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HydroWing, Tocardo partner on production of hydrogen from tidal power

HydroWing, in partnership with Tocardo, introduced the THyPSO (Tidal Hydrogen production, Storage and Offtake), a concept that creates green hydrogen from the sea, contributing to the wider global decarbonization of energy systems.

THyPSO is a floating platform, housing 1 – 6 conventional bi-directional tidal turbines that convert tidal flows into electrical energy, which is then directed through an integrated hydrogen production unit, converting the unlimited supply of surrounding seawater into hydrogen.

THyPSO has capacity to hold up to two weeks’ worth of hydrogen production in pressurized storage tanks. Offtake is scheduled autonomously by remote communications and discharge occurs within a single slack tide. A simple and safe procedure using an offtake vessel moored down-stream of the device, connected via a pressurised delivery hose.


Hydrogen—a more versatile commodity than electricity—can be stored and used for a wide range of applications, eliminating carbon emissions from maritime transport, agriculture, aquaculture, fishing, tourism, leisure, Petro-chemicals, road transport, rail transport and grid balancing.

THyPSO combines the advantages of tidal and hydrogen technologies, mutually overcoming technical and financial barriers faced by each technology alone. By being autonomous of the grid and eliminates expensive and high-risk subsea infrastructure, creating substantial savings on OPEX and CAPEX, as well as installation and decommission.

Another key issue with producing electricity from any renewable source is the intermittency of production. By producing hydrogen instead of electricity, the offtake and onward distribution can be actively managed and scheduled to suit weather windows and market demands at the time. Consenting, installation, and decommissioning are other areas where substantial time and costs can be saved.

The THyPSO project will demonstrate streamlined implementation of tidal energy projects with a view to upscaling and rolling out larger projects across Europe and the rest of the world in the coming years in line with expected growing demand for green-sourced hydrogen.

Roughly 70 million tonnes of hydrogen are already produced annually representing a market worth more than US$121 billion. Hydrogen is utilized for a wide range of current industrial processes from ammonia, methanol and metals production and refinery of oil. Currently 98% of this demand is met by non-green sources resulting in around 830 million tonnes of CO2 a year—equivalent to the emissions of the UK and Indonesia combined.

In January 2020 HydroWing and QED Naval formed a new collaborative European joint venture and with it acquired turbine developer Tocardo. Tocardo’s technology development started in 1999; the company produced its first prototype in 2005. Since then it developed two new turbine technologies, filled more than 20 patents for industry leading innovations and become the world’s only commercial turbine supplier. Additionally, it has operated more tidal projects any other and racked up more running hours than the rest of the sectors major developers combined. Their technology is renowned for its simplicity, robustness and reliability having achieved 90-100% availability across projects.

Tocardo’s turbines are direct drive, i.e. without a gearbox or mechanical pitch mechanism. They have a patented, smart rotor bi-blade design, enabling the to be bi-directional with a guaranteed 20-year lifetime.



Tidal is one of the more dependable renewable energy sources. In that case, would they not be better plugging it straight into the grid ?
Maybe they can make more money by (as they say) avoiding the cost of the grid link up and putting the H2 into a set of tanks.
70 Million Tonnes = 70 x10^9 Kg.
1 Kg costs ~$0.8
Thus 70M Tonnes = $56 Bn - I'm not sure where they got the $121Bn gtom (green H2 ?), but it certainly is a much larger market than I would have guessed.
Good luck to them.

Albert E Short

This makes endless sense once you solve for the corrosion and harvesting issues - there's endless free energy in bobbing waves. As the article states, the "subsea" infrastructure was the complex expensive part and this worker-bee offtake vessel seems fundamentally simple.


The problem is that so far you couldn’t make electrolysis from sea water as the chloride ions would eat the electrodes in a few hours . Some have started to look in the Issue by using repellent for chloride , not sure if it is good enough


@Albert, this is tidal, not wave energy. Wave energy is difficult because you have different wave lengths (wavelengths) and wave amplitudes. This makes it difficult to optimise for conditions on any day.

@Tree, these guys claim to have "solved" the chloride problem.

They can go for "more than 1000 hours" as opposed to 12 hours.
However, 1000 hours is only 42 days, so it sounds like they have work to do, unless these guys have something better.

They say they can store 2 weeks worth of hydrogen, so maybe they change the electrodes every 2 or 3 visits.

Daniel Phelan

"Hydrogen—a more versatile commodity than electricity" LOL
All this H2 production is to eventually make electricity right through a PEM right?

Electricity alone is the future of Energy especially motive power. Not some snake oil. The oil companies are desperate to sell you a fuel and they think they can sell you H2 for your grossly inefficient Fuel Cell Car. The production of H2 either through steam reformation or cracking of water is energy intensive. Then you have to create a world wide storage and delivery infrastructure for the smallest element in the universe. Then you are going to waste most of the H2 as heat trying to generate some electricity with a PEM to drive a car?

No thank you.


The problem with both tidal and wave energy is that the energy is relatively diffuse and a lot of capital equipment is required to capture it. It is much worse than the amount of equipment required for wind turbines which is bad enough. Then add to the problem the equipment and losses associated with making, compressing and storing hydrogen. Tidal energy also has another problem in that the tides happen about twice a day.

This will not be an economical solution for making hydrogen and so far has not been a economical solution for electric power with only a few commercial facilities having been built.


If there's a problem with chloride ions, osmosis is probably the answer.  Just put a slightly hypertonic solution of some other electrolyte on the opposite side of a water-permeable membrane and water will naturally flow through, leaving the chloride behind.

Doesn't fix the problems with tidal power, though.  The ocean is a "high-energy environment" and beats up equipment pretty badly.

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