BR.20.011 – Large Floating Structures for Hydrogen Production at Sea

Route: The blue route: water as a pathway to innovation and sustainable growth

Cluster question: 022 What is the most efficient way to use rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans to generate energy?

Sustainable production of hydrogen at sea requires floating structures to accommodate production, conversion, and storage of renewable energy at offshore locations. For hydrogen production and storage, large floating islands are envisaged consisting of interconnected rigid barges forming Modular Floating Structures (MFS), which provide the stable floating building ground for the process equipment. For offshore renewable energy production, large potential is seen for Offshore Floating PV (OFPV). OFPV requires lightweight, cost-effective support structures to keep solar panels afloat. For this purpose, floating blanket-like Very Flexible Floating Structures (VFFS) are envisaged that entirely follow the wave motion. For both types of structures, there are common problems to solve for their design and to pave the way for an offshore hydrogen future. Large uncertainties exist about their hydrodynamic loads, their mooring systems and connector loads. Little is known about their construction techniques and materials. Further, the economics of such structures including installation, operation, maintenance, and logistics as well as their public acceptance based on risk analysis and ecological impact are widely unknown. This project investigates the hydrodynamics and structural response of MFS and VFFS to get a deeper understanding of their physics, allowing to reliably model such structures and scale results from model tests to full-scale structures. For the crucial connector loads, we investigate means to reduce and transfer the loads smoothly into the structure. We develop mooring systems for deeper water to securely anchor the structures at acceptable loads and costs. We investigate new construction materials (next to steel) and techniques for offshore operating conditions. We do research into the economic, ecological, and societal effects. Important project outcome are results and insight from lab-scale demonstrators for the most promising MFS and VFFS solutions for hydrogen production at sea. These results are transferable to other ocean space utilization like floating cities and infrastructure.


connector loads, construction materials, ecological impact, hydrogen economy, logistics, mooring systems, ocean space utilization, Offshore Floating PV, offshore hydrodynamics, Offshore hydrogen production, risk analysis, structural response, Very Large Floating Structures

Other organisations



Organisation Delft University of Technology (TUD)
Name Dr.-Ing. S. (Sebastian) Schreier