Hydrogen injection system for ferry secures £430k funding

Hydrogen injection system for ferry secures £430k funding
Image courtesy of Ferguson Marine

A project to design and integrate a hydrogen diesel dual fuel injection system on-board a commercial ferry has been granted £430,332 by Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body that supports business to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.

The 12-month Hydrogen Diesel Injection in a Marine Environment (HyDIME) project will provide a stepping stone to de-risk and kick-start future hydrogen marine projects and reduce emissions within the maritime industry.

The project will be led by Ferguson Marine Engineering and executed by a consortium consisting of Orkney Islands Council, High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI), the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), and Lloyd’s Register. The project will apply, with Ultra Low Emission Mileage Company (ULEMCo), a unique technology in hydrogen dual fuel.

The hydrogen to be used in the project will be produced by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, from the abundance of clean renewable energy sources available on the islands. On the Island of Eday, there is a surplus of renewable electricity, which is fed into an electrolyser sited at EMEC’s tidal test facility. The electrolyser splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, the former of which can then be stored and transported.

The aim of HyDIME is to prove the use of hydrogen/diesel injection technology in the marine industry. Ferguson Marine, in conjunction ULEMCo will develop the design of how this technology can work in tandem with existing systems to power auxiliary units on-board vessels.

HSSMI will conduct a scale-up analysis and carry out a techno-economic assessment of the current system and of potential future scenarios. The aim is to determine if there are any other regions of the UK where similar hydrogen infrastructure could be implemented, leading to similar and larger projects to contribute towards growing the hydrogen economy in the UK.

Chief naval architect of Ferguson Marine Chris Dunn, said: “Over recent years Ferguson Marine has been at the global forefront of green marine propulsion technology development. This exciting project is yet another positive step on that journey, joining up with world leading technology innovators to move us one step closer to our goal of delivering a zero-emission, hydrogen powered commercial ROPAX ferry by 2020.”

Project Manager Tristan Coats of HSSMI added: “HSSMI have a rich history within the automotive sector, and with a newly opened office in Glasgow, we are looking to transfer our learnings from this industry and our knowledge of advanced manufacturing into different sectors. We believe that developing a hydrogen economy within Scotland and the greater UK is essential for decarbonising transportation and energy production. HyDIME is an exciting first step on this journey.”

The ferry will operate between the main town of Kirkwall and the island of Shapinsay in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.