France – Lhyfe, a renewable hydrogen powerhouse, has successfully navigated the world’s first offshore hydrogen production pilot project, Sealhyfe, proving the viability of clean fuel generation at sea.
Sealhyfe set out to prove the viability of offshore hydrogen production from renewable sources. It aimed to demonstrate Lhyfe’s ability to operate a 1-megawatt production unit offshore, test the resilience of electrolysis technology in harsh marine environments, and gather crucial data for optimizing and scaling up future projects.
From 2022 to 2023, a sophisticated network of sensors meticulously monitored the production unit, collecting invaluable data both from its quayside testing phase and its subsequent ocean voyage.
System Responsiveness and Versatility: Sealhyfe proved its mettle in adapting to diverse configurations, a crucial aspect for grid balancing services. The electrolysis system delivered stellar performance, mirroring its onshore counterpart and solidifying its offshore reliability. Moreover, the unit readily adjusted to the fluctuating wind power inherent in offshore settings, showcasing remarkable adaptability.
Enduring the Onslaught: Sealhyfe stood firm against five major storms, including the ferocious Storm Ciaran, with waves exceeding 10 meters and winds surpassing 150 kilometers per hour. Post-analysis revealed the system’s unwavering resilience, with all equipment intact and production capacity uncompromised.
Optimizing for the Future: Onboard and remote monitoring instruments meticulously identified areas for improving efficiency, reliability, and safety systems. These insights from Sealhyfe will be instrumental in fine-tuning future production units.
Mastering Remote Control: Sealhyfe’s quayside testing paved the way for smooth offshore operations, pinpointing and mitigating potential issues specific to offshore hydrogen production. The project validated software and algorithms, facilitating remote control and reducing maintenance needs to a mere ten interventions.
Charting a Regulatory Course: In collaboration with French authorities, Lhyfe established operating rules for green hydrogen production units in various environments, including the open sea. This crucial step paves the way for large-scale offshore deployment.
From pilot to powerhouse
Project HOPE (Hydrogen Offshore Production & Exploitation), backed by a €33 million grant from the European Commission and the Belgian government, promises to scale up production significantly. Boasting a 10-megawatt capacity, HOPE will generate up to 4 tons of green hydrogen daily from 2026 onwards, delivering clean fuel to shore via pipeline.
Simultaneously, Sealhyfe’s insights will propel Lhyfe’s onshore production efforts. They aim to reach a daily capacity of 22 tons by the end of 2024 and an impressive 80 tons by 2026.