DNV has awarded the Norwegian technology provider HAV Group preliminary approval for its hydrogen-based energy system.
This system uses liquefied hydrogen storage and fuel cells and was created as part of the FreeCO2ast project, which is currently developing a high-capacity hydrogen energy system that can be retrofitted on board two coastal cruise vessels owned by Norwegian operator, Havila Kystruten.
DNV’s preliminary approval means that HAV can start the final design stage and is one step closer to commercialising the hydrogen system.
Green hydrogen could play an important role in the de-carbonisation of shipping – both in terms of its potential as an enabler for synthetic fuels, as well as its direct use as ship fuel.
However, 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 said.
“The 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. We at DNV, were very pleased that HAV Group selected us as their chosen partner to carry out a third-party verification review as part of the alternative design approval process,” explained Ivar Håberg, Director of Approval, Ship Classification, DNV Maritime.
“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 fulfils the initial criteria for safe and reliable operations with hydrogen as ship fuel. It’s been a pleasure to work with HAV Group, and we look forward to seeing the final design take shape,” he added.
Gunnar Larsen, HAV Group CEO, said: “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. 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 with hazard identification (HAZID study) and quantitative risk analysis (QRA) for every aspect of the 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.
The FreeCO2ast project is part of the Norwegian government’s PILOT-E scheme, which aims to develop zero-emissions vessel powered by a combination of batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. The hydrogen power plant will be fuelled from a liquid hydrogen storage tank.
The project involves Havila Kystruten and HAV Group’s subsidiaries HAV Design, Norwegian Electric Systems and HAV Hydrogen, in addition to the research institutions, Sintef Ocean and Prototech, amongst others.