RINA okays Aurelia’s 100% hydrogen-powered RORO design

Aurelia Green Ship Concept Design’s new 100% hydrogen powered RORO vessel design has secured the certificate of Approval in Principle from Italy’s classification society RINA.

The new design concept is the ACD01 1000 featuring electric propulsion using highly compressed H2 as fuel. The vessel is intended for transporting ro-ro cargo. Beyond the green design, the difference is marked by the ship’s hydrogen-based engine system, which can be applied to other ship designs.

The fuel used to operate the vessel is 100% compressed hydrogen which generates no environmentally harmful emissions with a design which can be considered as zero emission not only in port, but also during navigation, RINA said.

ACD01 1000, a RORO vessel for transporting ro-ro cargo,
ACD01 1000; Image credit Aurelia

The hybrid propulsion is based on battery and fuel cell power modules and it is not supported by internal combustion engines.

“The world of zero emissions is a pioneering world open to new opportunities, which to some extent reminds me of the first operations in the heavy lift sector, where there was also no experience yet. In this sense, the cooperation with RINA is a strong signal that the maritime world is ready to work together for clean shipping,” Ton Bos, partner, and co-founder of Aurelia commented.

This cooperation gives us the opportunity to tune the recently published rules for Hydrogen, to focus on new technical challenges as well to verify the technology readiness level of the components and systems used for the storage, supply and bunkering of hydrogen. The commitment of the persons involved is high and this will bring realistic achievements”, said Patrizio Di Francesco, EMEA Special Projects Manager at RINA.

The new design complies well beyond the limits settled by EEDI Phase 3. It includes a ballast water treatment plant, in accordance with the latest amendments of the International Ballast Water Management Convention, and the hull is designed to ensure hydrodynamic and propeller efficiency.

“This new design for a compressed hydrogen RORO is part of a long-term cooperation between Aurelia and RINA in which we will develop liquefied hydrogen propulsion system that could be used for heavy lift, cruise and Ro-Pax vessels. This cooperation with RINA will ensure that the design of renewable ships becomes a reality and does not remain a distant dream,” said Raffaele Frontera, founding partner of Aurelia Green Concept Design.

RINA has also awarded type approval to the safety concept of Freudenberg e-Power Systems’ methanol-powered fuel cell system at an official handover ceremony held at the maritime trade fair SMM in Hamburg, Germany.

Freudenberg e-Power Systems’ innovative approach to using methanol for marine applications combines highly efficient fuel reforming technology with a long-life PEM fuel cell in a modular, scalable system unit. It generates hydrogen via steam reforming, which then reacts with oxygen from the air in the fuel cell to produce the electrical energy needed for both propulsion and the ship’s electrical system. The heat required for the reformer can be obtained directly from the waste heat of the fuel cells. Fuel cell stack, reformer and control electronics as well as all components for media supply are located in a prefabricated, modular unit. This containment design facilitates easy installation on board.

“With our extensive experience in fuel cell systems and hydrogen production by reforming methanol, combined with Freudenberg’s proven industrial expertise, we are realizing innovative energy and power solutions for the maritime industry. In this way, we are making an important contribution to decarbonizing this important segment,” explained Dr. Manfred Stefener, Managing Director of Freudenberg Fuel Cell e-Power Systems and responsible for the safety architecture.

Achieving Type Approval represents an important milestone for the maritime industry. This lays the foundations for fuel cell systems to be used on a megawatt scale on cruise ships and the international ocean fleet. The marine energy systems of the future will be safe and highly efficient thanks to fuel cell technology.”