SEA-KIT International, main designer and builder of Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs), has gained funding to put in an modern PCB- primarily based hydrogen gasoline cell, engineered by undertaking companion Bramble Energy, on its 12m USV ‘Maxlimer’ and reveal zero emission maritime operations.
SEA-KIT secured the grant by the latest Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) – Strand 2. The undertaking, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) working with InnovateUK, will showcase a profitable diesel to hydrogen conversion of SEA-KIT’s confirmed USV design and reveal a path to fulfilling the UK’s Clean Maritime Plan Strategy dedication of decreasing greenhouse fuel emissions from delivery by a minimum of 50% by 2050.
“SEA-KIT USVs have a twin diesel-electric hybrid drive, with propulsion coming from an electrical motor powered by battery banks which are charged by in-situ diesel turbines,” stated Ben Simpson, SEA-KIT CEO. “This undertaking will change one of many diesel turbines with new hydrogen gasoline cell know-how from Bramble Energy and reveal an offshore operation with zero carbon emissions.”
West Sussex-based Bramble Energy, a disruptor within the clear tech house, will design and manufacture a marinized, custom-made model of its printed circuit board gasoline cell (PCBFC). The use of PCBs, versus metallic or graphite finish plates, makes the know-how extra suited to rugged, marine environments. Bramble Energy’s PCBFC system will sit inside an enclosure inside the USV to stop sea water ingress and corrosion.
Dr Vidal Bharath, COO of Bramble Energy stated: “Bramble Energy is dedicated to powering a web zero economic system. This undertaking gives the right alternative to reveal our decarbonizing know-how in an actual world, difficult setting throughout a brand new trade with an thrilling industrial companion.”
SEA-KIT will retrofit its demonstration vessel, USV ‘Maxlimer’, with the hydrogen gasoline system. Data gathered from bench testing and sea trials might be utilized for the design and construct of comparable USVs, in addition to for bigger uncrewed vessel builds within the close to future.
USVs are already being deployed for a variety of economic duties, together with geophysical survey, offshore inspections, surveillance and coastal asset monitoring. This collaboration between SEA-KIT and Bramble Energy goals to allow the emergence of hydrogen gasoline programs as one other viable possibility for the fast-growing USV market.
Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation company, drives productiveness and financial progress by supporting companies to develop and understand the potential of recent concepts. The CMDC tasks signify the primary main funding from DfT particularly aimed to drive innovation inside the maritime trade.
Simon Edmonds, Deputy Executive Chair and Chief Business Officer for Innovate UK, stated:
“As the UK prepares to host COP26 within the maritime metropolis of Glasgow, it’s nice that we are able to announce funding for these implausible tasks within the maritime sector that can assist the UK meet its web zero objectives. From this competitors we noticed a really excessive stage of demand, we’ve seen the easiest of British concepts from everywhere in the nation. It is evident that not solely does the UK have a terrific maritime historical past, but in addition a vibrant and greener future too.”
The software of a hydrogen gasoline supply to a USV might be a world first, placing the UK firmly within the lead on zero emissions uncrewed know-how for sustainable maritime progress.