A transfer system for offshore hydrogen can be built and operated safely, according to a study by a consortium comprising Jebb Smith, Logan Energy and Cenex.
The consortium said it has demonstrated its Hydrogen Offshore Transfer System (HOTS), which is applicable for supplying hydrogen powered vessels, production of green hydrogen generated by offshore wind and hydrogen transportation.
The project adapted existing onshore hydrogen refuelling technology for the offshore environment.
The consortium conducted a detailed review into the technical and economic feasibility of transferring hydrogen offshore which led to a conceptual HOTS design.
Any safety and technological risks have been identified and addressed by engineering solutions or operational procedures.
The initial HOTS design uses gaseous hydrogen and is appropriate for refuelling small to medium sized vessels, but most likely in combination with other fuels.
The conceptual design could commercially become the Oasis Hydrogen Buoy, an adaption of an offshore electric charging buoy currently in development by Jebb Smith.
Jebb Smith managing director George Smith said: “Hydrogen has been emerging as a possible green future fuel, although considerable infrastructure developments will be required to facilitate this.
“Our findings demonstrate that a solution is achievable and can further the development of hydrogen as a component for renewable energy opportunities.
“This is a great step in the development of zero emission technology with potential to accelerate decarbonisation. Thanks to our partners at Logan and Cenex for their invaluable work on this project.”
Logan Energy chief executive Bill Ireland added: “Hydrogen energy has a vital part to play in the decarbonisation of our transport sector, both on land and at sea.
“A recent study shows that Maritime transport emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
“Refuelling vessels using clean hydrogen energy generated by offshore wind has tremendous potential to help reduce these emissions. Developing infrastructure with initiatives like HOTS is key if we are to see success.”
The HOTS project was awarded funding as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department of Transport, and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.