The second round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) has provided funding for Sea-Kit to design a hydrogen-powered, zero-emission uncrewed surface vessel.
Sea-Kit worked with clean tech company Bramble Energy on a successful CMDC first round project to marinize a printed circuit board hydrogen fuel cell. This funding win will see the two companies continue that collaboration, implementing those first round developments into a proof-of-concept USV design with zero emissions.
The Zero Emission H-Class Ocean USV project is scheduled to start in January 2023.
“The CMDC2 funding win supports our continued efforts to help the UK meet its emissions targets of reduction of carbon from shipping by at least 50% by 2050,” said Sea-Kit CEO Ben Simpson. “This USV will be suited to deep-water offshore operations as well as coastal survey and the launch and recovery of ROVs (remotely operated vehicles). The combination of highly capable surveying and inspection instrumentation, improved safety gained from uncrewed, remotely operated vessels and zero carbon emissions will make a very compelling alternative option for the offshore energy, defense and scientific research markets.”
The Sea-Kit H-class USV is a highly configurable design based on operational data and feedback from the company’s established X-Class vessels. Design work will be carried out in accordance with the Lloyd’s Register Approval in Principle (AiP) process to ensure, as far as possible, that the resulting unmanned technology will satisfy regulatory requirements.
“Fuel cells provide an extremely attractive value proposition to the marine industry, so it is with great pleasure that we continue collaborating with Sea-Kit on the CMDC project,” added Vidal Bharath, chief commercial officer at Bramble Energy. “It’s the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how our decarbonizing technology can play a key role in the maritime industry’s journey towards achieving net zero.”
The Zero Emission H-Class Ocean USV project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC2), which was launched in May 2022 and is funded by the UK Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of CMDC2, the department has allocated over £14m (US$16.4m) to 31 projects supported by 121 organizations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime solutions.