Glosten tapped to design Scripps’ new hydrogen hybrid

UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography announced today that naval architecture and marine engineering firm Glosten has been selected as the naval architect for the university’s new California Coastal Research Vessel. The new vessel will feature a hybrid hydrogen propulsion system, the first of its kind.

Selected after participating in the university’s RFP process, Glosten will provide the preliminary design, contract design and detailed design of the research vessel to be operated by Scripps Oceanography.

“This vessel will be the first of its kind, and the selection of the naval architect is a major milestone for Scripps,” said Bruce Appelgate, associate director and head of vessel operations at Scripps Oceanography. “Fundamentally, our vessels must be reliable and able to support the innovative research our scientists conduct at sea. On top of that, the vessel we envision must demonstrate that zero-emission power systems operate effectively under demanding real-world conditions. . It is the Naval Architect’s job to provide the engineering, design and integration skills necessary for this project to be successful at all levels.

Last summer, California lawmakers allocated $35 million for the design and construction of this vessel, which will serve as an education and research platform dedicated to understanding the California coast and the impacts of climate change. climate on the coastal ecosystem.

“I am proud to see the Scripps Institution of Oceanography reach the critical stage of selecting a naval architect for this one-of-a-kind hybrid hydrogen research vessel,” said pro Tempore Senate Speaker Toni G. Atkins. “Scripps and California continue to set the global standard for developing innovative solutions to address our most pressing environmental challenges. This vessel will play a critical role in supporting policy decisions to protect our state’s precious coastal environment from the impacts of climate change, while demonstrating the critical role of hydrogen in California’s carbon footprint for a free future.”

As a student-centered, research-driven public university, sea experiences are a cornerstone of UC San Diego’s educational programs. This new ship will continue the university’s educational mission to train the next generation of scientists, leaders and decision makers. The ship is expected to carry up to 45 students and faculty at sea on day trips, enhancing the university’s ability to learn through experience at sea. The new ship will replace the research vessel Robert Gordon Sproul, who served thousands of University of California students during his 42 years of service, but is nearing the end of his lifespan.

“The Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s hybrid hydrogen-powered coastal research vessel is a significant demonstration of California’s commitment to fighting climate change, decarbonizing our blue economy, and improving air quality for communities.” disadvantaged communities adjacent to the port,” said Liane Randolph, president of California Air Resources. Board (CARB). “The selection of a naval architect is an important step in the realization of this innovative project.”

This new ship will feature an innovative hybrid propulsion system that incorporates hydrogen fuel cells alongside a conventional diesel-electric power plant, enabling zero-emissions operations, in line with the University of California, which is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2025. The design is sized so that the ship can operate 75% of its missions entirely using a non-fossil fuel – hydrogen – with only pure water and electricity as reaction products. For longer missions, additional power will be provided by modern, clean diesel generators.

The proposed 125-foot vessel will be equipped with instrumentation and detection systems, including acoustic Doppler current profilers, seabed mapping systems, mid-water fishing imaging systems, biological and geological sampling and support for airborne drone operations. These capabilities, along with state-of-the-art laboratories, will enable multidisciplinary research, advancing our understanding of the physical and biological processes active in California’s coastal oceans. This new vessel will be dedicated to California research missions, with the ability to study issues vital to the California economy such as the health of marine fisheries, harmful algal blooms, severe El Niño storms, atmospheric rivers, sea ​​level rise, ocean acidification, and areas of oxygen depletion.

Scripps Oceanography has worked with Glosten before, initially over 60 years ago on the design of a floating research platform known as FLIP. Glosten also participated in the Roger Revelle mid-life refit, a $60 million refit that advanced the scientific capability and lifespan of Scripps’ largest ship.

The planned schedule for design and construction includes one year to complete the basic design. Following approval of the design by the US Coast Guard, the university will select the shipyard where the design will be built. Construction and detailed design will likely take another three years.

When completed, it will join the fleet of ships managed by Scripps, including the Navy-owned research vessels Sally Ride and Roger Revelle, which conduct global oceanographic research, and the Bob and Betty Beyster, a coastal science workboat. . All research vessels are stationed and maintained at the university’s Nimitz Marine Facility in Point Loma.

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