Zero-emission hydrogen USV receives UK government funding

SEA-KIT International has secured funding through the second round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) to design a hydrogen-powered, zero-emission uncrewed surface vessel (USV).

Source: SEA-KIT

SEA-KIT and Bramble Energy will implement outputs from a Round 1 project that marinized a printed circuit board (PCB) hydrogel fuell cell into a proof-of-concept USV design that meets the performance, reliability and cost-saving challenges of the global marine autonomy market, with zero carbon emissions.

The Zero Emission H-Class Ocean USV project is scheduled to start in January.

“Fuel cells provide an extremely attractive value proposition to the marine industry, so it is with great pleasure that we continue collaborating with SEA-KIT on the CMDC project,” said Vidal Bharath, chief commercial officer at Bramble Energy.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how our decarbonising technology can play a key role in the maritime industry’s journey towards achieving net zero.”

According to SEA-KIT, the H-Class USV is a highly configurable design based on operational data and feedback from the company’s X-Class vessels.

Design work will be carried out in accordance with the Lloyd’s Register Approval in Principle (AiP) process to ensure, as far as possible, that the resulting unmanned technology will satisfy regulatory requirements.

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“The CMDC2 funding win supports our continued efforts to help the UK meet its emissions targets of reduction of carbon from shipping by at least 50% by 2050. This USV will be suited to deep water offshore operations as well as coastal survey and the launch and recovery of ROVs,” said Ben Simpson, SEA-KIT’s CEO.

The CMDC Round 2 was launched in May, funded by the UK Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. In this round, the Department allocated over £14 million to 31 projects supported by 121 organizations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime solutions.

In March, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in the UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206 million to UK SHORE, focused on decarbonizing the maritime sector, which is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies.

The UK government launched the third CMDC round in September.