The Hyseas III hydrogen-fuelled ropax project has reached a major milestone
The Hyseas III hydrogen-fuelled ropax project has reached a major milestone after consortium partner Ballard Power Systems Europe shipped a containerised fuel cell to Kongsberg Maritime’s test lab in Norway.
According to an update by Interferry, which is involved in the project, the containerised fuel cell has been commissioned and connected to the energy lab that will simulate a range of dynamic loads for testing.
The Hyseas III consortium is an innovation project funded by the EU’s flagship Horizon 2020 research programme to demonstrate that hydrogen fuel cells can be successfully integrated with a proven marine hybrid-electric drive system, along with associated hydrogen storage and bunkering arrangements. Interferry explained “This will be done by developing, constructing, testing and validating a full-sized drivetrain (from fuel cells all the way back to the thrusters) on land, and then integrating it into a newbuild roro passenger ferry for the Orkney Islands Kirkwall-Shapinsay service.”
While using hydrogen in a fuel cell only emits water and no harmful emissions, the abundance of renewable electricity from wind and wave generation in Orkney also facilitates emissions-free hydrogen production, resulting in zero emissions from well to wake. Interferry explained in a newsletter that the fuel cells that will be used have been proven in service for more than a decade in over 100 buses, in some cases reaching more than 30,000 operating hours and covering millions of kilometres.
Scotland’s Ferguson Marine Engineering is to build the Hyseas III ferry – which it says is the world’s first seagoing car and passenger ferry fuelled by hydrogen.
Port Glasgow-based Ferguson Marine successfully led a European consortium in a bid for EU funding support to pave the way for building and launching the ferry. The supported development is expected to cost around €12.6M (US$14.6M) of which €9.3M (US$10.4M) has been awarded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund.
The consortium HySeas III also includes University of St Andrews, Orkney Islands Council. Kongsberg Maritime (Norway), Ballard Power Systems Europe (Denmark), McPhy (France) and DLR - German Aerospace Center.