The innovation in bringing new fuels into the market economy through technological reconfiguring – and reimagining – is an exciting space for maritime.
Navigating this space and its challenges is UK ship owner and operator, Carisbrooke Shipping.
Carisbrooke Shipping has partnered with Carnot Ltd whose consortium has been awarded £2.3M to develop a zero-emission 50kW Hydrogen auxiliary engine demonstrator.
Following design, simulations and rigorous testing, the revolutionary single-fuel hydrogen 50kW engine will be integrated into a containerised system and mounted on the deck of one of Carisbrooke’s vessels. The Cowes-based ship owner is planning for sea trials in early 2025 to partially supply electrical power to the vessel. The core goal is to validate the decarbonising impact that high efficiency, zero emission engines can have in the maritime industry and build on work from the previously successful CMDC (Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition) 1 & 2 grants.
In the future, this technology could be scaled up to initially power smaller vessels and those vessels propelled by electric.
Bureau Veritas and UK The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have been engaged as the vessel’s regulatory authorities to ensure a safe path to regulatory compliance. This will be among the first projects to achieve Approval in Principle for a Hydrogen power generation technology on board a UK-flagged vessel.
The lack of regulation, experience, knowledge and training in the safe use of hydrogen as a marine fuel makes this project challenging. Carisbrooke is looking at all aspects of the design and implement systems or safeguards to ensure we provide similar levels of protection and safety as with traditional fuels.
This year has already seen the commercial maritime sector also explore nuclear propulsion. Zodiac Maritime and Lloyds Register, together with HD KSOE and KEPCO E&C, have signed up to a joint research and development venture, including designs for future vessels and reactors. The project, based at Korea’s HD Hyundai Global R&D Centre, is also addressing the challenges around using existing terrestrial nuclear power generation.
Not only does this provide long-term ultra-low or zero-carbon fuel, the strategic aim is for vessels that are designed with a life cycle cost of less than half that of carbon-neutral ships.
We will of course see many more green energy initiatives, and innovation takes courage and commercial foresight for all stakeholders involved.
Maritime has not only had to catch up in reducing CO2 emissions – today the sector is seen as ground-breaking and world-leading, contributing energy, drive and sustainable solutions to the global challenge.