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Interest in Maritime Fuel Cells Surges

A number of recent announcements around maritime fuel cell projects and systems signal increasing interest in hydrogen propulsion. MAN Cryo announced development of a marine fuel-gas system for liquefied hydrogen developed in cooperation with Fjord1 and Multi Maritime. MAN Cryo developed the hydrogen fuel cell system at its headquarters in Gothenburg in conjunction with the shipowner, Fjord1, and ship designer, Multi Maritime, in Norway.

The system, developed by MAN Cryo a division of MAN Energy Solutions, which extensive experience with cryogenic gases and solutions for storage and distribution, uses liquefied hydrogen at a temperature of -253° Celsius. Once liquefied, hydrogen is reduced to 1/800th of its volume as gas, enabling much more compact, onboard storage.

Viking Cruises announced work on a liquid hydrogen-fueled cruise ship, according to the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA). Plans unveiled by Viking Cruises’ assume, because liquid hydrogen would be used, that the ships propulsion would be provided via fuel cells.

Launching in mid-2019, the Water-Go-Round will be the first fuel cell vessel in the US and the first commercial fuel cell ferry in the world. An extensive team brought the project to fruition, including Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine, CARB, BAE Systems, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Ship & Yacht Co., Hexagon Composites, Hydrogenics, Incat Crowther, OMB, the Port of San Francisco, Red & White Fleet Cruises, Sandia National Laboratories, and CCI.

Other fuel cell projects are being considered, initiated, and announced as scrutiny of maritime emissions reveals the accelerating need to address the pollution created by legacy propulsion systems.