In the framework of FP7 funding scheme, the project H2OCEAN (grant agreement n. 654871) has been developed, investigating a proof-of-concepts of a multi-use ocean platform, able to harvest energy, produce and store energy in the form of compressed H2, together with a multi-trophic aquaculture and bio-waste treatment and drinkable water production.
The idea was to design a system able to convert renewable energy sources and biological conversions into energy, food and water, basics to ensure human health.
The challenge has been to stress the multi-use ocean platform to be stand alone, far from the shore, able to produce an excess of energy and water and obviously food and send them to the shore to be sold at a reasonable price. Special boats has been conceived to harvest energy from wind and waves, produce drinkable water for human use and for the electrolyser, special boats with alkaline electrolysers for oxygen and hydrogen generation and storage.
At a glance figures describing the ocean platform are: H2 production: 74 kNm3/h and O2 37,5 kNm3/h. Aquaculture: 10 k ton/year. Drinkwater 20 m3/h. To achieve these KPIs, 95 Wave Energy converter and 67 Vertical Axis Wind turbines are included together with 34 aquaculture cages and support ships.
Issues are presented in this paper and are partially solved by a a real demonstration platform in the Project The Blue Growth Farm (grant agreement n. 774426). This pilot platform (20 × 20 m) will be build and tested at NOEL, located close to Strait of Messina. Test results will be utilised to scale-up the design of a larger floating platform able to harvest energy and breed certain species of fish and molluscs.
The funded Project H2OCEAN had seventeen scientific and technical objectives. In this paper, we present part of them, specifically the development of a conceptual design engineering of integrated ocean deployment of energy harvesting, hydrogen generation, fish farm and fresh water production, thus enabling a Life Cycle Assessment and a cost estimate providing CAPEX and OPEX for a cost-benefit evaluation.