14 October 2022
A new pathway towards a low-emission and ultimately a zero-emission future in shipping has recently been opened up through the market introduction of a mono-fuel Hydrogen version of the Recuperated Split Cycle Engine.
The HydroMAR-E project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2 (CMDC2) which was launched in May 2022, funded by the Department for Transport and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. As part of the CMDC2, the Department allocated over £14m to 31 projects supported by 121 organisations from across the UK to deliver feasibility studies and collaborative R&D projects in clean maritime solutions.
The CMDC2 is part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emission’s (UK SHORE) flagship multi-year CMDC programme. In March 2022, the Department announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new division within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.
Commenting on the award of the grant, Jake Rigby, Research and Development Lead at BMT said:
“We are delighted to be a part of this innovative project supporting the project lead, Dolphin N2 Limited and other Industry/Academic Partners.”
“The UK is one of the global leaders in clean shipping, and, in an industry that is strongly focused on sustainability and zero emissions, it makes sense that the supply chain is also as decarbonised as practically possible, with retrofit and new-build power generating solutions being considered for maritime applications. We look forward to moving this project forward, using the best in innovative green technology, complex engineering, and a partnership mindset to contribute to a more diversified and resilient energy economy.” added Rigby.
“We are pleased to be working with our partners Dolphin N2, Hiflux and Brighton University on another complex design and engineering project with sustainability at its core. Strong collaboration between industry experts will be critical to the success of the UK’s maritime energy transition. We are also grateful to the Department for Transport for recognising the potential of this technical project in its Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 2.” concluded Rigby.
This highly innovative thermal engine can be used in a range of heavy-duty applications for land and sea. It offers very high efficiency (competitive with a PEM fuel cell), very low emissions (SULEV with aftertreatment), and ease of transition (existing ICE manufacture and installation requirements; moderate capital cost increase). Uniquely, and unlike a standard ICE, the RSCE has demonstrated ability to use Diesel, Methane and Hydrogen in the same core engine (and has potential for the same with Ammonia or Methanol) with the same high efficiency and low emissions, enabling a rapid transition as future fuels become more widely available. HydroMAR-E will use a laboratory single cylinder engine, which has already demonstrated starting and running, to develop this spark-guided system to TRL4, then a multi-cylinder prototype to demonstrate TRL5 in readiness for future application demonstration in marine (and other) environments. Supporting work will develop an improved recuperator system, and review marinization, installation, vessel systems and regulatory aspects.
The competition aims to identify innovative projects that will help the maritime industry meet green targets, in line with the UK Government’s Clean Maritime Plan (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/clean-maritime-plan-maritime-2050-environment-route-map) including a transition to Net Zero by 2050.
The project was announced in May and is due to end in August 2023.
To hear more about BMTs approach to decarbonisation, please see our recent insight piece with our engineers.