Bureau Veritas approves electro-hydrogen power generator for maritime industry

Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) recently approved the second generation of the REXH2 developed by Energy Observer Developments (EODev), a turnkey electro-hydrogen power generator for the supply of low carbon electricity onboard ships.

Courtesy of BV

The hydrogen PEM fuel cell makes it possible to meet energy needs ranging from 70 kW to about one megawatt when several REXH2 are installed in parallel.

The approval in principle (AIP) obtained by EODev for its REXH2 fuel cell design follows a thorough design review against the latest classification rules and regulations, assessing its compliance with the IGF Code specific safety regulations for vessels using gases and low-flashpoint fuels. It also follows the recently released BV NR 547, applicable to the use of fuel cells onboard ships.

Collaborating closely through all the stages of development of the final product, Bureau Veritas and EODev achieved the AIP in record time to allow the start of serial production of the marine power generator.

The procedure to obtain type approval on the definitive version of the new REXH2 has already started and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

As explained, this achievement was also made possible thanks to the collaboration initiated between EODev and Bureau Veritas that led to the validation of the first generation EODev’s REXH2 unit in Spring 2021, which was extensively tested onboard Energy Observer and the Hynova Yachts’ demonstrator The New Era.

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Among the key evolutions between the two generations of REXH2 are the integration of the cooling and power management system and a comprehensive safety system, enabling more flexibility for shipyards and naval architects to consider the use of the solution on existing vessels and less constraints for its integration into new projects.

Both EODev’s and Bureau Veritas’ missions are to ensure the safe implementation of hydrogen technologies and promote the use of hydrogen as an energy source to support the decarbonisation of the shipping industry.

BV and EODev will therefore continue to cooperate on the following activities:

  • Perform preliminary assessment of new marine hydrogen power solutions developed by EODev
  • Share technical expertise regarding hydrogen technologies to enable ramp-up of hydrogen usage on-board ships
  • Leverage relevant class rules and regulatory frameworks

“Energy Observer was the first to install a hydrogen fuel cell onboard an ocean-going vessel back in 2017. EODev was then the first company to integrate a more powerful version of its original Range Extender into the Energy Observer catamaran, thanks to collaboration with long-standing hydrogen expert Toyota, in 2019,” Jeremie Lagarrigue, EODev’s CEO, said.

“Then came a fully certified recreational day-boat in 2021; and now in 2022 we reach another milestone with the launch of our full-scale serial production of the latest compact, “plug & play”, REXH2 that uses Toyota’s latest fuel cell technology.”

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