World’s first offshore hydrogen production project yields first kilograms of green hydrogen
The offshore hydrogen production platform that Lhyfe is testing in France, named Sealhyfe, began producing its first kilograms of offshore hydrogen on 20 June after it was towed last month to the SEM-REV offshore test site which is connected to BW Ideol’s floating wind turbine Floatgen.
Sealhyfe is capable of producing up to 400 kilograms of hydrogen per day.
With the start-of-production milestone now reached, the platform has entered the second phase of testing, which focuses on producing hydrogen in offshore conditions, after eight months of being tested at a quay in the Port of Saint-Nazaire, starting in September 2022.
Sealhyfe comprises a 1 MW electrolyser, supplied by Plug, mounted on GEPS Techno’s WAVEGEM floating platform which has been re-engineered to stabilise the production unit at sea.
During the eight months of testing at the port, the platform underwent benchmarking tests and technology and system optimisation. Through this first phase of trials, Lhyfe also developed software and algorithm building blocks necessary to manage the site remotely and to enable Sealhyfe to operate fully autonomously.
The company says that, following the first testing phase, it has already updated its specifications for all its sites, both onshore and offshore, and that all of its units will benefit from the operating optimisations trialled in the Sealhyfe pilot project.
At Centrale Nantes’s SEM-REV offshore testing site, operated by the OPEN-C Foundation and located 20 kilometres off the French coast, in the Atlantic Ocean, Sealhyfe is connected to the site’s subsea hub via an umbilical cable that was specially designed for hydrogen application.
After the platform was towed and connected to the hub, the system was restarted and on stream in just 48 hours, according to Lhyfe.
The company will now reproduce all of the tests that were performed at quay several times in order to have a comparison of results and will then be carrying out additional offshore-specific tests.
With an aim of achieving reliable production of hydrogen in the offshore environment, Lhyfe plans to develop an operating capability that involves managing the platform’s movement and environmental stresses, and validating green and renewable hydrogen production software and algorithms.