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Ballard And ABB Unveil Concept For High-Performance Fuel Cell To Power Ships

Vancouver, Canada / Zurich, Switzerland - Fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems and technology group ABB have received "Approval in Principle ("AiP") from leading certification body DNV for their high-power fuel cell concept, which the two companies have been working on since 2018 as part of their partnership to decarbonise shipping.

The AiP represents an important milestone in the development of new technologies, as the independent assessment of the concept confirms the feasibility of the design and that there are no significant barriers to its realisation. With the AiP, Ballard Power and ABB can now embark on the jointly developed solution with the certainty that it can receive final approval for application onboard a wide range of vessels. According to Ballard Power, the high-power fuel cell module is expected to have an output of 3 megawatts (MW) or 4,000 hp.

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," said Jesper Themsen, president and CEO of Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S.

"This AiP is an important milestone in making high-power fuel cells commercially available, and it underpins our 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“, adds Juha Koskela, division president of ABB Marine & Ports.

Decarbonisation of shipping gains importance

Shipping contributes close to three percent to global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) every year and pressure to transition the industry to more sustainable power sources has resulted in fixed reduction targets from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency responsible for regulating shipping. IMO aims to cut for GHGs from ships by at least 50 percent by 2050 from 2008 levels.

Hydrogen fuel cells are considered promising technologies for reducing greenhouse gases in shipping. They are already powering smaller ships over short distances, and the technology is on the verge of being used on larger ships.

Share slightly down for the week

Ballard Power's shares recovered during the week from their heavy loss at the beginning of the week. After the first four trading days, the RENIXX share price was down 0.2 percent to 8.50 euros on Thursday evening (24.02.2022, closing price, Stuttgart stock exchange). In today's trading, the share has so far lost 0.9 percent to 8.42 euros (25.02.2022, 11:29 a.m., Stuttgart Stock Exchange).



Source: IWR Online, 25 Feb 2022