PowerCell Sweden and Norwegian shipbuilder Havyard Group are working together to develop a zero emission fuel cell system that could be installed on a Havila Kystruten ferry in the future.
The system solution that PowerCell and Havyard jointly design will be based on several marinized 200 kilowatt fuel cell system modules connected in parallel with a total power of 3.2 megawatts.
“With this contract, PowerCell will be part of developing the design and the technical specifications for what will be the most powerful maritime fuel cell system in the history,” Per Wassén, CEO of PowerCell said.
“This will be a milestone for us as well as for the global efforts to reduce the emissions from commercial ships and the experience we gain from this project will benefit us greatly also within other segments, such as stationary power generation.”
The system may be installed on board a vessel that will service shipping company Havila Kystruten’s new route from Bergen to Kirkenes.
Strict emissions regulations are set to be introduced in the coming years in Norwegian waters and Havila Kystruten is building four new zero emission ships.
The first of the four ships will be operational in 2021.
The intense traffic in and out of the Norwegian fjords has resulted in a huge increase in local emissions and at times the emission levels have been reported to exceed those of major cities like London and Barcelona.
Several of the Norwegian fjords have been recognised by United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as world heritage sites, a recognition they risk losing due to the high emission levels.
To counter this, Norway has introduced increasingly strict emission regulations for ships operating in the fjords and by 2026, only ships with zero emission solutions will be allowed entrance.
“Fuel cells provide an optimal solution for this type of maritime applications and is perfect for use in combination with battery solutions,” Wassén said.
“These vessels have the space available for storage of hydrogen and can easily be refuelled during one of their many stops. When entering the fjords, they can operate fully electric for a long time with no other emissions than water.”