Field Lab to Develop First Maritime-approved Hydrogen Cell

Marine engine manufacturers De Ruyter Dieseltechniek and Koedood Marine Group have joined forces to realise the first maritime zero emission field lab: the HEAT.Lab (Hydrogen & Energy Applied Technologies). The field lab will primarily focus on hydrogen technology, with the ambition to develop the first maritime-approved hydrogen cell.

To set up the lab, the companies will receive a 40,000-euro contribution from the Drechtsteden SME Catalyst Fund. In addition to hydrogen technology, work is being done on the (further) development and testing of other sustainable technologies. This first hydrogen field lab in the Drechtsteden region in the Netherlands is to help the domestic maritime sector on its way to fully zero emission transport by water.

Sailing on Hydrogen

Hydrogen is emerging. This fuel of the future will play a key role in the energy transition, which will require radical changes in order to achieve the climate objectives. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by thirty per cent in ten years’ time, emission-free technologies must be made available to the market as soon as possible.

Cor de Ruiter (director of De Ruyter Dieseltechniek): ‘We can clearly see that there is a growing demand for electric sailing and sailing on hydrogen. In view of the increasingly stringent emission requirements, we want to be able to serve our customers with zero-emission propulsion technology. The HEAT.Lab will provide the necessary acceleration.’

Testing Sustainable Developments in Practice

There are still uncertainties in the development of sustainable technologies. In order to maintain the necessary pace, the innovative partners consider it of great importance to be able to test the developments directly against reality. This is what the field lab is intended for.

‘The innovative hydrogen solutions that will soon emerge from the HEAT.Lab can be used directly on existing (hybrid) ships,’ says Sander Roosjen (R&D manager Koedood Marine Group). ‘Hydrogen applications already exist on board ships – especially small ships such as canal boats etc. These are mostly hydrogen systems adapted from trucks and buses. We want to supply hydrogen systems that are truly developed for inland shipping. This means that the existing concepts for buses etc. will have to be reconsidered, marinised and scaled up with a power factor of at least ten. With this we want to give the “zero emission” technology for the maritime sector a strong foundation in the Drechtsteden region.’

Existing concepts need to be reconsidered, marinised and scaled up with a power factor of at least ten

Connection to the Region

The Koedood Marine Group in association with De Ruyter forms a very strong duo, because a large part of the Dutch inland shipping market is already served by one or both companies and the target group is therefore within reach. The research and development from the field lab also provide economic stimulation, for example in the form of extra employment, and contribute to the knowledge and education of the region.

‘We combine our own knowledge and experience in new clean technologies and work closely with knowledge institutions and education,’ says Martin van Dijk (hydrogen ambassador Koedood Marine Group). The University of Twente, the ROC Da Vinci College and the Sustainability Factory (Duurzaamheidsfabriek) are strategic partners in the HEAT.Lab. In this way we contribute to the future and the innovative character of the maritime sector.’

Picture: Signing of the cooperation agreement between (from left to right) Marc Meijer (Da Vinci College), Sander Roosjen (Koedood) and Prof. Sascha Kersten (University of Twente).

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.