Green hydrogen or synthetic e-fuels for acceptable prices

The idea suggests itself. The in-principle solution for mankind’s energy problem is green hydrogen or other synthetic e-fuels. Unlike standard green electricity from photovoltaik or wind turbines, their energy supply is constant and reliable. Synthetic natural gas (SNG) is probably easiest and most convenient to handle, because existing LNG tankers, LNG terminals in harbors, gas pipelines and gas networks can be used to store and to transport this green fuel to the point of need. Existing end-usage technologies doe not have to change. It is just like fossil natural gas, but green and clean.

Very similar are liquid e-fuels, in particular for usage in airplances (e-kerosene), ships (e-diesel, e-ammonia, e-LNG), or trucks, busses and cars (e-diesel, e-gasoline, e-gas).

Green hydrogen (H2) is the even better solution, once infrastructures have been developed for storage and for transport. Hydrogen is very versatile, it can be burned in combustion engines, turbines or cold transformed into electricity in fuel cells. The exhaust is pure water.

The problem we address is the production costs of H2, SNG or liquid fuels. Our H2SHIP technology promises green hydrogen delivered into a harbour terminal for less than EUR or USD 2 per kg H2.

The cubic relationship between wind speed and energy

The power and energy that we can harvest from wind is a cubic function of the wind speed (P ~ VWind3). This means that higher wind speeds have much higher energy content than lower wind speeds. Double wind speed results in eight times more power or energy.

So it is well worth the effort to find even slightly more wind. OCEANERGY’s technology is geared to harvest wind energy,  where the wind is strongest and permanent: on the open ocean.

Graphic: The cubic relationship between wind speed and power.

A mobile wind power plant on the open ocean

Wind turbines are usually fixed, standing on a base either on land or in shallow waters. Typically a water depth of 40m is the maximum for this type of technology. There are some first pilot projects with wind turbines mounted on swimming foundations (floating offshore wind turbines), but again, they are operating at fixed locations, passively waiting for wind.

The KITE GAS/FUEL SHIP is a ship-based mobile wind power plant, which has specifically been designed to harvest wind energy on the open ocean, far from land. Smartly navigated, according to the wind forecast, we find there permanent and strong wind, resulting in a multitude of power and energy to harvest. Calculations show that the KITE GAS/FUEL SHIP can harvest up to 160 times more wind power per annum than a land-based wind turbine. I can harvest up to 50 times more power p.a. than a fixed-based offshore wind turbine.

Graphic: The wind speed over the Atlantic Ocean. Source: NASA.
Graphic: The wind speed over the Pacific Ocean. Source: NASA.

The most stable wind systems on earth are the trade wind zones. One can clearly see these in the above graphics, north and south of the equator, in form of the southeast trade wind and the northeast trade wind. These wind zones move with the seasons, and during winter their winds are stronger than during summer. The KITE GAS/FUEL SHIP power plants move with the seasons, too, and navigate AI-supported according to the wind forecast to operate with a maximum capacity factor or 80-90% per year, resembling an operation time with full load hours of 7000-7800 hours per annum.

Average annual wind speed nasa
Graphic: The annual average wind speed. Source: NASA.

The KITE GAS/FUEL SHIP actively navigates to areas of high wind speeds. A further advantage over fixed wind power plants is it flexibility to find the best market to sell H2 or e-fuels, and its flexibility to react to changing wind systems due to climate change.

Is is an RES (renewable energy source), with integrated H2 conversion and storage, and with logistics up until offload at terminals for H2 (hydrogen), NH3 (ammonia), CH4 (e-LNG), or synCrude.

Earth Wind Map
Graphic: The wind over the Atlantic Ocean on 25/7/2017. Source: