11, 2020 8:23 am

Simon Barker:

 

Luciano Bacco:

Could this new British single-seater pod 'transform future mobility'?

https://www.imeche.org/news/news-article/could-this-new-british-single-seater-pod-'transform-future-mobility

 

 

So somebody has just produced a brand new vehicle that's just like a Renault Twizy, except with one less seat.  The Twizy was first launched in 2012, and you can buy one from your local Renault dealer now.
 

 

 
I had a play in a Twizzy at our 'Environment' Arena (this was actual at the IET Switzerland AGM).
https://www.umweltarena.ch/besuchen/testfahrten
My wife was initially skeptical about the space in the back but found it ok. I also had a go on a Segway, hard to start and stop but okay when going along, and one of the electric delivery trikes that the Swiss Post uses. This had regenerative braking in the first part of the twist grip movement which combined with the instability of a three wheeler under braking caused a couple of anxious moments.

Best regards

Roger

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Roger Bryant on Feb 11, 2020 11:42 am

mapj1:

 

Where does the electricity come from? If it is from burning fossil fuels I should probably stick with diesel buses

Not so simple. Firstly I may be trying to clean the air in the city, but less worried about the pollution from the power station.
Secondly, a diesel bus will not allow regenerative braking, and the engine runs even when you are stopped at the bus stop or in traffic (at least in older buses).
Consider this  very modern 7900 electric volvo bus
an 8 hour day of perhaps 150-200km on a full  charge.
or this
diesel figures, same manufacturer    this sort of  thing, perhaps 30 litres per 100km.

Looks like a winner - 30 litres for one hour only is 140kVA genset (  ish  -   link)
And electricity generation is a touch more efficient that a diesel genset in a proper power station.
And a lot better if like the UK we have some nuclear and some wind generation to throw in the mix.


So how far can we go on a 140 kVA battery?

usual caveats
so more like 100 to 200km in reality then.
Not clear that the electric option is worse, it may be better, even just as it is.
I'd be the first to agree there have been some noticable cock ups  on early systems 

example the Albuquerque Rapid Transit   but I suggest that shows the technology is immature, not impossible
(battery temperature control was a large part of the failure of that pilot, and the longer range per day required compared to a typical
European city bus route.)

 

 

 
Some interesting information  😀  If air quality is part of the requirement than gas is also a fairly good option. The exhaust is probably subjectively cleaner than a Euro 6 diesel. Gas powered fork lift trucks have been used in factories for years. If your electricity is generated at Aberthaw you probably get the 'benefit' of it's pollution in Bristol if the wind is in the right (wrong) direction.

The range/energy consumption figures are interesting but as you say the usual caveats apply. Some semi random thoughts:

Volvo 7900 bus- I guess the 19kWh battery is a typo although as they are offering roof mounted charging rails (OppCharge) maybe not. From the other information it may be 190kWh but the voltage and hence the energy storage are not given. It could be anywhere between 400 and 750V.

It offers 'Ramp heating' so you can pre heat the bus in cold weather from a fixed supply to reduce the demand on the battery. 'Hotel' load is not so much of a problem in the UK but in other lands where you have to maintain the saloon at a reasonable temperature when the outside temp can be between -20°C and 40°C is a significant load. The battery temperature will also have to be controlled. My Smart would never really warm up at town speeds in sub zero temps. The diesel version had an additional electric heater powered by the alternator as the engine delivered even less waste heat. My present diesel Touran has an additional Webasto heater to deal with the problem of a fairly large cabin and a lack of waste heat from the engine.

The consumption figures for the diesel powered buses appear to be real world, including idling time and heating and aircon loads. It is not completely clear if the figures are just for longer distance coaches or city buses? 30L of diesel will run your bus for 100km or generate 140 kWh at 400V 3 phase in a genset. Will an electric bus cover an equivalent 100km of service on 140 kWh (assuming a 400V battery)? If they are using OppCharge ( https://www.oppcharge.org/  ) The real range per charge may be much less. The data from Volvo suggests a working range up to 200km. This is probably with the largest 250kWh battery and minimal heating and aircon loading. Are they also allowing for OppCharge? Guesstrapolating suggests that in the real world it will be possible but with a lot of caveats.

As I have said before I live in an ideal public transport part of the world. The electric trains, trams and trolley buses are powered by hydroelectricity with a bit of nuclear in the background. We live over a shopping complex so we can just push the trolley from the cash desk to the lift and then into the kitchen. The railway station is 5 minutes walk with a very regular service to Zürich. The car is rarely used, generally when supporting our daughter and grandchildren, and may well be got rid of in the near to middle future.

Best regards

Roger
 

Re: Goodbye Old King Coal Generation.

Posted by Roger Bryant on Feb 17, 2020 3:42 pm

A couple of interesting pieces from E&T.

The first on the problems of using EVs in cold weather:

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2020/02/how-to-stop-cold-weather-decimating-the-range-of-your-electric-vehicle/

Both pre-conditioning and smart charging assume that you have your own dedicated charging point.

The second is on recycling EV batteries:

"That high level of risk continues into the decommissioning phase, but is reduced as the packs are broken down to a modular level where voltages are much lower; it’s a safer prospect to work with 20 30V modules than a single 600V battery.

However, the reverse logistics of breaking down an electric battery are complex. At present it involves a specially trained technician wearing specific arc-flash-proof protective clothing and using insulated tooling. Risk assessment and method statements make the process as safe as it can be, but even with such protocols the danger of fire and electrocution is very real. Away from these obvious hazards, the handling of a battery that can weigh more than 600kg mass is awkward and sometimes easier said than done, especially when it is heavily damaged with componentry fusing together after a heat event."

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2020/02/recycling-industry-is-on-course-to-prove-pessimism-of-ev-waste-warnings/

Best regards

Roger

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