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Sealhyfe, the world's first offshore hydrogen production test platform, connected to Centrale Nantes' SEM-REV offshore test site

Lhyfe's offshore hydrogen production test platform has been towed some 20 km off the Atlantic coast and successfully connected to the SEM-REV electrical hub.

on June 27, 2023

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This announcement was made at sea on the SEM-REV site during a press conference on 26 June.

The Sealhyfe platform has been producing its first kilos of offshore hydrogen since 20 June 2023, - a decisive milestone for the future of the sector.

After an initial phase of dockside testing, the Sealhyfe platform was moved to Centrale Nantes' SEM-REV offshore test site off Le Croisic. Now connected to the SEM-REV subsea hub, which already hosts a floating wind turbine, Sealhyfe has embarked upon the second experimental phase: offshore hydrogen production, under the most challenging conditions.

Sealhyfe: tackling unprecedented challenges

In launching the world's first offshore hydrogen production test platform, Lhyfe sought to demonstrate the technical feasibility of such a project, and to gain the operational experience needed to rapidly scale up. The company therefore made a conscious decision to test Sealhyfe under the most challenging conditions. These tests in real conditions are carried out on a floating platform, redesigned to stabilize the offshore production unit (WAVEGEM platform, developed by GEPS Techno) and connected to the hub of Centrale Nantes' SEM-REV offshore test site - run by the OPEN-C foundation - to which a floating wind turbine (FLOATGEN, developed and run by BW Ideol) is already connected.

Lhyfe and its partners designed, built and assembled all the equipment required for offshore hydrogen production, including the 1 MW electrolyzer supplied by Plug, in just 16 months, on a platform spanning less than 200 m². Sealhyfe has a production capacity of up to 400 kg/day.

8 months of dockside testing to "derisk" this world first

Sealhyfe was moored at the Quai des Frégates in the Port of Saint-Nazaire between September 2022 and May 2023. The project partners thus capitalized on a series of commissioning tests to confidently embark upon the second phase of the project, and to make the most of this experience:
  • Benchmark testing phase: hundreds of tests were carried out dockside to accurately record the platform's behaviour and performance, so as to compare them with the results of phase 2, courtesy of the thousands of sensors with which it is equipped.
  • Equipment and system optimization: all equipment was adapted for offshore operation in challenging conditions, and designed to reduce the number of maintenance operations required at sea. Dockside testing helped Lhyfe to further optimize and improve equipment behaviour.
  • Development of the necessary tools: Lhyfe developed the software and algorithmic packages needed to manage the site autonomously, more than 20 km from the coast, and connected to the SEM-REV test site's subsea hub.

Start of offshore production: millions of data items to be collected

On 19 May, Sealhyfe was towed out to the SEM-REV offshore test site, 20 km off the coast of Le Croisic. It was then connected to the site's subsea hub via a purpose-built umbilical cable. The system was restarted and up and running in just 48 hours.

Lhyfe will now repeat all the tests carried out dockside several times, in order to draw precise comparisons between the results, before tackling the additional tests specific to offshore applications. The company will also develop a unique operating capability: reliable offshore hydrogen production in an isolated environment, management of platform movement and environmental stress, validation of software and algorithms for green and renewable hydrogen production, etc.

Sealhyfe represents a historic step towards this new clean, reliable energy model to which the whole world aspires via large-scale green hydrogen production.

► Download the Lhyfe press release: Lhyfe announces that Sealhyfe, the world’s first offshore hydrogen production pilot, produces its first kilos of green hydrogen in the Atlantic Ocean!

Photo caption: right: Sealhyfe, offshore hydrogen production test platform (Lhyfe), on the WAVEGEM platform (GEPS Techno); left: FLOATGEN floating turbine (BW Ideol). On the SEM-REV offshore test site (Centrale Nantes / OPEN-C) © Lhyfe
Published on June 27, 2023 Updated on June 27, 2023