World’s first hydrogen-powered MASS gets LR’s approval

ACUA Ocean, a clean maritime startup, has received approval in principle (AiP) from classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) for its hydrogen system, control engineering system and electrical power distribution systems on what is said to be the world’s first zero-emission hydrogen-powered maritime autonomous surface ship (MASS).

hydrogen-powered MASS
Courtesy of ACUA Ocean

According to ACUA Ocean, the prototype systems underwent factory acceptance testing in March this year as part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK.

Following the competition, the startup has been working under a Connected Places Catapult Transport Research Innovation Grant (TRIG) to develop the automation of the onboard hydrogen systems.

As reported earlier, the UK startup is developing the world’s first long-endurance uncrewed surface vessel powered by liquid hydrogen (H-USV) to provide offshore security monitoring and data collection.

The vessel is being built by the Portsmouth-based boat building company PDL while electrical contractor Trident Marine Electrical is undertaking the electrical design and outfitting of the vessel.

ACUA Ocean has also unveiled its new H-USV design developed by naval architect and SWATH designer John Kecsmar of Ad Hoc Marine Designs Ltd.

The vessel is powered by 6,000 litres of liquid hydrogen, which is expected to result in increased power, reliability and endurance and deliver on the UK Maritime Strategy climate change commitment to zero-emission propulsion by 2025.

Commenting on the AiP, ACUA’s CEO Neil Tinmouth said: “Working with Lloyd’s Register and Ad Hoc Marine Designs has enabled us to ensure the vessel aligns with regulatory standards and operational requirements. As the adoption of net-zero propulsion systems accelerates so we see a clear strategic advantage as the first to market.”

At the beginning of the year, ACUA Ocean joined the UK Chamber of Shipping, the trade association of the UK shipping industry that gathers around 200 members.

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