China’s first hydrogen-powered ship makes maiden voyage

China’s first hydrogen-powered ship has made its maiden voyage in Yichang City in central China’s Hubei Province, marking a breakthrough in the country’s application of hydrogen fuel cell technology in inland waterway vessels. Powered by a 500 kW hydrogen fuel cell, the ship has a maximum cruise range of 200 kilometers.

Named the ‘Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No. 1’, the vessel has a steel-aluminium composite structure with a total length of 49.9 meters, a beam of 10.4 meters, and a draft of 3.2 meters. It is used for transportation, patrol and emergency response in the Three Gorges reservoir area and between the Three Gorges-Gezhouba dams.

The ship was jointly developed by China State Shipbuilding Corporation, China Yangtze Power Corporation and Jianglong Shipbuilding, Wuhan Changjiang Ship Design Institute and the Three Gorges Navigation Authority. It is also the first hydrogen-powered boat certified by the China Classification Society.

Compared with traditional fuel-powered ships, the hydrogen-powered vessel is expected to replace 103.16 tons of fuel oil and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 343.67 tons each year.

As China’s first inland dock-type hydrogen production and refueling station, it uses the clean electric energy generated by the Three Gorges power station to electrolyze water to produce hydrogen, which will be directly supplied to hydrogen-powered ships after compression, storage and filling. The station can supply 240 kilograms of hydrogen per hour.

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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