Classification society DNV GL is currently engaged in the type approval process for the FCwaveTM PEM fuel cell. (credit: Ballard)
Ballard Power Systems has launched a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell module for power applications aboard marine vessels.
The FCwaveTM fuel cell is a 200-kilowatt (kW) modular unit that can be scaled in series up to the multi-megawatt (MW) power level.
The Canada-based fuel cell developer claims that the technology is the first designed for primary propulsion power in marine vessels.
Classification society DNV GL is currently engaged in the type approval process for the FCwaveTM PEM fuel cell with Ballard, the company added.
The fuel cell is intended for use in small and medium sizes vessels such as passenger and car ferries, river push boats, and fishing boats. The developer also anticipates that the PEM fuel cell could be used for stationary electrical power generation, supporting hotel and auxiliary loads aboard larger cruise ships and other vessels while cold ironing.
The fuel cell produces electricity from hydrogen through an electro-chemical process, with a reported efficiency of between 55% and 60%. In common with other PEM fuel cells, the technology requires high purity hydrogen.
The fuel cell’s expected operating lifetime of over 30,000 hours is industry-leading, according to the fuel cell developer. Ballard also notes that the weight of the fuel cell, at 4.4 kg/kW, is highly competitive.
Rob Campbell, Ballard Chief Commercial Officer said, “Ballard is focused on Heavy- and Medium-Duty Motive applications, particularly where requirements include heavy payload, extended range and rapid refuelling. This is a sweet spot for our fuel cell value proposition, which is backed up by more than 50 million kilometres of operational experience in thousands of vehicles.”