MAN claims first for hydrogen fuel system

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

06 December 2018


As shipping prepares for a decarbonised future where hydrogen is the main fuel, MAN Cryo, the wholly owned subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions, has – in close cooperation with Fjord1 and Multi Maritime in Norway – developed a marine fuel-gas system for liquefied hydrogen.

Multi Maritime’s hydrogen vessel design for Fjord1, including the fully integrated ‘MAN Cryo – Hydrogen Fuel Gas System’, has been granted preliminary approval in principle (AiP) by DNV-GL. The award is significant in that the system is the first marine-system design globally to secure such an approval.

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

Cryo Man

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 made 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 when designing the new system.

Liquefied hydrogen has a temperature of -253°C 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 states that it 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.

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.