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UK EV motorists use 13,000kWh a day

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 15:15 -- Laura Varriale
UK EV motorists use 13,000kWh a day

UK electric vehicle (EV) motorists used around 9.5m kWh of electricity as they plugged into public and commercial charging points an average of 1,370 times a day in just two years.

Since September 2012 EV motorists have used the many charging points dotted across the country 1,000,000 times, according to figures released by charge provider Chargemaster.

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Valence secures lithium battery order for UK electric buses

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 12:07 -- Laura Varriale
Optare electric buses

UK-based bus manufacturer Optare has selected US battery maker Valence Technology’s (Valence) lithium batteries for the integration in electric buses.

Optare will install the lithium iron phosphate battery units in 45 buses for bus services in Nottingham, UK. The U-Charge battery series comes in standard Battery Council International sizes.

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UK Power Networks assigns SmartestEnergy for Leighton Buzzard project

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 16:49 -- Laura Varriale
Smarter Network Storage

UK Power Networks (UKPN) has contracted independent supplier SmartestEnergy for its energy storage project in Leighton Buzzard, UK.

SmartestEnergy will take over commercial control of the Smarter Network Storage (SNS) project and explore shared services with UKPN.

“Working with UK Power Networks will give us invaluable experience in the operation of storage technology, which will be key to managing intermittency as renewable generation increasingly contributes to meeting UK energy demand in the future,” said Robert Groves, Chief Executive Officer at SmartestEnergy.

The project near London will provide frequency regulation as well as load shifting using a 6MW lithium-ion battery to regulate the electricity distribution network.

UKPN also awarded demand response management firm Kiwi Power to manage the interface with National Grid to provide ancillary services that help support the stability of the electricity system nationwide.

“Although not as tangible as the storage facility itself, the development of these commercial arrangements represent a really important development for the project and will help provide a model for the future operation of storage,” said Nick Heyward, UKPN project director for SNS.

The SNS project was awarded funding of £13.2m from the Low Carbon Networks Fund. A two-year-trial is set to start by the end of this year.


GKN and bus manufacturer ADL partner for flywheels

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 10:15 -- Laura Varriale
ADL bus

Energy storage company GKN Hybrid Power (GKN) and bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) are to collaborate on the integration of flywheels in hybrid buses.

Initially, ADL will fit 250 flywheels from GKN in the company’s hybrid bus fleet. The partnership of the two UK-based firms is also aimed to enter international markets together.

The Gyrodrive electric flywheel hybrid system uses a magnetically loaded high-speed carbon-fibre flywheel to store the energy generated by a bus as it slows down to stop and then uses the stored energy to power a GKN EVO electric motor.

The Gyrodrive system is designed to last for the life of the bus eliminating the need for battery changes while offering lower whole-life costs than other hybrid alternatives, according to GKN.

ADL will introduce the low emission technology to bus fleets in London and Oxford, but anticipates rapid deployment across the UK in the next few years.

“This alliance with GKN introduces a new dynamic to the market place, courtesy of a lower cost solution that provides significant fuel and greenhouse gas reductions, coupled with reliability and durability,” said Colin Robertson, CEO of ADL.

Earlier this year, GKN aquired Williams Hybrid Power from Williams Grand Prix Engineering and formed GKN Hybrid Power.


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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