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NORWAY & FRANCE - CAD impression of the proposed NORLED zero carbon hydrogen powered ferry.

 

 

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 hydrogen installation.

“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.

 

 

Sanfrancisco Zero hydrogen fuel cell electric ferry

 

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.

 

 

Cross Channel Ferry

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SOLAR & 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.

 

This 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 cheaper.

 

Solar 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, 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.

 

The allure of the hydrogen economy is plain, splitting ordinary water using electrolysis to obtain oxygen and hydrogen 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 free right?

 

No, not really.

 

There 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.

 

In 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.

 

 

CONTACTS

 

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A-Z INDEX OF H2 POWERED FUEL CELL SHIPS

BOREAL SJO

FCS ALTERWASSER

HYSEAS III

NORLED

SAN FRANCISCO BAY

SANDIA & DNV-GL

SCANDLINES

VIKING LINE

 

 

FERRY OPERATORS & ISLAND SERVICES

 

Brittany Ferries -

Caledonian MacBrayne -

DFDS -

Eurotunnel -

HoverSpeed -

Irish Ferries -

StenaLine -

P&O Ferries -

 

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LINKS & REFERENCE

 

https://maritime-executive.com/article/hydrogen-fuel-cell-vessels-destined-for-france-and-norway

https://energy.sandia.gov/transportation-energy/hydrogen/market-transformation/maritime-fuel-cells/sf-breeze/

http://www.marad.dot.gov/

https://grist.org/article/a-ferry-that-runs-on-hydrogen-fuel-cells-is-coming-to-san-francisco/

https://www.cmassets.co.uk/

https://www.shell.com/energy-and-innovation/natural-gas/lng-for-transport.html

http://www.cheetahmarine.co.uk/en/deliveries/worlds-first-hydrogen-powered-boat-smashes-targets

https://www.scottish-enterprise-mediacentre.com/news/ferguson-marine-to-develop-world-first-renewables-powered-hydrogen-ferry

https://www.electrive.com/2018/06/20/hyseas-iii-scotland-to-build-first-sea-going-hydrogen-ferry/

https://www.cruiseandferry.net/articles/scotland-explores-feasibility-of-hydrogen-powered-ferries

http://www.pointandsandwick.co.uk/news/publication-of-hydrogen-ferry-report/

 

 

 

 

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STUDY 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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