October 06, 2020

Ulstein’s second hydrogen hybrid design for the offshore wind industry, the ULSTEIN J102 zero emission wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV), can operate 75% of the time in zero emission mode. Using readily available
technology, the additional cost is limited to less than 5% of the total CAPEX.
Most new jack-up designs are featuring a battery hybrid system in addition to diesel gen sets, with a future option for hydrogen powered fuel cell system. The downside however of a high-power battery energy storage system (BESS) is its heavy weight and cost. That is not beneficial for a WTIV design, where weight savings are essential for minimizing Elevated Weight and optimising the Variable Deck Load.
Rather than to opt for technology to be matured to perfection and make a design that is prepared for future hydrogen powered fuel cells, Ulstein has taken the pragmatical, yet realistic approach. “We have carefully analysed the operational cycle of WTIVs and looked at the power demand in the various modes of operations”, says Ko Stroo, Product Manager at Ulstein. “This analysis showed that ca. 75% of its time, a WTIV is in jacked-up position performing crane operations. Using a combination of a hydrogen fuel cell system and a relatively small battery energy storage system (BESS) is then sufficient to meet the overall power demand on board and crane peak loads.”
“The same design philosophy as on our first hydrogen powered SX190 design, resulted in a much more attractive business case when applied to a turbine installation vessel”, states Edwin van Leeuwen, managing director of Ulstein’s Rotterdam design office.
The hydrogen hybrid system of the ULSTEIN J102 design has been developed in such a way, that future developments in hydrogen technology can easily be fitted into the vessel without major modifications. “The limited availability of hydrogen bunker infrastructure in ports is often seen as a major hurdle. With our modular storage lay-out, we want to break the chicken and egg dilemma’, continues Stroo. “It creates flexibility to operate the vessel worldwide, even when bunker infrastructure is not yet present.”
(Source and image: Ulstein)