Havyard Readies Fuel Cell System for Large Ships

Source: Havyard
Source: Havyard

Published Nov 4, 2019 7:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

Norwegian shipyard Havyard is readying to pilot test of a hydrogen fuel system for large ships. 

If large vessels are to sail zero emission at high speed over long distances, battery solutions does not contain enough energy, says Havyard. Fuel cells running on hydrogen are instead a solution, and the Havyard Group, with Havyard Design & Solutions and Norwegian Electric Systems (NES), is developing a system that will become the biggest of its kind for ships. 

The project is now entering into the approval stage for the hydrogen system together with Linde Engineering as tank supplier and PowerCell Sweden as supplier of fuel cells. The Havyard companies, together with PowerCell and Linde, will design a hydrogen solution and take the first step towards certification. 

The solution will be offered to Havila Kystruten for retrofitting. Havila Kystruten is a Norwegian ropax company. With hydrogen energy, a Kystruten vessel is expected to be able to sail half the coastal route from Bergen to Kirkenes without any emissions, so a voyage through UNESCO World Heritage fjords would be totally emission-free.

Havila Kystruten already has the world’s biggest battery packs and a design that results in energy-efficient vessels. The emission requirements in the Norwegian tenders for new ferries have led to speedy developments in battery technology, but sailing long distances with such vessels demands so much energy that hydrogen is one of few available solutions.

Havyard project manager Kristian Osnes says Linde's participation will ensure the development of safe storage and control barriers for cryogenic hydrogen on board ships. “The regulations for these solutions have not yet been developed, and we are pleased to have Linde onboard when entering the approval process, which we expect to be very challenging.”

Osnes says that fuel cells have similarities with the battery technology that NES has already worked with in a number of ferry projects. However, the hydrogen market, the hydrogen supply logistics system and the regulations for the solutions must be developed. “It will be a challenge, but we see that the new national and international requirements will be so stringent that new technology is required to achieve the necessary emission reductions from shipping, and we know that several shipping companies have started looking for solutions.” 

The development of the hydrogen system is part of a PilotE project in which the Havyard companies and the research institutions SINTEF and Prototech are working together. Earlier this year, Havyard and SINTEF Ocean entered into an agreement for a three-year research program which includes ship design, hybrid machinery solutions and digitalization. Pilot-E is a collaboration between the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and Enova.

The hydrogen fuel cell system is expected to be in operation on a vessel by the end of 2022.

In other hydrogen fuel cell developments, a tug is being developed by a group of Japanese organizations, and a design has been developed for a superyacht.