Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023
    ZEPHR: The Hydrogen-Fuelled Uncrewed Surface Vessel

    SEA-KIT International has been awarded funding from the Zero Emissions Vessels and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition to develop a hydrogen-fuelled uncrewed surface vessel (USV). This project, known as ZEPHR (Zero Emissions Ports Hydrogen Refilling Survey Vessel), aims to create a vessel that operates on 100% green hydrogen, produced through renewable energy sources and water electrolysis.

    In collaboration with Marine2o, SEA-KIT will build the land-based infrastructure required for the production of green hydrogen. Marine Zero, an engineering design and sustainability specialist, will assist Marine2o with regulatory compliance and the design of a dispensing facility. The Port of London Authority (PLA) will host the hydrogen refilling station on the River Thames and operate the ZEPHR USV.

    The ZEPHR USV aims to extend vessel operation for port operators and stakeholders through complete energy transfer. By utilizing readily accessible green electricity, the vessel will enable the production, compression, storage, and dispensing of green hydrogen. The project aligns with the Thames Vision 2050, supporting the PLA’s commitment to a Net Zero future on the tidal Thames and contributing to environmental monitoring, research programs, and sustainability goals.

    As the UK’s busiest inland waterway, the Thames Estuary offers a significant potential for a hydrogen ecosystem across various sectors, including ports, marine transportation, airports, construction, and logistics.

    The PLA has set ambitious emissions reduction targets and actively pursues new technologies to achieve them. The ZEPHR USV, with its zero-emission operations capability, supports the PLA’s goals. SEA-KIT’s remotely operated USVs, already operational in offshore projects worldwide, enhance safety and cost-effectiveness compared to conventional survey vessels.

    Lloyd’s Register and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will review the vessel’s design to ensure regulatory compliance. The ZEPHR USV will be constructed at SEA-KIT’s production facility in the UK.

    Overall, the ZEPHR project represents a significant step towards decarbonizing the maritime industry, facilitating sustainable operations, and supporting the growth of a hydrogen economy.

    – SEA-KIT International
    – Marine2o
    – Marine Zero
    – Port of London Authority (PLA)