A consortium consisting of Jebb Smith, Logan Energy and Cenex has conducted a study which has proved that a Hydrogen Offshore Transfer System (HOTS) can be built and operated safely to refuel small- and medium-size vessels using gaseous hydrogen.
For the project an existing onshore hydrogen refueling technology was adapted for use within the maritime sector. The consortium then carried out a detailed study into the technical and economic feasibility of transferring hydrogen offshore which resulted in the HOTS design.
The initial design uses gaseous hydrogen, but the HOTS is most likely to use this in combination with other fuels. The conceptual design has the potential to become the Oasis Hydrogen Buoy, an adaption of an offshore electric charging buoy system which is currently under development by Jebb Smith.
The consortium hopes to demonstrate the HOTS is a viable piece of infrastructure that supports the development of hydrogen-powered vessels, the creation of green hydrogen generated by offshore wind, and the transportation of hydrogen.
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.
“Hydrogen has been emerging as a possible green future fuel, although considerable infrastructure developments will be required to facilitate this,” said George Smith, managing director, Jebb Smith. “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 decarbonization.”
“Hydrogen energy has a vital part to play in the decarbonization of our transport sector, both on land and at sea,” said Bill Ireland, CEO, Logan Energy. “A recent study shows that Maritime transport emits around 940 million metric tons of CO2 annually. Refueling 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. Collaborations across industry, such as this partnership, are crucial to driving real and meaningful change to our environment. We must continue to innovate and develop new solutions together to help meet our net zero goals. We cannot be too ambitious in this regard.”
“As we aim to transition to a net zero economy, hydrogen is emerging as a key fuel of the future,” added Nick McCarthy, technical specialist, Cenex. “This key piece of maritime infrastructure will support the development of hydrogen powered vessels, the creation of green hydrogen offshore, and the transporting of hydrogen in the maritime environment. We expect the HOTS system to be an integral part of zero emission shipping in the future and look forward to the next steps in its development.”