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Revolve partner with CMB to de-carbonise shipping with Hydroville Shuttle

Revolve engineers have again proved themselves as experts in the field of low carbon technology, delivering a hydrogen dual-fuelled powertrain for the “Hydroville” shuttle. 

The Hydroville is the first certified passenger shuttle that uses hydrogen in a diesel engine, and has made waves in more than the river Scheldt in Antwerp following its launch late last year, gaining worldwide press coverage for the first sea-going small passenger craft certified to use hydrogen as a fuel.

Revolve’s Low Carbon Technologies team played no small part in getting the Hydroville operating on hydrogen, which attracted much attention making it into the prestigious Royal Institute of Naval Architects “Significant Small Ships of 2017!” The Hydroville, commissioned by Belgian marine company CMB, made it into that publication owing to its innovation in the use of hydrogen as a fuel. 

The Hydroville was custom designed and built near Portsmouth specifically for this project by UK specialist boat-builder BWSeaCat. The vessel’s two standard Volvo Penta D4 engines were converted using Revolve’s well-established diesel-hydrogen co-combustion concept from the automotive sector. In addition, Revolve engineers specified and designed the hydrogen storage system including the high and low pressure tubing installation.

These were all incorporated into the boat’s bespoke build. Supporting documentation and evidence, witnessed back-to-back emissions to the RCD standard, Revolve’s own leak detection algorithms and Revolve’s best practice as experts in hydrogen conversions in the automotive sector were submitted to the exacting Lloyds Register (LR). LR, who have now set the standard for hydrogen to be used in small passenger vessels, certified the vessel following extensive and detailed safety reviews. Following LR approval, the Belgian Flag authority issued class certification for use in Belgium.

The original diesel-hydrogen co-combustion system has been used in Ford Transits very successfully for many years across the UK from Aberdeen and Fife in the North, Swansea and Swindon in the West to London in the South East - where they have been used as part of InnovateUK’s London Hydrogen Network Expansion project.

With that history, and CMB’s desire to introduce hydrogen into the marine industry, Revolve were commissioned to adapt the co-combustion technology for this concept vessel. Operating in Antwerp as a technology demonstrator, the shuttle “Hydroville” allows CMB to push for the wider use of hydrogen in the shipping industry. Thanks to CMB, and with Revolve’s help, hydrogen is now accepted as a fuel for small craft following the final approval by Lloyds Register and the Belgian Flag.

 The technology was first developed with support from the UK Innovate team at InnovateUK and continues to be exploited by Revolve across more and more diverse fields and markets round the world. 

This project shows once again that Revolve are at the forefront of green technology and pushing the boundaries for where and how carbon reduction technologies can be deployed.

Check out the launch video!

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