Ballard rolls out fuel cell industry’s 1st commercial module to power ships

Ballard Power Systems has launched the fuel cell industry’s first module designed for primary propulsion power in marine vessels.

CNW Group/Ballard Power Systems Inc.

Ballard’s FCwave fuel cell product is a 200-kilowatt (kW) modular unit that can be scaled in series up to the multi-megawatt (MW) power level.

Image by Ballard Power Systems Inc.

As explained, the product provides primary propulsion power for marine vessels – such as passenger and car ferries, river push boats, and fishing boats – as well as stationary electrical power to support hotel and auxiliary loads on cruise ships and other vessels while docked at port — also known as ‘cold ironing’. 

“Ballard is focused on heavy- and medium-duty motive applications, particularly where requirements include heavy payload, extended range and rapid refueling… These same requirements underpin use cases in the maritime industry, resulting in a significant addressable market opportunity that can be effectively addressed by our new FCwave product. Global efforts to decarbonize include commercial maritime activities, where Ballard intends to build on our … position in zero-emission fuel cell solutions,” Rob Campbell, Ballard Chief Commercial Officer, said.

“The United Nations International Maritime Organization, or IMO, has set aggressive targets for reduction of CO2 emissions in the marine sector, including 50% lower emissions by 2050. At Ballard we have recognized this important market opportunity, launching a Marine Center of Excellence at our Hobro, Denmark facility this year. Our Marine Center of Excellence will focus on engineering, manufacturing and servicing the developing marine market with our FCwave product,” Jesper Themsen, CEO of Ballard Power Systems Europe, noted.

Fuel cells provide a zero-emission solution for the reduction of carbon emissions in marine vessels. Ballard’s product was designed to leverage the company’s technology and critical components already proven in existing product applications to ensure that it can withstand the rigors of marine applications while meeting all performance and safety requirements, according to the company.

Ballard is currently engaged in the type approval process with DNV-GL, a classification society headquartered in Norway.

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