First hydrogen-powered Crew Transfer Vessel ready for operation

Windcat Workboats, a Dutch offshore crew transfer vessel operator, and CMB.TECH announced that the first hydrogen-powered CTV is ready for immediate operation following successful trials and bunkering.

This groundbreaking development for both the marine and offshore wind industries is the first CTV to use clean fuels to cut traditional fuel usage and emissions by up to 80%. The Hydrocat 48 is a greener version of the Windcat MK 3.5, incorporating clean fuel technology into an already fuel-efficient and high-performing design.

The MK3.5 series incorporates dual fuel technology without sacrificing performance or the dependability of a conventionally fuelled vessel. It is the first vessel to truly provide a sustainable diesel alternative.

In 2017, CMB.TECH was the first to construct a hydrogen-powered passenger shuttle. The Hydrocat 48 is now being designed and built using this proven technology. MAN Engines produces the base MAN engine for dual fuel use, and CMB.TECH retrofits it with a hydrogen injection system.


CMB.TECH and Windcat Workboats are working on improving engine capacities and increasing the hydrogen percentage in use. The long-term goal is to develop the technology and infrastructure necessary to use a mono-fuel internal combustion engine in the future (ICE).

The hydrogen supply chain still needs to expand in order to become more widely available. There has been a significant shift toward hydrogen applications, and the hydrogen supply chain is expected to grow in the coming years. In this early stage of hydrogen development, CMB.TECH and Windcat have also developed solutions for supplying hydrogen to the vessel. CMB.TECH has designed a 40-foot 500-bar trailer for remote refueling of all systems that use the current technology. This single system, which can also support the Hydrocat, can serve multiple applications and customers.

Windcat, in collaboration with its joint venture partners TSM and FRS, is building three more vessels that will be equipped with hydrogen technology.

MAN engine

The operating characteristics, fuel consumption, and all other features are identical to the MAN D2862 LE428 with the same performance. A precise amount of hydrogen is added to the charge air as a form of pre-treatment. In the combustion chamber of the cylinders, this mixture of hydrogen and air is ignited with the injected diesel fuel. Only a small amount of diesel fuel is required, depending on the operating point of the engine.

In dual fuel mode, the diesel injection parameters are optimized to achieve the lowest emissions and best consumption values. As a result, when operating behavior and full load characteristics remain unchanged in dual fuel mode, significantly less CO2 is released in the exhaust gases. A switch back to diesel can be made at any time if there are problems with the hydrogen circuit or if the hydrogen supply is depleted. This ensures normal reliability and uninterrupted operation.

Image source: CMB.TECH

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