SEA-KIT International has won funding from the Zero Emissions Vessels and Infrastructure (ZEVI) competition to design and manufacture a hydrogen-fuelled Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV).
n particular, dubbed ZEPHR – Zero Emissions Ports Hydrogen Refilling Survey Vessel, the project aims to extend vessel operation for port operators and stakeholders through complete energy transferal, from readily acUSVcessible green electricity to 100% green hydrogen production, compression, storage and dispensing.
Engineering design and sustainability specialists, Marine Zero, will support Marine2o with regulatory compliance and the design and integration of the dispensing facility. The Port of London Authority (PLA), a consortium partner, will host the hydrogen refilling station on the River Thames in London and subsequently operate the ZEPHR USV.
The 5-year project will also support environmental monitoring, academic and industry research programs as well as feeding into the Maritime Hydrogen Highway programme – all key elements of the Thames Vision 2050, supporting the PLA, our partners and stakeholders to deliver on their sustainability goals.
…said John Dillon-Leetch, PLA’s port hydrographer.
As explained, the Thames is Britain’s busiest inland waterway, handling over five million tonnes of goods and materials and millions of passenger journeys each year. The Thames Estuary is therefore well placed to support the development of a hydrogen ecosystem, with significant potential usage demand across several sectors, including ports, marine and river transportation, airports and aviation, construction, distribution and logistics.
SEA-KIT’s remotely operated USVs, many of which are operational on offshore projects around the world, improve safety by having crew located onshore in Remote Operations Centres. Their smaller size also leads to significant cost savings compared to larger, conventional survey vessels.
The configurable ZEPHR USV platform will have a high resolution multibeam echosounder as its primary payload, with the capability to mount additional sensors such as LiDAR, cameras and environmental monitoring and sampling equipment.