The Japan-based Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) Wind Hunter project aims to do just that, with the purpose of building a ship that could transport cargo without needing any fueling!
MOL points out that this is by no means impossible because the wind over the seas provides an inexhaustible supply of energy.
As shipping giant says “this is the principle behind the Wind Hunter. When the wind is blowing strongly, sails capture it to propel the vessel forward. In between those gusts, turbines in the water spin and generate electricity and produce hydrogen”.
According to MOL, the hydrogen is stored in a tank in the form of MCH. When the wind is weak, the ship uses that hydrogen as a fuel cell delivering electricity. The electricity powers electric propellers that drive the ship forward.
MOL has already completed demonstration testing with a yacht in Omura Bay, Nagasaki Prefecture.
For the next stage, MOL plans to begin construction in 2024 on a hydrogen-producing vessel with a total length of 60 to 70 meters and outfitted with multiple sails.
By 2030, the Japanese company expects to construct a large zero-emissions hydrogen-producing cargo ship.