Transport of liquid hydrogen

New Zealand has an Aluminium Smelter which uses 12% of the power generated in New Zealand. The power comes from a hydroelectric power station not to far from the smelter. The large multinational that owns the smelter is demanding that the price of power be lowered from the very low price it already pays.
There has been a proposal that we tell the multinational to take a hike and change the plant to generate green hydrogen. The smelter is remote from major population centres.
Has anyone had any experience with shipping liquified hydrogen? At a temperature of -253 Celsius it presents major obstacles over LNG.
I’m also not sure whether the so called hydrogen economy is economically sound.

Well that is that. I guess the last ship to carry hydrogen was the Hindenburg.


The inventor of this proposal merits a yet to create ‘Absurd Nobel Prize’:
Replace the greenest of all green energies from a nearby hydroelectric plant… with hydrogen!

Hydrogen could be made by electrolysis of water with the electricity from the nearby hydroelectric plant. As the electrolysis of aluminium needs electricity, the hydrogen could produce this in a new nearby plant…

Or, the hydrogen is produced elsewhere by ‘steam reforming’, removing the hydrogen from not so green natural gas, transport it to the smelter and transform its energy into electricity…
The now useless hydroelectric plant may become a monument for the human intelligence.

If the production costs of the electricity do not permit to make aluminium at a reasonable prize, shut down the aluminium plant, the fate of many hundred plants all over the world.

Not so much transport but usage of hydrogen from small producers of renewable energy, be it wind. solar or mini-hydro:

This is just one of the many ideas that is circulated to resolve the problem of how to store power from periods of peak production to be used in periods of peak consumption, or when the sun don’t shine, the wind don’t blow, or it does not rain enough to keep the reservoirs full.

Transporting power in the form of hydrogen, rather than as HV Electricity by overhead lines or cables is a key element here.

Here is an article that discuss how this is done by road or pipeline today:
But for very large qualities, over longer distances or across oceans transport by ships will be necessary.

A number of studies and experiments are underway around the world to determine the bast way to do this and a Hydrogen Bunkering Tanker has been conceptualised by Moss Maritime:

Many, like me, think that fuel cells powered by hydrogen produced from renewable resources will be a major player in the future carbon neutral shipping of 2050:

Your opinion is in line with my gut feeling. Altering the transmission lines to send the power North is a big expense but is doable. Ultra high voltage direct current would seem to offer the best solution from the source particularly as part of the transmission lines cross Cook Strait as a submerged cable.

The smelter has enjoyed the lowest power by far than any other consumer in New Zealand.

It’s been fairly quiet about transport of liquid hydrogen, although it gets more and more attention as a possible future fuel for both marine and automotive use.

An Australian company has presented their design for a Liquid Hydrogen Carrier:

250 Bar (3600 PSI) pressure (??)

Not according to the press release. There is a difference between liquid hydrogen and compressed hydrogen.

Yes you are right, it is Compressed hydrogen, not Liquid hydrogen.
I was wrongly of the impression that compression, if “deep” enough turned it into a liquid, but apparently it does not. Sorry.