Lhyfe opened with great fanfare on Thursday, September 22, at the Eiffage shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, as part of the Sealhyfe project supported by Ademe and Pays-de-la Region -Loire. A world first, according to a Nantes start-up created in 2017 that went public this year. For now, this offshore electrolyser is in a cave provided by the network for a period of six months. It has already been producing hydrogen for three weeks. In spring, it will be deployed 20 km from Le Croisic at the SEM-REV test site in central Nantes for a 12-month campaign, during which the system will be powered by a Floatgen floating wind turbine from BW Ideol.
The Zeps Techno floating deck is equipped with an electrolysis and topped with a WindQuest wind turbine.
The demonstrator was installed at the Efage shipyard on a 21-meter-long, 14-meter-wide Jebbs Techno floating platform, and is 21 meters long, 14 meters wide, and has a trimaran-like hull design that ends about ten meters above the water. After an initial phase of trials that lasted more than two years, where a tidal energy system was tested, she returned to the port of Saint-Nazaire in November 2021. In addition to electrolysis, the site was recently topped with a small vertical axis. The wind turbine, WindQuest from Hydroquest, was previously tested at the Ifremer test site in Sainte-Anne-du-Portzic.
The SeaHife project system is installed in standard containers on the platform. The center has a 1 MW electrolysis plant, which is scaled optimally. It is designed and supplied by Plug Power. Acquired by this American company two years ago, this electrolyzer technology has been used in the United States for 40 years, particularly in submarines to produce oxygen and hydrogen. Lhyfe and Plug Power have a partnership from October 2021 to install 300 MW of green hydrogen production plants on land in Europe by 2025.
For Sealhyfe, Plug Power’s challenge was to design a device capable of withstanding the movements of the sea, Ole Höfelmann, managing director of this hydrogen specialist, explains: “The main adaptation was to ensure that all the mechanical and fluids, especially water, would be delivered reliably. Normally, we have an installation on land. There is, but here, it is subjected to waves.There must be electrolysis