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Title:
OFFSHORE ENERGY GENERATION SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/204857
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention is directed broadly to an offshore energy generation system (10) comprising an offshore platform (12), a liquid ammonia storage vessel (14) associated with the offshore platform (12), and an ammonia cracking reactor (16) mounted to the offshore platform (12) and arranged to crack ammonia thereby producing hydrogen to be supplied onshore via hydrogen pipeline (18). The offshore energy generation system (10) also comprises an electricity generation module (20) mounted to the offshore platform (12) and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel (14) for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electric cable (22). The ammonia storage vessel (14) is adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a tanker or ship (26).

Inventors:
COOPER, Bretton (PO Box 389, Seaforth, New South Wales 2092, 2092, AU)
Application Number:
AU2019/050172
Publication Date:
October 31, 2019
Filing Date:
February 28, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
RENAM PROPERTIES PTY LTD (PO Box 389, Seaforth, New South Wales 2092, 2092, AU)
International Classes:
B63B35/44; C01B3/02; C01B3/04
Foreign References:
CN107725191A2018-02-23
KR20170138303A2017-12-15
AU2014101274A42014-11-27
US3352716A1967-11-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CLARK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PTY LTD (Suite 102, 6-8 Clarke StreetCrows Nest, New South Wales 2065, 2065, AU)
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Claims:
Claims

1. An offshore energy generation system comprising:

an offshore platform secured to the seafloor;

a liquid ammonia storage vessel associated with the offshore platform, said storage vessel adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a ship;

an electricity generating module mounted to the offshore platform and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electrical cable.

2. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the electricity generating module includes a fuel cell, a gas turbine, an internal

combustion engine, or any other ammonia-fuelled device.

3. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in either of claims 1 or 2 wherein the offshore platform is located near-shore and rigidly fixed to the seafloor via one or more piles.

4. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in either of claims 1 or 2 wherein the offshore platform is floating and anchored to the seafloor.

5. An offshore energy generation system comprising:

an offshore platform secured to the seafloor;

a liquid ammonia storage vessel associated with the offshore platform, said storage vessel adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a ship;

an ammonia cracking reactor mounted to the offshore platform and arranged to receive ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel, said ammonia cracking reactor being configured to harness waste heat from a waste heat source co-located with said reactor to promote cracking of ammonia in the reactor thereby producing hydrogen to be supplied onshore via a hydrogen pipeline.

6. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in claim 5 also comprising an electricity generating module mounted to the offshore platform and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electrical cable.

7. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in claim 6 wherein the electricity generating module provides the waste heat source and includes a fuel cell, a gas turbine, an internal combustion engine, or any other ammonia-fuelled device.

8. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in any one of claims 5 to 7 also comprising a hydrogen processing module located at the offshore platform and operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor for processing the hydrogen produced in the ammonia cracking reactor into a form suitable for supply onshore via the hydrogen pipeline.

9. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in claim 8 wherein the hydrogen processing module includes a hydrogen compressor operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor for compressing the hydrogen prior to its supply onshore.

10. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in either of claims 6 or 7 wherein the ammonia cracking reactor includes a reaction chamber containing a catalyst to promote the decomposition of ammonia for the production of hydrogen.

1 1. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in claim 10 wherein the reaction chamber is operatively coupled to the electricity generating module to harness its waste heat in heating of the catalyst and the ammonia to enhance cracking of the ammonia in the production of the hydrogen.

12. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in either of claims 6 or 7 further comprising a fuel recovery module operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor to recover uncracked ammonia from said reactor and direct it to the electricity generating module to provide a supplementary fuel source in generating electricity at said generating module.

13. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in claim 12 wherein the fuel recovery module also recovers waste hydrogen from the ammonia cracking reactor to combine with the uncracked ammonia in the supplementary fuel source directed to the electricity generating module.

14. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in any one of claims 5 to 13 wherein the offshore platform is located near-shore and rigidly fixed to the seafloor via one or more piles.

15. An offshore energy generation system as claimed in any one of claims 5 to 13 wherein the offshore platform is floating and anchored to the seafloor.

16. An energy generation and replenishment system comprising:

an offshore platform secured to the seafloor;

a liquid ammonia storage vessel associated with the offshore platform, said storage vessel adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a ship;

an electricity generating module mounted to the offshore platform and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electrical cable;

an electricity dispenser located onshore and operatively coupled to the electrical cable, said dispenser adapted to dispense electricity to one or more batteries associated with an electric vehicle.

17. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in claim 16 wherein the electricity generating module includes a fuel cell, a gas turbine, an internal combustion engine, or any other ammonia-fuelled device.

18. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in either of claims 16 or 17 wherein the offshore platform is located near-shore and rigidly fixed to the seafloor via one or more piles.

19. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in either of claims 16 or 17 wherein the offshore platform is floating and anchored to the seafloor.

20. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in any one of claims 16 to 19 wherein the electric vehicle is an autonomous vehicle.

21. An energy generation and replenishment system comprising:

an offshore platform secured to the seafloor;

a liquid ammonia storage vessel associated with the offshore platform, said storage vessel adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a ship;

an ammonia cracking reactor mounted to the offshore platform and arranged to receive ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel, said ammonia cracking reactor being configured to harness waste heat from a waste heat source co-located with said reactor to promote cracking of ammonia in the reactor thereby producing hydrogen to be supplied onshore via a hydrogen pipeline;

a hydrogen dispenser located onshore and operatively coupled to the hydrogen pipeline, said dispenser adapted to dispense hydrogen to a hydrogen fuel cell associated with a fuel cell vehicle.

22. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in claim 21 also comprising an electricity generating module mounted to the offshore platform and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electrical cable.

23. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in claim 22 wherein the electricity generating module provides the waste heat source and includes a fuel cell, a gas turbine, an internal combustion engine, or any other ammonia-fuelled device.

24. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in any one of claims 21 to 23 also comprising a hydrogen processing module located at the offshore platform and operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor for processing the hydrogen produced in the ammonia cracking reactor into a form suitable for supply onshore via the hydrogen pipeline.

25. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in claim 24 wherein the hydrogen processing module includes a hydrogen compressor

operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor for compressing the hydrogen prior to its supply onshore.

26. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in either of claims 22 or 23 wherein the ammonia cracking reactor includes a reaction chamber containing a catalyst to promote the decomposition of ammonia for the production of hydrogen.

27. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in claim 26 wherein the reaction chamber is operatively coupled to the electricity generating module to harness its waste heat in heating of the catalyst and the ammonia to enhance cracking of the ammonia in the production of the hydrogen.

28. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in either of claims 22 or 23 further comprising a fuel recovery module operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor to recover uncracked ammonia from said reactor and direct it to the electricity generating module to provide a supplementary fuel source in generating electricity at said generating module.

29. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in claim 28 wherein the fuel recovery module also recovers waste hydrogen from the ammonia cracking reactor to combine with the uncracked ammonia in the supplementary fuel source directed to the electricity generating module.

30. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in any one of claims 21 to 29 wherein the offshore platform is located near-shore and rigidly fixed to the seafloor via one or more piles.

31. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in any one of claims 21 to 29 wherein the offshore platform is floating and anchored to the seafloor.

32. An energy generation and replenishment system as claimed in any one of claims 21 to 31 wherein the fuel cell vehicle is an autonomous vehicle.

Description:
OFFSHORE ENERGY GENERATION SYSTEM

Technical Field

[0001 ] The present invention relates broadly to an offshore energy generation system for the delivery of electricity and/or hydrogen onshore. The invention also relates broadly to an energy generation and replenishment system for the offshore generation of electricity and/or hydrogen and its supply onshore for dispensing to electric and/or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Summary of Invention

[0002] According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided an offshore energy generation system comprising:

an offshore platform secured to the seafloor;

a liquid ammonia storage vessel associated with the offshore platform, said storage vessel adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a ship;

an electricity generating module mounted to the offshore platform and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electrical cable.

[0003] According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided an offshore energy generation system comprising:

an offshore platform secured to the seafloor;

a liquid ammonia storage vessel associated with the offshore platform, said storage vessel adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a ship;

an ammonia cracking reactor mounted to the offshore platform and arranged to receive ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel, said ammonia cracking reactor being configured to harness waste heat from a waste heat source co located with said reactor to promote cracking of ammonia in the reactor thereby producing hydrogen to be supplied onshore via a hydrogen pipeline. [0004] Preferably the offshore energy generation system also comprises an electricity generating module mounted to the offshore platform and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electrical cable. More preferably the electricity generating module provides the waste heat source and includes but is not limited to a fuel cell, a gas turbine, an internal combustion engine, or any other ammonia-fuelled device.

[0005] Preferably the offshore energy generation system also comprises a hydrogen processing module located at the offshore platform and operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor for processing the hydrogen produced in the ammonia cracking reactor into a form suitable for supply onshore via the hydrogen pipeline. More preferably the hydrogen processing module includes a hydrogen compressor operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor for compressing the hydrogen prior to its supply onshore.

[0006] Preferably the ammonia cracking reactor includes a reaction chamber containing a catalyst to promote the decomposition of ammonia for the production of hydrogen. More preferably the reaction chamber is operatively coupled to the electricity generating module to harness its waste heat in heating of the catalyst and the ammonia to enhance cracking of the ammonia in the production of the hydrogen.

[0007] Preferably the offshore energy generation system further comprises a fuel recovery module operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor to recover uncracked ammonia from said reactor and direct it to the electricity generating module to provide a supplementary fuel source in generating electricity at said generating module. More preferably the fuel recovery module also recovers waste hydrogen from the ammonia cracking reactor to combine with the uncracked ammonia in the supplementary fuel source directed to the electricity generating module.

[0008] Preferably the offshore platform is located near-shore and rigidly fixed to the seafloor via one or more piles. Alternatively the offshore platform is floating and anchored to the seafloor.

[0009] According to a third aspect of the invention there is provided an energy generation and replenishment system comprising: an offshore platform secured to the seafloor;

a liquid ammonia storage vessel associated with the offshore platform, said storage vessel adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a ship;

an electricity generating module mounted to the offshore platform and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electrical cable;

an electricity dispenser located onshore and operatively coupled to the electrical cable, said dispenser adapted to dispense electricity to one or more batteries associated with an electric vehicle.

[0010] According to a fourth aspect of the invention there is provided an energy generation and replenishment system comprising:

an offshore platform secured to the seafloor;

a liquid ammonia storage vessel associated with the offshore platform, said storage vessel adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a ship;

an ammonia cracking reactor mounted to the offshore platform and arranged to receive ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel, said ammonia cracking reactor being configured to harness waste heat from a waste heat source co located with said reactor to promote cracking of ammonia in the reactor thereby producing hydrogen to be supplied onshore via a hydrogen pipeline;

a hydrogen dispenser located onshore and operatively coupled to the hydrogen pipeline, said dispenser adapted to dispense hydrogen to a hydrogen fuel cell associated with a fuel cell vehicle.

[001 1 ] Preferably either the electric or fuel cell vehicles are autonomous vehicles.

Brief Description of Drawings

[0012] In order to achieve a better understanding of the nature of the present invention a preferred embodiment of an offshore energy generation system will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Figure 1 is a schematic illustration of a preferred embodiment of an offshore energy generation system according to the invention;

Figure 2 is a schematic illustration of an alternative embodiment of an offshore energy generation system.

Detailed Description

[0013] As seen in figure 1 , there is an embodiment of an offshore energy generation system 10 of one aspect of the invention broadly comprising an offshore platform 12, a liquid ammonia storage vessel 14 associated with the offshore platform 12, and an ammonia cracking reactor 16 mounted to the offshore platform 12 and arranged to crack ammonia thereby producing hydrogen to be supplied onshore via a hydrogen pipeline 18. In this embodiment the offshore energy generation system 10 also comprises an electricity generating module 20 mounted to the offshore platform 12 and fuelled by ammonia from the liquid ammonia storage vessel 14 for generating electricity to be supplied onshore via an electric cable 22.

[0014] In this embodiment the ammonia cracking reactor 16 is configured to harness waste heat from a waste heat source in the form of the electricity generating module 20 co-located with the reactor 16. The harnessed waste heat promotes cracking of ammonia in the reactor 16 whereby producing hydrogen. This waste heat recovery from the electricity generating module 20 may be effected via a heat exchanger 24 operatively coupled to and located between the ammonia cracking reactor 16 and the electricity generating module 20.

[0015] In this embodiment the ammonia storage vessel 14 is adapted to receive liquid ammonia from an ammonia carrier in the form of a tanker or ship 26. The tanker or ship 26 is designed to berth or dock alongside the offshore platform 12 for transfer of the liquid ammonia to the ammonia storage vessel 14. This transportation and transfer of liquid ammonia offshore mitigates the risk associated with leakage of ammonia onshore, noting that ammonia in its gaseous form is noxious. The liquid ammonia thus remains offshore on the offshore platform 12 where it is converted to hydrogen. [0016] In another aspect of the invention there is an energy generation and replenishment system which includes the offshore energy generation system 10 of the preceding embodiment designed to supply hydrogen and/or electricity to an onshore hydrogen dispenser such as 30 and/or electricity dispenser such as 32. In this embodiment the hydrogen is supplied to the hydrogen dispenser 30 via the hydrogen pipeline 18 whereas the electricity is supplied to the electricity dispenser 32 via the electrical cable 22. The electrical cable 22 and/or the hydrogen pipeline 18 can be either floating or otherwise located at the surface of the ocean, or located on the seafloor. The hydrogen dispenser 30 is designed to dispense hydrogen to a hydrogen fuel cell associated with a land-based vehicle such as an autonomous vehicle 34. The electricity dispenser 32 is suitable for dispensing electricity for charging one or more batteries of a land-based electric vehicle such as an

autonomous vehicle 36. Alternatively or additionally the electrical cable 22 may be configured to deliver electricity directly to an electricity grid 38.

[0017] In this embodiment the offshore energy system 10 also comprises a hydrogen processing module in the form of a hydrogen compressor 40 located at the offshore platform 12. The hydrogen compressor 40 is operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor 16 for compressing the hydrogen prior to its supply onshore via the hydrogen pipeline 18.

[0018] Although not illustrated in any detail, the ammonia cracking reactor 16 includes a reaction chamber containing a catalyst (not shown) to promote

decomposition of ammonia in the cracking reaction for the production of impure hydrogen. The ammonia cracking reactor 16 may also be associated with a filtration membrane arranged to filter the impure hydrogen to provide hydrogen permeate at a relatively high purity. The high purity hydrogen permeate is at levels of around 99.999% hydrogen which it is understood is effective for operation of hydrogen fuel cells of for example the land base fuel cell vehicles.

[0019] Although not designated, the offshore energy generation system 10 of this embodiment may also comprise an ammonia fuel recovery module operatively coupled to the ammonia cracking reactor 16. The recovery module is configured to recover uncracked ammonia from the ammonia cracking reactor 16 and to direct it to the electricity generating module 20 to provide a supplementary fuel source in generating electricity at the generating module 20. The fuel recovery module may also recover waste hydrogen from the ammonia cracking reactor 16 to combine with the uncracked ammonia in the supplementary fuel source directed to the electricity generating module 20.

[0020] In this embodiment the electricity generating module 20 is one of the following ammonia-fuelled devices:

1. a fuel cell;

2. a gas turbine;

3. an internal combustion engine.

[0021 ] It is to be understood that the energy system may include more than one hydrogen and/or electricity dispenser such as 30 and 32 respectively. The number of dispensers and the onshore load imposed in hydrogen and/or electrical replenishment will largely dictate the volumetric capacity of the offshore ammonia storage vessel such as 14. The liquid ammonia is stored at a temperature of around -34°C or a pressure of at least 10 Bar.

[0022] The liquid ammonia storage vessel 14 may be one of a plurality of storage vessels located at the offshore platform 12. In a variation on this embodiment of the invention the offshore energy generation system 10 may comprise a plurality of interconnected offshore platforms with at least one of the platforms secured to the seafloor. This variation or other embodiment of the offshore energy generation system 100 is schematically illustrated in figure 2.

[0023] For ease of reference and in order to avoid repetition, the alternative embodiment of the offshore energy generation system 100 of figure 2 designates corresponding unit operations from the earlier or preferred embodiment with an additional“0” in the reference numeral. For example, the liquid ammonia storage vessel of the other embodiment is designated at 140.

[0024] In this other embodiment of the offshore energy generation system 100, there are two offshore platforms 120a and 120b secured to the seafloor and operatively coupled to one another. One of the platforms 120a is dedicated to the storage of liquid ammonia within the liquid ammonia storage vessel 140 and is designed for berthing or docking of the liquid ammonia tanker 260. The other of the offshore platforms 120b includes the necessary unit operations for the production of hydrogen, namely the ammonia cracking reactor 160, the electricity generating module 200 and the hydrogen compressor 400. Liquid ammonia is delivered from the offshore platform 120a to the other offshore platform 120b via an ammonia pipeline bridging the platforms 120a/b.

[0025] In the embodiments described the offshore platform 12/120 is located near shore with at least one of the platforms being secured to the seafloor. The platform such as 12/120 may be rigidly fixed to the seafloor via one or more piles or alternatively the platform is floating and anchored to the seafloor.

[0026] In its preferred form the liquid ammonia is renewable as it is produced or derived by electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen using renewable energy such as wind or solar as the power source for this electrolysis reaction. This or another renewable power source is also used to power an air separation unit for the production of nitrogen. The plant which synthesises the hydrogen and nitrogen to produce and liquefy ammonia also relies upon or is powered by renewable energy.

[0027] Now that a preferred embodiment of an offshore energy generation system has been described it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the system has the following advantages:

1. the system avoids dangerous goods hazards associated with land bound

transportation of ammonia which in its gaseous form is noxious by limiting its transportation and processing to offshore facilities;

2. the system in providing near-shore platforms with onshore dispensing of

hydrogen and/or electricity provides relatively short links to the“fuel” load;

3. the system can depending on the required design and location of unit

operations be extended to multiple offshore platforms operatively coupled to one another;

4. the system in its preferred embodiment in recovering waste heat associated with the generation of electricity efficiently operates to promote cracking of ammonia reducing or eliminating the requirement for an external energy source to effect this reaction.

[0028] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention as described herein is susceptible to variations and modifications other than those specifically described. For example, the system may be limited to the generation of electricity only without the ammonia cracking reactor and associated unit operations required for the production of hydrogen. Conversely the system may be configured solely for the production of hydrogen without the production of electricity. The onshore electrical load may be consumed by a combination of electrical vehicles and the power grid or alternatively limited to solely one or the other. The onshore consumption of hydrogen is not limited to hydrogen fuel cell replenishment but extends to various industrial uses for hydrogen. All such variations and modifications are to be considered with the scope of the present invention the nature of which is to be determined from the foregoing description.