March 1, 2023

Situation – Complication – Solution

Situation – Complication – Solution

Following the Paris climate agreement, hydrogen (H2) is becoming increasingly important as a CO2-free mobile energy carrier. In addition, after the start of the Ukraine war, the desire for independence from Russian natural gas has strongly arisen in the EU. In the long term, this should happen with the massive expansion of renewable energies. One of the most effective possibilities is wind energy, provided that windy areas are utilisable. The North Atlantic is windy and borders its eastern part on the northwestern states of Europe, such as Ireland, GB, Scotland, and Norway. Wind energy can be harvested there in unlimited time and quantity. The success of green H2 depends largely on whether it can be made available to industry promptly, cheaply, and in large quantities (as a supplement to renewable electricity).

Green H2 is produced by electrolyzers powered by electricity from renewable sources.  The high cost of electricity, limited grid capacity, and availability in Europe are already causing governments to make plans to import green H2, as domestic demand cannot begin to be met from regionally available resources. A further complication is the economics of storage and transportation. The hydrogen produced can be stored either under very high pressure, in a gaseous state, or at very low temperatures in a liquid state. Another form is to store it with nitrogen as green ammonia at -33°C, but this is highly toxic. All the above forms require special infrastructure for storage and transportation. This increases the costs immensely and inhibits the market ramp-up.

Our floating Offshore H2 Generator is decoupled from the land-based power grid and like on a cruise ship, consumes the self-generated electricity on site, mainly through the electrolyzer. The generated green H2 is stored in the “Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier” (LOHC) as a carrier fluid. Similar to FPSO* vessels, this liquid is exchanged monthly with a conventional shuttle tanker and brought to industrial ports, which are often also connected to an inland waterway grid. The LOHC can be stored and transported at sea and on land at ambient pressure and temperature using the existing oil infrastructure. The GW hydrogen farms consist of multiple floating H2 generators, each powered by a wind turbine. The H2 farms are freely scalable and most effective when placed in areas with continuously high wind speed, which in turn ensures a very large increase in production. There, the electrolyzers can produce hydrogen 24/7. To obtain planning and legal certainty, the Offshore H2 Farms are placed in the respective EEZs** of the states and near ports. Our patent-pending development is verified by the Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH) in terms of Offshore technologies & shipbuilding and by the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) for storing the H2 in the LOHC. Many simulations, wind tunnel, and wave tank tests have already been successfully completed. All installed supplier series components have at least Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 9. CRUSE Offshore GmbH (COG) has completed TRL 4 for the floater and plans to build a 5-MW prototype with the maritimized components, followed by a 15-MW version for the GW Offshore H2 Farms. The techniques have been adopted from the offshore oil industry and provide an opportunity for a smooth transition from fossil to renewable energy using a liquid energy carrier on an industrial scale. COG is planning several GW Offshore H2 Farms at suitable European and international locations.

For this, COG is looking for strong partners with entrepreneurial spirit for the growth path.

* Floating Production Storage and Offloading Unit, ** Exclusive Economic Zone