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impression of the proposed NORLED zero carbon hydrogen powered
MARITIME EXECUTIVE 13 MAY 2019
The European innovation project FLAGSHIPS has been awarded five million Euros ($5.6 million) to support the deployment of two commercially operated zero-emission hydrogen
fuel cell vessels.
The FLAGSHIPS project is participating in the construction of the vessels, one for Lyon, France, and one for Stavanger, Norway. In Lyon, a hydrogen push-boat operated by Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT) will serve as a utility vessel on one of its most demanding
rivers, the Rhône.
In Stavanger, a passenger and car ferry will be operated by Norled as part of the local public transport network. The project aims to replace biodiesel with hydrogen on a ferry to be built for the Finnøy route, north east of Stavanger. The route serves several islands with short and several stops, which makes it difficult to realize the effective shore charging required for battery-powered vessels.
Both vessels will run on hydrogen produced from renewable
energy, creating a basis for further local zero-emission transport deployment. Key advantages of hydrogen are lower
CO2 and pollutant emissions and reduced noise.
The funds awarded to the FLAGSHIPS project have been granted from E.U.’s Research and Innovation program Horizon 2020 under the
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. Significant additional investment to build the ships is also being made by the shipowners CFT and Norled as well as the FLAGSHIPS consortium partners.
The FLAGSHIPS consortium includes nine European partners including the maritime equipment manufacturer ABB and design company LMG Marin. Fuel cell technology will be provided by Ballard
Europe and vessel energy monitoring and management by PersEE. Management, dissemination activities and maritime hydrogen safety expertise are provided by VTT and industry cluster NCE Maritime CleanTech. Westcon Power & Automation is expected to officially join the consortium soon.
The project started on January 1, 2019 and the hydrogen ships are expected to start operation during 2021.
“Both the E.U. and the shipping industry see hydrogen as a key contributor in the work to mitigate climate change,” says Project Manager Antti Pohjoranta from the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland.
“The FLAGSHIPS project sets out to raise the readiness of hydrogen-powered waterborne transport to a new level globally.”
Norled has taken a leading role in the development of zero emission ferries, and the company intends to apply the hydrogen technology being developed in several other ongoing hydrogen-related projects, such as building the world’s first ship powered by liquid hydrogen for the Hjelmeland connection in Western Norway. The hydrogen ferry will be adapted to universal design with wide and threshold-free access roads without the use of a lift. In addition, the ship design has taken into account that the ferry gets clean lanes for easy logistics of vehicles, large public areas for passengers with large windows that will provide a lot of natural light in the lounge, and a well-visible
“The location of the hydrogen installation on the roof is not random. We have considered various technical solutions but have come to the conclusion that placing the hydrogen tank high up was the best alternative, both for safety and practical reasons,” Norled’s technical director Sigvald Breivik says. The vessel will be bunkered with just over three tons of liquid hydrogen every three weeks, and Norled is working with Norwegian maritime authorities and
DNV GL on the handling of the liquid hydrogen.
The hydrogen ferry will connect the national road 13 between Hjelmeland - Skipavik - Nesvik in Rogaland from 2021. It will be able to carry up to 299 passengers and 80 cars and will be adapted to universal design with wide and threshold-free access roads without the use of a lift. In addition, the ship design has taken into account that the ferry gets clean lanes for easy logistics of vehicles, large public areas for passengers with large windows that will provide a lot of natural light in the lounge and a well-visible hydrogen installation.
THE SF BREEZE
is a design for San Francisco Bay. It is estimated this
passenger ferry will consume an estimated 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) of hydrogen per day, and will be supported by a station that can dispense 1,500 kilograms (3,306 pounds) per day.
That will make this station about twice the size of the current largest hydrogen fueling station in the world, officials say. It will also be the first of its kind to support both land and marine use.
Program backers hope the economy of scale from dispensing such large amounts of hydrogen will lower overall prices on the local market, too.
& WIND POWERED FERRY - The
Cross Channel Challenger
(CCC) is a project currently on the drawing board looking for backing to develop a coastal cruiser that is zero
carbon just like the hydrogen projects, but where the
vessel converts energy from nature onboard for
propulsion without risk of hydrogen leaks or fires.
is a toe-in-the-water project using budget off the shelf
equipment to keep the costs down. Hence, the theoretical performance is lower than might be
achieved but higher than the current benchmark. It is a useful stepping stone to medium range ferries and
eventually bigger ships with longer ranges. Solar
combined with wind power could be the winning
combination. Comparing the two technologies will be
interesting. For sure, the solar powered ferries will be safer
and wind powered vessels do not need big hydrogen tanks next
to docks for
ships to fill up from. They do not need trucks to deliver the
hydrogen from the conversion plants and last but not least,
hydrogen is potentially dangerous, as the Zeppelin 'Hindenburg'
demonstrated in 1937 when a spark ignited the fated airship,
destroying it in minutes.
CONVERSION, CONVERSION - It is the number of additional
stages of splitting water using electricity, storing as a gas
and then recombining it to extract the electricity that was
put in at the beginning at a huge net energy loss. Elon Musk
has a point don't you think?
Hydrogen is recognised as a fuel with the potential to deliver 100% zero-carbon operation
in marine transport, but the systems proposed so far are
expensive and complicated, where the first rule of engineering
is to Keep It Simple Stupid: KISS.
allure of the hydrogen economy is plain, splitting ordinary water
using electrolysis to obtain oxygen
gas is like a schoolboy chemist dream come true, especially if we can generate
what appears to be free electricity
using solar cells
and wind turbines to split the water. Then the hydrogen is
is a cost, including the cost of manufacturing the solar
panels or wind
turbines and the transmission line installation and
maintenance. The inefficiencies in the conversion and handling
chain make hydrogen expensive to produce and so potentially
un-competitive - as compared to using the electricity needed
to convert water, directly.
addition, hydrogen is dangerous unless stored very carefully.
Space rockets powered by hydrogen and oxygen sometimes
explode, with the Hindenburg zeppelin explosion being signs of
things to come in a world fraught with human error. We'd be
courting disaster. If something can happen, it will happen.
Passengers would be traveling in potential time bombs.
INDEX OF H2 POWERED FUEL CELL SHIPS
FERRY OPERATORS & ISLAND SERVICES
P&O Ferries -
SEA - ARCTIC
OCEAN - ATLANTIC
OCEAN - BALTIC
SEA - BAY
OF BENGAL - BERING
SEA - CARIBBEAN
SEA - EAST
CHINA SEA - ENGLISH
CHANNEL - GULF
OF GUINEA - GULF
OF MEXICO - INDIAN
OCEAN - IRISH SEA
SEA - NORTH
SEA - PACIFIC
OCEAN - PERSIAN
GULF - SEA
OF JAPAN - SOUTH
CHINA SEA - SOUTHERN
PUBLISHED - Point and Sandwick Trust, in collaboration with a number of industry partners (Wood, Siemens-Gamesa, Engie, ITM, CMAL, Johnston Carmichael and Ferguson Marine), have published a feasibility study to assess the suitability of using hydrogen produced from local wind farms to power future ferry services operating in the Western Isles and West Coast of Scotland.
The study was part-funded by the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme. Read the full report here.
The project looked at the practical and economic feasibility of using new island wind farms to produce zero-carbon “green” hydrogen fuel for future types of clean emission ferries operating on the established Caledonian MacBrayne routes.
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