MAN Liquified Hydrogen Fuel System Awarded Preliminary Approval in Principle

liquefied hydrogen fuel
Illustration credit: MAN Energy Solutions

A subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions has announced the its marine fuel-gas system for liquified hydrogen has been granted preliminary approval in principle from classification DNV GL, marking a major step towards the first commercial use of hydrogen fuel by a commercial ship.

MAN’s hydrogen fuel system was developed in-house by Gothenburg-based MAN Cryo, a wholly owned subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions, in close cooperation with Norwegian ferry operator, Fjord1, and ship designer, Multi Maritime. Both Multi Maritime’s hydrogen vessel design for Fjord1 along with ‘MAN Cryo – Hydrogen Fuel Gas System’ were awarded the preliminary AIP.

“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,” said Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy 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.”

Fuel-gas system for liquefied hydrogen

MAN says the its fuel system system has a scalable design that allows easy adaptation for different shipping types, sizes and conditions, and is suited for both above- and below-deck applications for greater flexibility.

Liquefied hydrogen has a temperature of -253° Celsius and is one of the absolutely coldest cryogenic gases there is, which places system components and materials under extreme stresses, according to MAN. Another design challenge was hydrogen’s explosive nature, requiring MAN Cryo’s engineering team to hold safety as a top priority.

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 also be used to charge batteries for electrical propulsion via fuel-cell technology. MAN Cryo says 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.

According to a DNV GL research paper released Tuesday, hydrogen can play a significant role in decarbonizing world energy supply to mitigate climate change. In fact, decarbonization could drive an estimated 100,000-fold rise in demand for hydrogen for energy by 2050.

In June, MAN Energy Solutions was rebranded from former MAN Diesel & Turbo to reflect a new business strategy expanding its business with sustainable technologies and solutions so that they become its main source of revenue by 2030. With the rebranding, the company is also taking a stand for the Paris Climate Agreement and the global pursuit of a carbon-neutral economy.