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EU funding for hydrogen fuel cell project expected in December

System based on the PowerCell S3 fuel cell stack to be developed for ships.



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Updated on 23 Oct 2016 08:34 GMT

Fuel cell company PowerCell Sweden AB says it has applied for funding through the EU's Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU) for the development of a system based on the PowerCell S3 fuel cell stack for integration and testing in marine environments.

According to the Gothenburg-based firm, the application has been "positively assessed" and a contract is expected to be signed in late December 2016.

Together with other members of a consortium named Maranda, PowerCell Sweden is to develop a complete fuel cell system based on the PowerCell S3 (100 kW) fuel cell stack.

The PowerCell S3 is a scalable prototype in the 20-100kW range that is designed to use pure hydrogen as fuel. The system is to be installed on board the arctic research vessel Aranda, operated by SYKE Marine Research Centre, and is to be monitored during an 18-month trial period.

"This is a really exciting project and we look with confidence forward to [starting] the cooperation with the other partners in the consortium, to jointly develop a complete and competitive fuel cell system and adopt it for [the] marine environment. As an important part of the project, there is a business case analysis for hydrogen fuel cells in marine applications, taking into account the needs for development of regulations, codes and standards (RCS)," said Per Wassen, CEO, PowerCell Sweden AB.

Earlier this month, PowerCell Sweden AB received its first marine order for two PowerCell S3 prototype stacks, which SwissHydrogen S.A. is to install on a ship powered by photovoltaics.

The vessel is to be supplied with a system that encompasses onboard production of hydrogen gas from solar electricity, storage of hydrogen gas and two 30-kW fuel cells.

"Hydrogen gas will replace diesel in a marine industry that is forced to reduce its emissions. The ship in question will be a mobile showcase that describes how effective and reliable the hydrogen gas technology is in marine environments," said Alexandre Closset, CEO of SwissHydrogen S.A., around a fortnight ago.

Commenting on the development of fossil-free solutions for ships in Europe, PowerCell Sweden said: "More and more countries are demanding fossil-free energy for marine fields of application. The Netherlands has decided to develop fossil-free ferries. Norway, that was an early user of battery operations, is far advanced in establishing fuel cell-powered ships. Over the next few years, car ferries, passenger ferries and a fishing boat will be powered by fuel cell technology in Norway."

"The fuel cells are expected to quadruple the ships' autonomy and hydrogen gas is a way for the marine sector to gain access to a fossil-free energy solution," the company added.

The Maranda consortium consists of the following European companies and research institutions: ABB Oy (Finland), OMB Saleri S.p.A. (Italy), PersEE (France), Suomen ymparistokeskus (Finland), Swiss Hydrogen SA (Switzerland), and Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy (Finland).






Related Links:

Royal Caribbean's new 'Icon' ships to run on LNG and fuel cells
Fuel cell project partners target international regulation
San Francisco 'enthusiastically supports' hydrogen bunkering
Project to build fuel cell-powered ferry and 'largest' hydrogen refuelling station
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