Milestone reached toward fuel cell-powered marine transport

ABB and Ballard have received an approval in principle (AiP) from DNV for their high-power fuel cell concept. The high-power fuel cell unit is a flexible solution that will support the energy needs of a diverse range of vessels requiring multiple 3 MW blocks of power.

A cruise vessel operating in coastal areas could either run entirely on fuel cell power or switch to it when operating in environmentally sensitive areas or emission control zones, while a ferry with a regular schedule and frequent bunkering opportunities could operate solely on fuel cell power. For ocean going vessels, fuel cell power could support auxiliary needs. The concept of the solution also envisions the integration with an energy storage system.

No significant obstacles

An AiP is a major milestone in developing new technology as an independent assessment of the concept, confirming that the design is feasible and no significant obstacles exist to prevent the concept from being realized. With the AiP in place, the jointly developed solution can be completed within the next few years for application onboard a wide range of vessels.

The successful development of the concept builds on a collaboration between ABB and Ballard initiated in June 2018. Zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells are already powering smaller vessels over short distances and the technology is on the verge of being ready for installation on larger ships. Having a larger, megawatt-scale power unit makes it feasible to combine units to reach much higher total power than is practically possible with smaller power units.

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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