Ulstein’s first hydrogen-powered offshore construction support ship design is now market-ready, the Norwegian ship designer and shipbuilder said.
The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission DP2 construction support vessel is Ulstein’s first hydrogen-powered offshore vessel, featuring a Nedstack fuel cell power system.
Sea trials of a newbuild ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission could happen as soon as 2022, the company said.
“The maritime industry needs to align and be ambitious in bringing green solutions forward for a sustainable future. With this hydrogen-fuelled vessel, we aim for future zero-emission operations of long endurance,” said Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO, Ulstein Group.
With today’s technology, the ULSTEIN SX190 design is already capable to operate four days in zero-emission mode, the company said. However, with the rapid developments in hydrogen storage and fuel cell technologies, a future zero-emission endurance of up to two weeks is targeted. For extended missions and capabilities, the vessel can fall back on its more conventional diesel-electric system using low sulphur marine diesel oil.
The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission design is based on Ulstein’s existing SX190 vessel platform and has a total installed power of 7.5MW, of which 2MW is generated by a fuel cell power system, typically Nedstack Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which are located in a separate, second engine room.
PEM fuel cells convert hydrogen and air into electric power, heat and water and produce no harmful emissions in the process. Nedstack fuel cell systems have now been marinized to meet the requirements of the marine industry, including class requirements and supply chains.
The PEM fuel cells used in the SX190 Zero Emission design are fuelled by hydrogen from containerized pressure vessels. These hydrogen storage containers can be loaded and unloaded by normal container handling operations and equipment.
The hydrogen containers can be refilled at hydrogen production sites, either from industry by-product hydrogen or green hydrogen from electrolysis, making the vessel globally employable.