Ballard Power Systems has launched what is claimed is the fuel cell industry’s first module designed for primary propulsion power on ships.
The patented FCwave fuel cell module is a 200 kW modular unit that can be scaled in series up to the multi-megawatt power level.
It can provide primary propulsion power for passenger and car ferries, and auxiliary loads on cruise ships and other vessels while berthed at port (‘cold ironing’).
Rob Campbell, Ballard CCO, said, “Ballard is focused on heavy- and medium-duty motive applications, particularly where requirements include heavy payload, extended range and rapid refuelling.
“This is a sweet spot for our fuel cell value proposition, which is backed up by more than 50 mill km of operational experience in thousands of vehicles. These same requirements underpin use cases in the maritime industry, resulting in a significant addressable market opportunity that can be effectively addressed by our new FCwave product.
Global efforts to de-carbonise include commercial maritime activities, where Ballard intends to build on our leading position in zero-emission fuel cell solutions,” he said.
Jesper Themsen, Ballard Power Systems Europe CEO, added, “The IMO has set aggressive targets for reduction of CO2 emissions in the marine sector, including 50% lower emissions by 2050.
At Ballard, we have recognised this important market opportunity, launching a marine centre of excellence at our Hobro, Denmark facility this year. Our marine centre of excellence will focus on engineering, manufacturing and servicing the developing marine market with our FCwave product,” he explained.
FCwave’s benefits to maritime customers are claimed to be:
- Industry-leading durability, with greater than 30,000 hours expected operating lifetime;
- High system efficiency >55%;
- Light weight at 4.4 kilograms/kW;
- Flexibility through modular components for scalable power;
- Extended range, limited only by the volume of hydrogen fuel stored on board;
- Reliable performance;
- Safe operation; and
- Proven service model.
The company is currently involved in the type approval process with DNV-GL.