Published Wed, 07/04/2018 - 15:11
Hydroville based in Port of Oostende during summertime
The Hydroville is the world’s first certified passenger vessel powered by hydrogen in a diesel engine. The advantage of hydrogen is that no CO2, atmospheric particulate matter or sulphur oxides are released during
combustion. The catamaran is first and foremost a pilot project to test hydrogen technology for applications in large seafaring ships. The shuttle will be based in Ostend during summertime.
Hydroville will be docked just behind lock Demey and can be booked for sails, up to 16 people.
The name of the experimental vessel is made up of two elements that have a specific meaning both separately and together. ‘Hydro’ means water in Greek. ‘Ville’ refers to CMB’s rich history: all the company’s passenger ships used to have a name ending in ‘ville’ (Albertville, Leopoldville, Fabiolaville, Anversville, etc.). In fact, the shuttle is the group’s first passenger vessel since CMB discontinued its passenger lines.
The word Hydroville literally means “water city” or “hydrogen city”, and refers to the Hydroville’s home port of Antwerp.
Length: 14 meter
Width: 4.2 meter
Maximum depth: 0.65 meter
Maximum water displacement: 14 tonnes
Empty weight: 12 tonnes
Propulsion: 2 dual fuel combustion engines (H2ICED)
with a total capacity of 441kW
Fuel: 12 hydrogen tanks (205 litres @ 200 bars) and 2 diesel
tanks (2 x 265 litres) as ignition fuel and backup fuel
Maximum speed: 27 kn
Cruising speed: 22 kn
Capacity: 16 passengers + 2 crew members
Hydrogen: the fuel of the future
The Hydroville project is a showcase for the maritime sector’s use of clean fuel, in this instance, hydrogen (H2). Hydrogen can be extracted from the environment (e.g., from water) with relative ease, and following combustion, no C02, particulate or sulphur oxide emissions are released. A decision is made to work with combustion engines given that batteries or fuel cells are less suitable for heavy transport (such as for ships and aircraft). The size of the batteries for this type of application must be such that their cost and weight make their use economically unfeasible. Charge time for these types of batteries would also be problematic. Fuel cells offer an increased number of options in this respect; however, the high costs associated with these render them less suitable for large commercial transport. If our current plan is to build green ships or planes, then the only viable option open to us is to focus on biofuel or hydrogen. The first experiment planned for commercial (freight) shipping is to equip a CMB Group container vessel with a hydrogen auxiliary engine.