ABB is set to deliver a fuel cell system to a cruise vessel.The system is to be piloted on board a Royal Caribbean International (RCI) vessel and will be the first fuel cell system to provide an energy source for a luxury cruise ship, ABB claimed.“Our goal is to take the smoke out of the smokestacks, said Harri Kulovaara, executive vice president of maritime and newbuilding, Royal Caribbean Cruise.“We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility and using fuel cell technology gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars.”
“This pilot installation demonstrates that fuel cell technology is now firmly in sight of the cruise industry,”said Juha Koskela, managing director, ABB Marine & Ports.“Fuel cells have been the next big thing for 25 years, but now they are reality.” Fuel cells generate energy by creating an electrochemical reaction at the interface between the anode or cathode and the electrolyte membrane. This involves no combustion, converting fuel directly to electricity and heat.“
At ABB, we believe that the next generations of vessels will be electric, digital and connected. Fuel cell technology matches exactly that. Fuel cells have significantly higher efficiency than combustion engines and allow energy to be concentrated more densely than in petroleum fuels. If you use renewables to produce the hydrogen the entire energy chain is clean and truly emission free,”Koskela added.The pilot installation, including control, converter and transformer technology from ABB, will generate 100 kW of energy and has been fully developed, marinised, assembled and tested by ABB Marine & Ports.
ABB selected a patented FCvelocity proton exchange membrane (PEM) pure hydrogen fuel cell engine from Ballard Power Systems for this project.