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Liquified hydrogen fuel system gains approval

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MAN Cryo, a subsidiary of MAN Energy Solutions, has announced that its liquified hydrogen fuel system has been granted “preliminary approval in principle” by the DNV-GL Classification society.

According to Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Energy Solutions, the approval is a significant step toward the development of hydrogen fuel for commercial vessels.

“Hydrogen is a clean fuel whose profile fits perfectly with the general desire within the industry to move toward cleaner technology,” he said. “The possibilities for this technology are varied and exciting.”

MAN Cryo developed the Liquid Hydrogen Marine Fuel Gas System design in-house at its headquarters in Gothenburg, in cooperation with the shipowner, Fjord1, and ship designer, Multi Maritime, in Norway.

There were a number of challenges. Liquefied hydrogen has a temperature of -253 Celsius and is one of the coldest cryogenic gases there is, which places system components and materials under extreme stress, according to a company statement. Safety is also a top priority for the engineering team, given hydrogen’s explosive nature.

MAN Cryo states 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. Once liquefied, hydrogen is reduced to 1/800th of its volume, compared with that of its gas phase, facilitating a more efficient distribution.

As a fuel, hydrogen does not release any carbon dioxide and can play an important role in the transition to a clean, low-carbon energy system. Liquefied hydrogen can be used to charge batteries for electrical propulsion via fuel-cell technology. And, according to MAN, the system has a scalable design that allows adaptation for different shipping types, sizes and conditions, in both above- and below-deck applications.

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