Hydrogen buoy enables vessels to transition to cleaner alternative fuels

March 28, 2024
Oasis Marine's new technology uses hydrogen for offshore bunkering.

Offshore staff

SCOTLAND Oasis Marine has developed the Oasis Hydrogen Buoy and the Oasis Power Buoy to provide offshore hydrogen bunkering and electric charging, allowing vessels to switch from diesel to green power.

The Oasis Hydrogen Buoy will be able to transfer green hydrogen produced by offshore wind farms, potentially becoming part of an offshore hydrogen highway, whereby hydrogen is stored at an offshore location before being transferred by buoy to vessels transporting hydrogen or using it as their fuel source.

George Smith, Oasis Marine's managing director, said, “Initially we are looking at deploying [the buoys] in the North Sea offshore wind market. Currently wind farm maintenance vessels rely on fossil fuels and make up the largest component of an operational wind farm’s carbon footprint. While that will be our initial focus, the technology could be applied to other vessels across the maritime industry.

“The maritime energy mix of the future won’t be a single solution but will be made up of different renewable sources. Our Oasis buoys deliver two of those through hydrogen and electric charging, both of which come from renewable, low-cost energy generated by wind farms.”

With funding and support from the Scottish government, mooring analysis of the hydrogen buoy was tested as part of the TestHOTS (Tank Testing of Hydrogen Offshore Transfer System) project demonstration. The demonstration at the Kelvin Hydrodynamic Laboratory in Glasgow showed how the mooring buoy connects to vessels, and scale model tank testing gathered technical data such as the impact of wave conditions and sea states on mooring loads while bunkering.

The project has already optimized the Oasis Hydrogen Buoy from numerical analysis and aims to further validate these findings from the wave tank testing. The demonstration followed a Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CDMC1) project, funded by the Department of Transport through Innovate UK, which allowed Oasis Marine to develop the design of the hydrogen buoy and prove the concept viable.

Oasis Marine partnered with Strathclyde University and ship owner O.S. Energy to conduct the hydrodynamic analysis and wave tank testing. One of O.S. Energy’s vessels is being retrofitted for hydrogen fuel and a model of the ship was used during the demonstration and tank tests.