Hydrogen energy system for cruise ships gains preliminary DNV approval

Written by Nick Blenkey
hydrogen energy system

HAV Hydrogen H2 System (copyright: HAV Group ASA)

Two coastal cruise ships are a step nearer to being able to travel the coast of Norway emissions-free for up to 20 hours. DNV has awarded HAV Group ASA preliminary approval for a new hydrogen-based energy system. Using liquefied hydrogen storage and fuel cells, the system was created as part of the FreeCO2ast project. Part of Norway’s Pilot-E scheme, the project is currently developing a high-capacity hydrogen energy system that can be retrofitted onboard two coastal cruise vessels owned by the Norwegian operator Havila Kystruten.

DNV says that its preliminary approval means that HAV Group ASA can confidently enter the final design stage and is one step closer to commercializing its hydrogen system.

While green hydrogen could play an important role in the decarbonization of shipping, DNV notes that hydrogen’s unique properties make it a complex fuel to work with, and the lack of prescriptive regulations means that companies wishing to launch hydrogen systems need to follow the IMO guidelines on alternative design (MSC.1/Circ.1455). As with all emerging fuels, the maintenance of high safety levels when using hydrogen is paramount.

DNV’s alternative design approval process is used for novel ship designs that cannot be approved with the current prescriptive regulations and the final approval is granted by the flag state, according to Ivar Håberg, director of approval, ship classification, DNV Maritime.

“We at DNV, were very pleased that HAV Group ASA selected us as their chosen partner to carry out a third-party verification review as part of the alternative design approval process,” says Håberg. “Our assessments have shown that the preliminary design complied with the goal and functional requirements in the IGF Code (IMO International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels). This means that HAV Group ASA has successfully demonstrated that their concept fullfils the initial criteria for safe and reliable operations with hydrogen as ship fuel. It’s been a pleasure to work with HAV Group ASA, and we look forward to seeing the final design take shape.”

“Getting a hydrogen energy system off the ground is a complex and very challenging undertaking, and we are very proud to have come this far.” says Gunnar Larsen, CEO of HAV Group ASA. z’Getting to this stage has been the result of four years of cooperation with our internal and external partners in the FreeCo2ast project and excellent support from experts at DNV. Their guidance has been essential in successfully navigating the Alternative Design process.”

In a separate project, DNV advisory experts supported HAV Group ASA with Hazard Identification (HAZID study) and Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) for every aspect of its hydrogen fuel system, including bunkering, storage tanks, the fuel supply system and other auxiliary systems that are connected to the hydrogen system on board the vessels.

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