Ballard introduces zero-emission fuel cell module for ships

Ballard Power Systems Inc Ballard Introduces Fuel Cell Industry

(VANCOUVER, British Columbia and HOBRO, Denmark) — Ballard Power Systems has launched the fuel cell industry's first module designed for primary propulsion power in marine vessels. Ballard's FCwave fuel cell product is a 200-kilowatt (kW) modular unit that can be scaled in series up to the multi-megawatt (MW) power level.

The FCwave provides primary propulsion power for marine vessels – such as passenger and car ferries, river pushboats, and fishing boats – as well as stationary electrical power to support hotel and auxiliary loads on cruise ships and other vessels while docked at port (also known as cold ironing). 

"Ballard is focused on heavy- and medium-duty motive applications, particularly where requirements include heavy payload, extended range and rapid refueling," said Rob Campbell, Ballard chief commercial officer said. "This is a sweet spot for our fuel cell value proposition, which is backed up by more than 50 million kilometers 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 decarbonize include commercial maritime activities, where Ballard intends to build on our leading position in zero-emission fuel cell solutions."

"The United Nations International Maritime Organization, or IMO, has set aggressive targets for reduction of CO2 emissions in the marine sector, including 50 percent lower emissions by 2050," said Jesper Themsen, CEO of Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S. "At Ballard we have recognized this important market opportunity, launching a Marine Center of Excellence at our Hobro, Denmark facility this year. Our Marine Center of Excellence will focus on engineering, manufacturing and servicing the developing marine market with our FCwave product."

Fuel cells provide a zero-emission solution for the reduction of carbon emissions in marine vessels. Ballard's FCwave was designed to leverage the company's technology and critical components already proven in existing product applications to ensure that it can withstand the rigors of marine applications while meeting all performance and safety requirements.

FCwave offers benefits to maritime customers, including:

Greater than 30,000 hours expected operating lifetime;
High system efficiency >55 percent;
Lightweight 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.

The company is currently engaged in the type approval process with DNV GL, an international accredited registrar and classification society headquartered in Norway.

Ballard will be showcasing the FCwave fuel cell module during an online event, taking place on Sept. 10 at 15:00 CET. Sign up for the event here.

By Professional Mariner Staff