Horizon Europe funds first-of-a-kind maritime onboard application

The Ship-aH2oy project will develop and demonstrate a zero-emission propulsion technology on board ships using green hydrogen from liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) on a megawatt scale.

The European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) has informed the consortium of 17 partners that they will be granted €15 million (project period: 5 years). The concept is based on the combined use of LOHC and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) as a powertrain, providing a significant improvement from conventional internal combustion engines. The project has real-lab character as the developed LOHC /SOFC powertrain will be demonstrated on board one of Edda Wind’s Commissioning/Service Operation Vessels (C/SOV).

Hydrogenious’ LOHC technology with the thermal oil benzyl toluene as the carrier material, already proven in stationary systems, allows for handling hydrogen in a very safe and efficient way, at ambient conditions and by utilising existing infrastructure (transport, bunkering, etc). The gaseous hydrogen molecules are bound to and released from the carrier in a chemical catalytic process (hydrogenation/dehydrogenation), without self-discharge over time. Due to the inherent characteristics of the carrier (non-explosive, hardly flammable, among others), the hazard potential is even smaller than for diesel and thus clearly superior to ammonia.

In Ship-aH2oy, Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies will oversee the detailed design of the LOHC release unit and the integration with the SOFC, while Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime will interface with the external SOFC supplier and take care of the entire system to be introduced and installed on the already prepared Edda Wind vessel. The design of a scalable system architecture for larger ships and power plants by integrating several megawatt LOHC/SOFC modules is consequently intended.

Østensjø Rederi as the project manager for the newbuilds is responsible for the key interface and machinery space contributions, and jointly with ship owner Edda Wind, the aim is to demonstrate the efficient operation of the onboard power plant using green hydrogen.

The Ship-aH2oy partners have plans to retrofit several other vessels with LOHC/SOFC systems after the first successful demonstration of the technology. In the further course of the project period, a replication study for the developed LOHC/SOFC system will follow, allowing easy replication in e.g., service vessels and ROPAX-vessels.

“The very special technological twist in the Ship-aH2oy project will be the targeted high-level thermal integration, allowing SOFC residual heat to be used in the hydrogen release unit for the endothermic dehydrogenation process,” Dr Caspar Paetz, CTO of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies. “With this targeted efficient heat integration, a high overall system efficiency can be achieved. Along with the inherent safety and handling benefits of LOHC, this makes it the very viable emission-free fuel for ships.”

“Within the Ship-aH2oy project, we will enter the range of megawatt drive power provided by emission-free LOHC technology,” said Øystein Skår, General Manager at Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime. “This depicts a relevant power range for a wide range of service operation vessels and other ship types. Thus, in Ship-aH2oy, a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved for a specific ship. Moreover, the project is a large step towards the serial production of on-board LOHC power systems in the megawatt range.”

The Ship-aH2oy project is the commitment of a wide range of industry partners to zero-emission shipping. As the consortium covers the whole value chain from design-offices and class-society to ship builders, owners and operators, efficient dissemination and exploitation of the results will be a natural outcome of the project.