Our society is faced with climate and environmental challenges in all sectors, including the maritime. In Norway the ambition is to stimulate green growth in the maritime industry by increasing the use of low-and zero emission fuels and introducing new environmental-friendly solutions when the technology is mature and ready for implementation. Hydrogen driven fuel cells, where hydrogen is produced with zero emissions, can be an alternative solution for several maritime applications.
The overall goal of the H2Maritime-project is to perform research and build new competence on the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in the maritime sector. The main objective with the project is to establish design criteria and operational philosophies for hydrogen bunkering and refueling systems and fuel cell power systems for propulsion. New methods, models, and simulation tools will be developed and used to provide more scientific and technical insight into challenges related to:
- Fast refueling (>2000 kg/hour) of high pressure (250-350 bar) gaseous hydrogen into large onboard hydrogen storage units (>150 kg/unit) suitable for small maritime vessels
- Efficient bunkering of low-pressure liquid hydrogen and operation of large on-board liquid hydrogen storage tanks (several tones) suitable for larger maritime vessels
- Efficient operation of large (1-10 MW) maritime hydrogen-based fuel cell systems for propulsion
- Safety issues related to gaseous and liquid hydrogen systems for maritime applications
The H2Maritime-project is a collaboration between Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), The University of South-East Norway (USN), The Norwegian Maritime Authority, and five industry partners (Equinor, ABB Marine, Havyard Design and Solutions, Umoe Advanced Composites, and Lloyd?s Register). IFE is the Project Leader.
In 2020 the maritime cluster in Norway further strengthened their work on some concrete hydrogen projects. Two projects are of particular relevance: (1) Norled began the operation of MF Hydra in July and will be the first hydrogen driven ferry in the world as soon as the hydrogen systems have been installed during the winter of 2021/2022 and (2) Wilhelmsen are continuing with the development of their freight ship concept Topeka, which is to receive and operate on liquid hydrogen produced at Mongstad in the Aurora-project lead by BKK together with key partners Air Liquide and Equinor. Both two projects will make use of liquid hydrogen and low temperature PEM fuel cells, which are key research topics in the H2Maritime-project.
The progress in the H2Maritime-project in 2021 has been excellent. Some highlights (1): Development of a model to predict temperature in hydrogen tanks during filling of compressed gaseous hydrogen (USN) and a CFD-method to predict hydrogen flow during similar H2-filling processes (IFE), (2) Use case on the bunkering of liquid hydrogen into a ferry (IFE), (3) Publication of simulation models for maritime energy systems with hydrogen and fuel cells (NTNU), and (4) Finalization of experimental setup for testing of fuel cell control strategies in maritime energy systems (IFE). The Project Leader, researchers, and user partners in the H2Maritime-project have in 2021 been invited to hold presentations at different maritime workshops and digital meetings where hydrogen and fuel cells have been a topic. The PhD student at NTNU has been highly productive in 2021, with contributions to 3 publications, including 2 articles in scientific journals. USN and IFE are now preparing another 2 scientific publications on hydrogen flow and state during fueling of compressed hydrogen. IFE has also started on a draft report to document the use case on safe bunkering of liquid hydrogen in a ferry.
A significant reduction of the emissions can be achieved by introducing alternative, environmentally-friendly fuels in operation of the maritime fleet. Hydrogen produced with zero emissions can be an alternative solution for several maritime applications. The H2Maritime-project will focus on research and development of competence, methods and technology for the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in the maritime. The project consists of 3 research partners, 5 industry partners and one public organization, and is organized in three research areas (work packages):
1. Hydrogen bunkering and storage: The focus in this project is on the supply of liquid hydrogen (LH2) from a bunkering place on land to a vessel, either directly as low-pressure liquid hydrogen or indirectly as high-pressure gaseous hydrogen (GH2). The primary objectives here will be to develop design and operation strategies for efficient and safe refueling and bunkering systems for maritime applications.
2. Hydrogen safety: Safety strategies must be implemented to ensure safe operation during refueling and bunkering of hydrogen. Depressurization of gas during emergency situations, for example, must ensure the lowest risk possible. Specific codes and standards for hydrogen refueling and storage only cover small systems for hydrogen vehicles. The primary objective here will be to provide recommendations on how to design safe GH2 and LH2 refueling/bunkering and storage systems.
3. Fuel cells systems: The focus in H2Maritime is on large fuel cell (FC) systems for ships. There does not exist standard maritime FC systems, nor any guidelines for design and operation of hybrid FC systems for maritime applications. There is also a lack of knowledge on how to optimize the EMS and FC system controls with respect to fuel cell lifetime. The primary objective here will be to build in-depth knowledge on how to design and operate 1-10 MW maritime hybrid FC power systems.