Kawasaki's technology to establish hydrogen supply chain
Hydrogen conference session - Hydrogen shipping


Technology of cargo systems enabling the international transportation of liquefied hydrogen. Kawasaki Heavy Industires, Ltd ("KHI") completed the development, design and construction of a world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier “Suiso Frontier” which was put into service in 2022.

“Suiso Frontier” is provided with a new developed cargo containment system with a high-performance vacuum insulation technology. The vacuum insulation system adopted for this ship is a core technology that enables long-term and long-distance international transport of liquefied hydrogen. KHI has established the design, manufacturing and quality control to maintain the vacuum and ensure its performance for a long time, and succeeded in putting it into service. In addition, KHI succeeded in demonstrating insulation performance and reliability through a gas trial and cargo full loading test using liquefied hydrogen during several months before ship’s delivery.

Liquefied hydrogen has significantly different characteristics such as temperature, density, and diffusivity compared to conventional cargo such as LNG and LPG handled by ships. Therefore, cargo handling systems with high safety and reliability were required. At gas trial, cargo handling systems such as newly developed cargo pumps, cargo compressors, cargo heat exchangers, instrumentation such as liquefied hydrogen level gauges, gas combustion units, and vacuum insulated double wall pipes has demonstrated.

KHI carried out the verification of the cargo handling systems by conducting operation using liquefied hydrogen for each equipment and machineries, and completed confirmation of performance and reliability.

Furthermore, in order to realize safe liquefied hydrogen loading and unloading for ship operator, it is essential not only to verify the reliability of equipment and machineries, but also to establish safe operation procedure. Prior to carrying out the world's first liquefied hydrogen loading and unloading operation, safety verification was conducted from multiple perspectives, and a safe loading and unloading procedure was successfully established.

These several months of gas trial and cargo full loading test provided sufficient cargo containment system verification and cargo handling system verification. Through these trials and tests, KHI has collected valuable data and established technology for transporting liquefied hydrogen safely, in large quantities, and more efficiently. In this presentation, we will introduce a part of the technology proven in this gas trial and cargo full loading test.

Based on the technology proven by "Suiso Frontier", KHI continues to develop technology to realize scale-up of international transportation of liquefied hydrogen backed by the demonstration results. In this presentation, we will introduce current activities related to the new technology and show a picture of international transportation of liquefied hydrogen in the near future that can be realized by these technologies.

Speaker/ Author

Luis Quadrante
Luis Quadrante

Technical Manager

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (U.K) Ltd.

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