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BEEA selects CPT’s 48V LC Super Hybrid technology as ‘Green Product of the Year’

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:36 -- Laura Varriale
48V LC Super Hybrid

Controlled Power Technologies’ (CPT) low voltage hybrid technology has won the ‘Green Product of the Year’ award at the British Engineering Excellence Awards.

The 48V LC Super Hybrid solution is designed to reduce CO2 emissions and can be fitted in various vehicles. The product features a lead-carbon battery and combines electric supercharger as well as motor-generator applications of CPT’s switched-reluctance motor technology.

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Wrightbus integrates Torotrak Flybrid flywheel system in bus prototype

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 12:46 -- Laura Varriale
Flybrid flywheel system

UK transport company Wrightbus has installed Lancashire-based Torotrak’s Flybrid flywheel kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) in a bus prototype.

KERS captures and stores energy that is otherwise lost during vehicle deceleration events. When the vehicle slows down, kinetic energy is recovered and stored by accelerating a flywheel. By gathering speed, energy is released from the flywheel back into the driveline.

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Residential fuel cell CHP units could “revolutionise” UK energy market – report

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:39 -- Laura Varriale
fuel cell powered CHP units

Fuel cell-powered combined heat and power (CHP) units could be profitable for 90% of UK households, according to a report by Ecuity Consulting LLP.

The report, developed on behalf of UK fuel cell developers, highlights that the installation of more than 5.3m fuel cell CHP units by 2030, allowing power consumers to generate heat and electricity themselves, would reduce energy bills by 21%. The fuel cell powered homes would produce 5GW of flexible energy capacity, which is equal to 14 gas fired power stations, according to the report.

“By de-centralising power generation and producing it in your home instead of centralised power stations, our technology empowers the consumer to produce clean, affordable, efficient and controllable energy where it is needed in the home, at twice the efficiency of centralised power stations,” said Mark Bugler technical director, at IE-CHP.

Fuel cells can be run on natural gas as well as zero carbon alternatives such as biomethane and hydrogen. Therefore it reduces CO2 emissions, the report says. The study bases its assumptions on the installation of fuel cell units in other countries, such as Japan and Germany.

The report “Fuel cells the smart power revolution” can be found here: http://www.ecuity.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/FUEL-CELLS-THE-SMART-PO...


Network Rail starts on-track trials of battery-powered train

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:18 -- Laura Varriale
Battery-powered train

British Network Rail has begun to test a battery-powered train in a series of on-track trials at Bombardier’s Transportation plant in Derby, UK.

Bombardier installed six battery "rafts" comprising lithium iron magnesium phosphate battery packs at a Greater Anglia four-car class 379 train.

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Warwick University to host £1 billion APC hub

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:19 -- Laura Varriale
WMG International Digital Laboratory

British Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has selected the University of Warwick, UK, as hub location for research and development of low carbon propulsion systems.

The £1 billion research centre will be located on campus at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), a division of the University focused on low carbon mobility, including energy storage and battery testing. APC is to invest up to £200m in projects this year.

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Faradion hires Axeon CEO

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 14:17 -- Laura Varriale
Faradion battery

UK-based sodium-ion (Na-ion) and lithium-ion battery material company Faradion has appointed former Axeon CEO Lawrence Berns as CEO.

Lawrence replaces Chris Wright who is now Faradion’s chairman.

Wright was responsible for sales, product development and marketing at multiple international sites at Scottish lithium-ion battery company Axeon.

Wright said that Lawrence will enable the company to continue developing and building on its progress due to his experience in the industry.

Faradion was founded in 2010 aiming to develop low-cost Na-ion battery technology that reduces the cost of energy storage of renewable energy, stationary storage and transportation. The company claims that Na-ion materials have lower material costs than lithium-ion.

According to Faradion, Na-ion batteries are a direct replacement for lithium-ion batteries, allowing lithium-ion battery makers to use existing equipment to produce batteries using next-gen Na-ion materials. The company’s Na-ion cells are designed to have energy densities similar to those of conventional lithium-ion cells.

The company has filed 10 patent families covering applications, materials and material synthesis.

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CLNR installs li-ion batteries for smart grid project across North England

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 10:41 -- Laura Varriale
CLNR energy storage

Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) has deployed six energy storage devices across live electricity networks in North East England and Yorkshire.

The lithium-ion batteries, manufactured by A123 Systems, have capacities of 5MWh, 200kWh and 100kWh. The energy storage systems are integrated with other network technologies such as voltage control, real time thermal rating and customer solutions of demand response.

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Lower cost fuel cells from ACAL reduce platinum use

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 11:04 -- Ruth Williams
Reducing the platinum used in a fuel cell hugely reduces the cost

UK-based fuel cell developer ACAL Energy is close to completing a £15m ($25m) funding round to commercialise its low-platinum fuel cell for automotive and stationary use.

When closed, the funding round will enable ACAL to bring the redox liquid-based catalyst system to production-level ready for licencing to automotive OEMs. ACAL has a number of OEMs interested in the product because of the lower costs and longer lifetime than competitors.

Brendan Bilton, ACAL’s chief commercial officer, said: “Automotive companies want fuel cells to cost $40kW but none of the normal fuel cells can achieve this. We could get to 20% lower than that.”

Major automotive companies that have announced fuel cell electric vehicle designs require a lifecycle of more than 5,000 hours with less than 10% degradation to match an ICE vehicle. The catalyst of ACAL’s fuel cell is based on polyoxometalates rather than platinum which allows it to run for 10,000 hours with no degradation. The platinum is the point of degradation in regular fuel cells so removing 80% of it makes ACAL's cells more durable.

Bilton said the technology will be licenced to OEMs who could potentially have them in cars four years after licencing: “Many companies are looking at having first generation fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2020. We are aiming for second generation,” he explained.

The fuel cells have the potential to be used as a source of power generation as well as for automotive use, which could turn a person’s car into their generator also. This idea is attracting interest in regions that suffer frequent power outages such as Japan.

The commercialisation funding round is being finalised to allow the licensing of the technology in the next two months.

British power utility trials energy storage

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:47 -- Ruth Williams
The largest of the batteries being installed in Darlington, Yorkshire

Northern Powergrid in the UK has installed six energy storage devices into its live electricity network as part of a trial to balance the supply and demand of electricity with batteries.

The trial includes installation of the largest capacity battery in operation in Europe at 5MWh; it is a nanophosphate lithium-ion battery supplied by A123 Energy Solutions. Two 200kWh and three 100kWh capacity batteries are also in use in both urban and rural locations across the northeast of England.

The storage devices are sited at different points on the network to get a better understanding of how the batteries work in both urban and rural settings with a range of construction types and varying customer needs.

Northern Powergrid will be monitoring all six of the batteries and the networks they are on through an active network management control system that allows the company to view in real time when and where to utilise the stored energy.

The data gathered from this trial will show how feasible the model is to use across the UK. It is part funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund.

Honeywell and Stor implement ADR initiative for UK

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 12:29 -- Ruth Williams

Honeywell, a developer of energy efficiency promoting technology, is working with power management company Stor Generation on a novel smart grid programme in the UK. The initiative will utilise excess energy from industrial or commercial facilities— which have opted into the scheme— for grid stabilisation.

It will work by Stor Generation paying the industrial and commercial users to reduce their power consumption at peak times. Honeywell will supply automated demand response (ADR) devices to these companies that will allow short-term reductions in power consumption such as changes to lighting and heating of the buildings.

Stor will alert the participating facilities when they should reduce energy usage and that power can then be supplied to the National Grid under its short term operating reserve (STOR) initiative.

"The technology required to avoid a megawatt of consumption costs a fraction of that needed to pump out an additional megawatt," said Jeremy Eaton, vice president of Honeywell Smart Grid Solutions. "From a cost-benefit standpoint, ADR is the most prudent option for reducing energy use and is the most clean, sustainable path to energy reliability."

This will be the first time ADR will be used to compensate the National Grid and the first example of ADR being used in place of back-up generators to lower the strain on the electricity grid.

The benefit to the participating companies is a revenue stream from existing buildings, which will have minimal impact on the running of the business. Site load flexibility can highlight usage and reduce energy costs.


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