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Design of zero-emissions research vessel

Wednesday, 11 Jul 2018

A new design and feasibility study for a hydrogen-powered research vessel has been developed in the U.S. by a group headed by Sandia National Laboratories.

Zero-V vessel design (Rendering: Glosten)

It will be operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and will be powered by fuel cells using liquid hydrogen. The Zero-V vessel design was developed in cooperation with the company Glosten with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. The design has now received approval in principle from classification society DNV GL. The Zero-V has a tank capacity of 11 tonnes and is designed to operate at a speed of 10 knots over a 2,400 nautical mile range, with fuel available at four different ports of call along the U.S. West Coast. The hydrogen fuel cells aim to have zero environmental emissions. A Sandia report said it is technically and economically feasible to build such a vessel while fulfilling marine regulations. The Zero-V project evolved from earlier Sandia work on the SF-Breeze, a hydrogen-powered passenger ferry designed to operate in San Francisco Bay. Mapping or installing equipment on the ocean floor requires a vessel to be stable over a single point for long periods, even if there is wind or waves. Using propulsion devices installed in each side hull should enable the Zero-V to maintain its position with more than 25 knots of wind and waves from any direction.