Fuel Cell Technology Successfully Tested on Two Vessels

Thursday September 15, 2016

A German multi-party project to develop fuel cells for marine propulsion has showcased its first results stemming from a successful demonstration of the technology on two vessels.

Results from the e4ships project, headed by Meyer Werft and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, was presented to the public for the first time at SMM in Hamburg last week.

"The use of fuel cell technology in the shipping industry within the lighthouse project e4ships is another step to answer the question how to reduce emissions of ships," said Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

"The project e4ships has reached a milestone in the use of climate-friendly systems for ships."

The tests, intended to investigate the reliability and suitability of fuel cell technology for the maritime sector, saw a 90 kW system installed in addition to the conventional energy supply on the Viking Line ferry MS Mariella, and a 50 kW system built in a container and tested on the cargo vessel MS Forester.

"The project e4ships is an ideal addition to the development of innovative infrastructure for ships in ports like LNG as new technological solutions for the reduction of emissions for ships are tested for the first time," said Dr. Rolf Bösinger, Hamburg's Ministry for Economy, Transport and Innovation.

"The use of fuel cells results in a significant improvement of the air quality, which is particularly important for ports and coastal areas. Hamburg very much welcomes these activities as they provide a relevant contribution to a better quality of life in the city."

With the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under increasing pressure to reduce the industry's emissions footprint, IMO Deputy Director Dr. Heike Deggim said: "Alternative fuels and energy converters as, for example fuel cells, can certainly play an important part in promoting green shipping. The IMO welcomes the technical input of NGOs, as for example the European Shipyards’ Associations CESA, which, with the results of F&E projects, can contribute to an industry-tailored development of regulations."

The project is funded by the German Federal Government under the National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).