To better explain, the Wind Hunter Project is the ultimate zero emission driving project, which combines wind propulsion sailing technology and wind energy converted to generate a stable supply of hydrogen. The project team aims to give a new and first step to realize a decarbonized and hydrogen society.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is currently working on the "Wind Challenger Project", the one presented in the picture below, in efforts to develop sailing technology.

Note 1 / Credit: MOL

The Wind Hunter Project applies this sail technology and combines hydrogen carriers and fuel cells with hydrogen generated by electrolyzer which the power is generated by power generation turbine. This combination of sail and hydrogen technology will enable vessels to sail on schedule even in the periods of low wind and the project team plans to study about the application of supplying hydrogen generated at sea for onshore use. Both of these applications are aimed at creating a zero-emission business free of any greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In the first step of this project, the team will present a feasibility study of such concept using a sailing yacht and verify the function and performance of a series of cycle operations, i.e., turbine power generation, hydrogen generation/storage and fuel cell related propulsion.

In addition, it is stated that the next step will be a demonstration using a larger vessel.

How it works:

  • Power generation turbine: During periods of strong wind, it will produce power by rotating turbines in water, using some of the vessel's propulsion to generate electric power.
  • Electrolyzer: Using electric power from power generation turbine, it breaks water into hydrogen and oxygen to obtain hydrogen.
  • Hydrogen storage alloy: Absorbs hydrogen during periods of strong wind for onboard storage. During periods of low wind, it releases hydrogen to the fuel cells.
  • Propeller: During periods of low wind, they provide propulsion, using electric power from the fuel cells.

Concluding, except MOL, the participants of this project include Ouchi Ocean Consultant, Inc., the National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) of National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology (MPAT), Smart Design Co., Ltd., Graduate School of Frontier Sciences of The University of Tokyo, West Japan Fluid Engineering Laboratory Co., Ltd., Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), and Miraihene Planning LLC. The group held its first meeting this month.

Credit: MOL