Dutch solar island promises new fuelling possibilities

A pair of Dutch companies have set out to build a prototype solar island as a novel way of fuelling ships.

SolarDuck and Voyex are creating the solar island on the Waal river in the province of Gelderland. The panels will create hydrogen with testing of the new facility set to start in April and plans afoot to upscale the project to sea locations.

“The innovative power lies in combining technologies,” said Koen Burgers, CEO of SolarDuck. “If upscaled, a solar island at sea and on rivers can offer the shipping sector a sustainable alternative.”

SolarDuck is supplying the solar island: four linked platforms containing 39 solar panels each.

The floating solar island, which produces 65 kw of peak power, is connected to a 10 kw electrolyzer that produces hydrogen. The hydrogen is bonded to a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC), an oil-like liquid which serves as a binding agent for the hydrogen.

“This hydrogen-oil can be transported at room temperature, under the same atmospheric conditions as fuels such as diesel,” Wiard Leenders, CEO of Voyex, explained.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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