Japanese ship operator Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) has announced that it has joined a wide-ranging corporate-academic partnership in a zero-emission initiative called the “Wind Hunter Project,” seeking new applications for hydrogen fuel and wind power.
In addition to MOL, the participants include Ouchi Ocean Consultant, the National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) of National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology (MPAT), Smart Design Co, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences of The University of Tokyo, West Japan Fluid Engineering Laboratory, ClassNK and Miraihene Planning. The group held its first meeting this month.
The group describe the Wind Hunter Project as the ultimate zero emission driving project, which combines wind propulsion sailing technology and wind energy converted to generate a stable supply of hydrogen. The project team aims to give a new and first step to realize a decarbonised and hydrogen society.
MOL is currently working in the project to develop sailing technology. The Wind Hunter Project applies this sail technology and combines hydrogen carriers and fuel cells with hydrogen generated by an electrolyser for which the power is generated by a power generation turbine. This combination of sail and hydrogen technology will enable vessels to sail on schedule even in periods of low wind and the project team plans to study the application of supplying hydrogen generated at sea for onshore use. Both of these applications are aimed at creating a zero-emission business free of any GHG emissions.
As a first step, the project team will undertake a feasibility study of the concept using a sailing yacht and verify the function and performance of a series of cycle operations including turbine power generation, hydrogen generation/storage and fuel cell related propulsion. The next step will be a demonstration using a larger vessel.