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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Zero Emission Ships: The Power of Hydrogen

Image from GL Group
From Maritime Propulsion "The Future of the Fehmarn Link: ZERO EMISSION SHIPS":
The FutureShip engineers took a completely new course and approached the matter in a holistic way: from fuel-protection, through energy conversion and storage, and up to optimization of the ship design. For example, the surplus electricity generated by wind turbines in northern Germany and Denmark is to be used to produce hydrogen. This can be transformed back into electrical energy by the fuel cells on board the ship in order to supply the electrical pod drives. Any excess electricity is stored in batteries to cover peaks in demand. Modern hull lines, optimized propeller shapes and efficient procedures in port play a vital role in reducing the overall energy needs.
Read more at the GL website here:
Created by GL’s Strategic Research and Development unit, the Zero-Emission Container Feeder Vessel (“ZERO”) is a design concept for a completely emission- free vessel powered by liquid hydrogen (LH2). The fuel for the GL ZERO could be produced using surplus wind energy, and the vessel type would be ideally suited for operating in northern European waters.
One catch, though, the price of marine gas oil has to increase to make this venture cost competitive:
The hydrogen produced could be liquefied and stored in tanks. Intermediate storage of LH2 for up to ten days would require the installation of insulated tanks of up to 5,000 m3. With the wind farm operating approximately 4,000 hours per annum, the price of LH2 would be about US$7,500/t. These costs include production, liquefaction and on-site storage. GL estimates that liquid hydrogen produced by wind power could be commercially attractive sometime between 2020 and 2030, provided that the price of marine gas oil (MGO) increases to US$2,000/t.
According to BunkerWorld.com, current MGO price is about 1/2 of that $2000/t level.

Gl has a nice video, too, here. Or, from YouTube:

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