ULSTEIN hydrogen hybrid turbine installation vessel, supported by the hydrogen powered ULSTEIN SX190 CSV.

Zero-emission turbine installation is today’s reality

Ulstein's second hydrogen hybrid design for the offshore wind industry, the ULSTEIN J102 zero emission wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV), can operate 75% of the time in zero emission mode. Using readily available technology, the additional cost is limited to less than 5% of the total CAPEX.

02 October 2020
Top view ULSTEIN J102 zero-emission turbine installation vessel.

Most new jack-up designs are featuring a battery hybrid system in addition to diesel gen sets, with a future option for hydrogen powered fuel cell system. The downside however of a high-power battery energy storage system (BESS) is its heavy weight and cost. That is not beneficial for a WTIV design, where weight savings are essential for minimizing Elevated Weight and optimising the Variable Deck Load.

Taking the industry from hydrogen prepared to hydrogen powered
Rather than to opt for technology to be matured to perfection and make a design that is prepared for future hydrogen powered fuel cells, Ulstein has taken the pragmatical, yet realistic approach. 'We have carefully analysed the operational cycle of WTIVs and looked at the power demand in the various modes of operations', says Ko Stroo, Product Manager at Ulstein. 'This analysis showed that ca. 75% of its time, a WTIV is in jacked-up position performing crane operations. Using a combination of a hydrogen fuel cell system and a relatively small battery energy storage system (BESS) is then sufficient to meet the overall power demand on board and crane peak loads.'

Attractive business case for turbine installation vessels
'The same design philosophy as on our first hydrogen powered SX190 design, resulted in a much more attractive business case when applied to a turbine installation vessel', states Edwin van Leeuwen, managing director of Ulstein's Rotterdam design office.

The hydrogen hybrid system of the ULSTEIN J102 design has been developed in such a way, that future developments in hydrogen technology can easily be fitted into the vessel without major modifications. 'The limited availability of hydrogen bunker infrastructure in ports is often seen as a major hurdle. With our modular storage lay-out, we want to break the chicken and egg dilemma', continues Stroo. 'It creates flexibility to operate the vessel worldwide, even when bunker infrastructure is not yet present.'

'The strong focus on renewable energy and emission reduction to meet worldwide climate goals should also be reflected by investments in cleaner operations when installing offshore wind turbines', says Edwin van Leeuwen. 'Hydrogen is one of the most promising zero-emission fuels for offshore vessels and we want to be leading in developing sustainable ships.'

Main features of ULSTEIN's J102 hydrogen-hybrid zero-emission design are:

  • CO2 reduction per year: 4,000 mt
  • Emission reduction per installation cycle: 25 %
  • H2 fuel cell system: PEM fuel cell
  • H2 storage system: 7 x 40ft containers compressed H2
  • Battery energy storage

Ulstein participates in the UN Global Compact program supporting the UN Sustainability Development Goals. 

More on how we want to build a a sustainable maritime legacy here.

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Ulstein Group result 2023

In 2023, Ulstein Group recorded revenues of NOK 1.4 billion and an operating profit of NOK 49 million. The knowledge and experience Ulstein have gained through more than a hundred-year history have created a dynamic and flexible organisation that we now benefit from in the transition to a greener and gradually more fossil-free future.

Edwin van Leeuwen Ulstein 19 comp bw

Edwin van Leeuwen

Managing Director

Ulstein Design & Solutions B.V.

Ulstein Design & Solutions B.V.