MAN Cryo develops liquefied hydrogen marine fuel system

Written by Nick Blenkey
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MAN liquefied hydrogen fuel-gas system for fuel-cell-powered, emission-free shipping

DECEMBER 5, 2018 — Fuel cell powered, emission-free shipping is starting to move from bright vision to practical possibility. Working in close cooperation with Norwegian ferry owner Fjord1 and ship designer Multi Maritime, MAN Cryo, a wholly owned subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions, has developed a marine fuel-gas system for liquefied hydrogen.

The system is fully integrated into a Multi Maritime hydrogen vessel design for Fjord1 that has now been granted preliminary approval in principle by classification society DNV GL. The system is the world’s first marine hydrogen fuel design to secure such an approval.

Dr, Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions, said: “Winning this approval is a significant development for a number of reasons. As a solution for vessels employed on relatively short maritime routes, such as ferries, this technology is a world first and showcases our company’s ability to deliver genuinely innovative solutions. Furthermore, hydrogen is a clean fuel whose profile fits perfectly with the general desire within the industry to move towards cleaner technology. The possibilities for this technology are varied and exciting.”

MAN Cryo developed the Liquid Hydrogen Marine Fuel Gas System design in-house at its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, in close cooperation with Fjord1 and Multi Maritime, in Norway.

“To secure this approval in principle shows the determination that MAN Energy Solutions has to advance cleaner shipping solutions,” said Louise Andersson, Head of MAN Cryo. “Our strategy is to actively work with our customers to design and promote cleaner ways of powering vessels, and the competence and energy within MAN Cryo conveys this strategy excellently.”

Fuel-gas system for liquefied hydrogen

The system has a scalable design that allows easy adaptation for different shipping types, sizes and conditions. The design is suited for both above- and below-deck applications, offering ship designers the flexibility to optimise their designs in relation to efficiency, and to cargo or passenger space.

MAN Cryo has long experience with cryogenic gases and solutions for storage and distribution. The company has also delivered numerous hydrogen installations over the years on land that, in combination with its extensive experience from marine fuel-gas systems for LNG, have been invaluable in designing the new system.

Liquefied hydrogen has a temperature of -253° Celsius and is one of the coldest cryogenic gases there is, placing system components and materials under extreme stresses. Another design challenge was hydrogen’s explosive nature, with the MAN Cryo engineering team accordingly placing top priority on safety.

Once liquefied, hydrogen is reduced to 1/800th of its volume, compared to that of its gas phase, facilitating a more-efficient distribution. As a fuel, hydrogen does not release any CO2 and can play an important role in the transition to a clean, low-carbon, energy system. Liquefied hydrogen can be used to charge batteries for electrical propulsion via fuel-cell technology.

MAN Cryo sees a bright future for hydrogen applications globally as part of its target of achieving zero fossil emissions within the marine sector by 2050.

In particular, Norway is currently developing several promising hydrogen applications.

MAN liquefied hydrogen fuel-gas system for fuel-cell-powered, emission-free shipping

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