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ABB and BPS awarded AiP for hydrogen high-power fuel cell concept

25 Feb 2022

Swiss-Swedish technology firm ABB and fuel cell solutions provider Ballard Power Systems (BPS) on Wednesday (23 February) were awarded the Approval in Principle (AiP) from classification society DNV for their hydrogen high-power fuel cell concept, a development that was initiated in 2018. 

With the AiP in place, the jointly developed solution can be completed within the next couple of years for application onboard a wide range of vessels.

Tuva Flagstad-Andersen, Regional Manager North Europe, DNV Maritime said hydrogen plays an important role in the energy transition, so it was essential to establish safe technologies that the industry has confidence in.

“As an early phase verification for new design concepts, based on long-standing, trusted and independent standards, an AiP can help build this confidence.”

The high-power fuel cell unit is a flexible solution that will support the energy needs of a diverse range of vessels requiring multiple 3 MW blocks of power. 

A cruise vessel operating in coastal areas could either run entirely on fuel cell power or switch to it when operating in environmentally sensitive areas or emission control zones, while a ferry with a regular schedule and frequent bunkering opportunities could operate solely on fuel cell power. For ocean going vessels, fuel cell power could support auxiliary needs. The concept of the solution also envisions the integration with an energy storage system.

“ABB’s industry-leading experience in marine solutions and Ballard’s expertise in development and deployment of megawatt-scale fuel cell systems for land-based use has proven to be the right combination, enabling us to take the next step in our joint efforts to make this technology available for larger vessels.  Securing an AiP offers a signpost to the maritime industry regarding the potential of this truly transformative concept,” said Jesper Themsen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S. 

Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports said this AiP was an important milestone in making high-power fuel cells commercially available, and it underpins ABB’s commitment to bring new levels of efficiency, reliability and sustainability to the global shipping industry 

“As we continue to pave the way toward decarbonizing shipping, we are confident that vessel electrification, including fuel cell technology, will play a pivotal role in helping the marine industry achieve its environmental targets”. 

ABB is also collaborating with other customers and partners worldwide to develop and integrate technology that will make hydrogen an accessible, affordable component of the world’s low carbon energy mix. 


Photo credit: ABB
Published: 25 February, 2022


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