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Demonstration of a hydrogen powered uncrewed surface vessel (H-USV)


Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition

Department for Transport and Innovate UK


September 2021 - March 2022


Southampton, UK


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As part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition supported by DfT, ACUA Ocean are building the world's first hydrogen powered uncrewed surface vessel (H-USV) for long endurance operations at sea.

The project aims to deliver a factory acceptable test in March 2022.

Hydrogen powered USV

Autonomous uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) have the potential to offer a scalable solution to manage and monitor maritime activities. However, most USVs available on the market today have limited commercial viability due to low endurance or restricted payload capacities, making them unsuitable for true offshore operations.

To achieve extended ranges with high-power payloads, USVs currently rely on diesel generators with high CO2 emissions and require regular manned maintenance that limits their maximum achievable endurance.

To solve this challenge, ACUA Ocean has developed a hydrogen-powered USV (H-USV) for safety, security and environmental monitoring and management of offshore infrastructure, ports, and marine protected areas. With an endurance of 70days at 5knots and a peak speed of 20knots ACUA Ocean’s vessels can track vessels and provide environmental data using a suite of onboard sensors, communicate using VHF and LRAD systems whilst recording HD and thermal video for use as evidence.

Our H-USV can be manufactured at scale, reducing capital costs by 30%, allowing for cost-effective operations that are 50% cheaper than manned vessels throughout their lifespan.

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