Hydrogen tanker concept aims to revolutionize green energy market

Written by Nick Blenkey
Liquid hydrogen tanker

Liquid hydrogen tanker design is aimed at revolutionizing the renewable energy market,

Netherlands-based C-Job Naval Architects has unveiled a concept for brand new class of liquid hydrogen tanker. Developed in partnership with LH2 Europe, the design is aimed at revolutionizing the renewable energy market by providing a critical element in realizing a green end-to-end liquid hydrogen supply chain.

LH2 Europe will use the abundant renewable electricity in Scotland to produce green hydrogen and market it at a price competitive with diesel. The new tanker will transport the liquid hydrogen to terminals in Germany. The strategic vision is to expand supply to other markets as demand increases.

“Hydrogen will be essential to the future of energy. It is up to us how quickly we can make that happen. LH2 Europe aims to have a full liquid hydrogen supply chain ready by 2027,” says Dr. Peter Wells, CEO of LH2 Europe. “We plan to initially deliver 100 tons per day (t/d) of green hydrogen and ramp up production to 300 t/d within three years, depending on demand.”

“This tanker design is a key step in providing the infrastructure to make that clean energy future a reality. Current vessels in operation are not able to deliver hydrogen at the scale we expect will be required to meet the needs of the market,” he adds.

The initial design is for a liquid hydrogen tanker of 141 meters length and a storage capacity of 37,500 cubic meters.

“Liquid hydrogen provides unique challenges in ship design and engineering,” says Job Volwater, CCO at C-Job. “As a comparison, LNG tankers use ballast water to compensate the loss of weight following delivery to ensure enough draft. As liquid hydrogen is high in volume but 20 times lighter than LNG, this required a unique solution. We have created a trapezium-shaped hull design which creates enough deck space to fit the tanks without the need for ballast.

“At C-Job, we have been researching alternative renewable fuels for many years and we are excited to work together with LH2 Europe to apply our knowledge and experience. Not only to realize a cleaner maritime industry but to support green energy across Europe.”

The vessel is powered by hydrogen fuel cells and will be equipped with three liquid hydrogen storage tanks with total capacity of 37,500 cubic meters, which is enough to refuel 400,000 medium-sized hydrogen cars or 20,000 heavy trucks. The tanks will have a much lower boil off than those currently used in the maritime industry. The limited remaining boil off will be captured and directly utilized in the hydrogen fuel cells, providing power to the vessel’s propulsion systems, resulting in emissions of water only. The vessel itself will have zero greenhouse gas emissions during operations.

The ship is expected to be ready and commissioned six months before the first delivery of hydrogen in 2027.

Liquid hydrogen tanker has a trapeziu,m shaped hull design
Liquid hydrogen tanker features a trapezium-shaped hull design

Vessel specifications:

Vessel type liquid hydrogen tanker

Length overall 141.75 m

Rule length 135.75 m

Breadth 34.90 m

Depth 8.75 m

Draft, design 5.80 m

Installed power 5,000 kWe

Speed 14 knots

Accommodations 14 crew

Cargo tank capacity 3 x 12,500 cu.m

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