Offshore hydrogen production is now a reality after successful trials of a marine platform, according to the company behind the project.

Producing green hydrogen using wind power and seawater since June 2023, the Sealhyfe system returned to dock in November 2023 with “full production capacity intact”, French hydrogen specialist Lhyfe announced today (26 January).

Capable of producing up to 400kg of hydrogen per day, the platform had been installed off the coast of Le Croisic in Loire-Atlantique in Western France.

Equipped with a 1MW electrolyser supplied by American company Plug, Sealhyfe was powered by the Floatgen floating wind turbine engineered and operated by French firm BW Ideol.

The project aimed to demonstrate industrial-scale production in an isolated environment, prove the reliability of the electrolysis technology in harsh conditions, and provide a wealth of data to make production more reliable and inform future sites with “10-times and then 100-times greater capacity”.

Despite facing five significant storms, including 10 metre waves and 150km/h winds from Storm Ciaran in October 2023, the equipment was unharmed and achieved performance at the same levels as on land.

The site was operated remotely from Lhyfe’s control centre, using supervision and control tools specifically developed by the company. There were fewer than 10 maintenance operations, and the system was operating for 70% of the available time.

The results are being incorporated into the Hope project, involving Lhyfe and nine consortium partners, backed by a €20m grant from the European Commission and a €13m grant from the Belgian government.

“From 2026, this unprecedentedly large-scale project (10MW) will be able to produce up to four tonnes per day of green hydrogen at sea, which will be exported ashore by pipeline, and then compressed and delivered to customers,” the company said.

Founder and CEO Matthieu Guesné said: “The positive results of the Sealhyfe trial, and the lessons we have learned from it, represent a major new step for Lhyfe. We can now draw on our experience of three onshore sites and one offshore site to design our next green hydrogen production sites.”

extracted from IMechE website, read more here

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