7.1. Importance & challenges

Hydrogen has a role to play in decarbonizing transport, since shipping contributed approximately 2.6% (938 million tons) to the world’s total CO2 emissions in 2012. H2 appears as a promising option for shipping because of its high ratio between transported weight and average mileage per day/trip, which are approximately 6000 tons and 750 km per trip.

Hydrogen is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, but using specific sensors means the detection of leakages is not a problem. To achieve a successful implementation of hydrogen technologies, more effort is required in:

  • infrastructure development
  • reduction of cost
  • increase of lifetime
  • a history of safety operations
  • new regulations, codes and standards by the International Maritime Organization and Classification Societies

CMB’s 1900 TEU ice class feeder which will be equipped with a hydrogen auxiliary engine

7.2. Demonstration project

In 2008, the FCS Alsterwasser was the first commercial inland passenger ship to use hydrogen fuel cell propulsion. It combines two fuel cell systems (48 kW) with a 560 V lead gel battery pack, and 50 kg of hydrogen stored at 350 bar.

In 2015, a marine fuel cell generator began being tested by Sandia National Laboratories. This generator integrates hydrogen storage, Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell power generation and power inverter equipment that is able to power up to 10 reefers with a total rated output of 100 kW at 240-volt AC.

Complete system of the FCS Alsterwasser, part of the Zemships project

7.3. demoproject 2

In 2015, a marine fuel cell generator began being tested by Sandia National Laboratories. This generator integrates hydrogen storage, Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell power generation and power inverter equipment that is able to power up to 10 reefers with a total rated output of 100 kW at 240-volt AC.

Maritime fuel cell generator (Joseph W. Pratt and Shuk Han Chan)

7.4. Interesting Projects

  • The hydrogen-fueled container feeder vessel called Zero is envisioned as a zero-emissions ship, which includes fuel cell systems, battery systems and liquid hydrogen storage tanks.
  • Meyer Werft is developing a decentralized and modular electrical and thermal energy grid for passenger vessels based on Fuel Cell Technology, which will have a scalable power output to meet local demand, lower transport losses, use smaller currents and increase safety.
 The Hydrogen-fuelled container feeder vessel vision (Source: DNVGL)
 previous chapter: how is energy obtained?  next chapter: safety

Deurmat

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