Task 39: Hydrogen in Marine Applications

Task Manager: Ingrid Schjølberg


As the primary means of transportation, shipping contributes to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Various environmental regulations are imposed on shipping to reduce adverse health and environmental impacts of shipping. In addition, noise may have an effect on ocean life. Healthy oceans are one of the main challenges of the future.

General Objetives

There is a strong focus among policy makers, ship owners and other stakeholders to work towards safer, greener and smarter shipping. The IEA HIA Task 39 will support this work. The Overall goal for the task is to provide knowhow on the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in the maritime, evaluate concepts and initiate research and demonstration projects. This will be achieved by creating an exclusive network of suppliers of hydrogen and fuel cells, shipping companies, advisory and assurance and research institutions. The ambition is to contribute to research within the area, be a technology monitor for ongoing activities as well as contributing to a global regulatory framework.

Task (public) web address: https://www.ntnu.edu/oceans/iea-hydrogen

Specific Objectives

  • Investigate possibilities for use of hydrogen and biofuels in various types of marine vessels
  • Monitor, review and contribute to new concepts, technologies and components
  • Initiate a novel demonstration project
  • Generate an international expert group on the subject

Task Structure

Subtask I: Technology Overview

Sub goals:

  • Investigate possibilities for use of hydrogen in maritime transport
  • Define system segments under investigation (short/deep sea, offshore)
  • Energy systems: fuel cells and battery
  • Impact on emissions
  • Peak power handling
  • Economic and business case analysis
  • Fuel supply logistics/infrastructure (harbour and onboard)


Subtask II: New Concepts

Sub goals:

  • Contribute to concept evaluation and identification of challenges and opportunities
  • New builds, design and impact
  • Autonomous vessels with fuel cell based propulsion
  • Retrofitting existing vessels with fuel cells
  • Fuel cell system solutions: (1) Marine applications, (2) Design and configuration, and (3) System integration


Subtask III: Safety and Regulations

Sub goals:


  • Contribute to safety and risk management
  • Overview of regulations, codes and standards and upcoming regulations related to systems and emissions
  • Safety methods and models
  • Safety analysis in the engine room/storage
  • Risk management for design and operations


Subtask IV: Demonstration

Sub goals:

  • Support, provide input to, evaluate and link international demonstration projects
  • Generate an overview of existing projects
  • Create an international database
  • Link communities, experience and practice

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