Maritime battery supplier Corvus Energy will begin developing large-scale maritime hydrogen fuel-cell systems in Norway, where it is headquartered, partnering with automobile manufacturer Toyota, which will supply the fuel-cell technology
Corvus said its newly formed fuel-cell division will design and certify the marine fuel-cell system using Toyota fuel-cell technology as a building block for larger systems.
A specific marine control system uniting the battery and fuel-cell operation will be developed for integration with power management systems from a range of system integrators.
Backed by shipowners including Norsk Hydro, Equinor, Shell and BW Group, Corvus said it intends to scale up production of fuel-cell systems to match the company’s production volumes for battery systems.
Corvus said it is leading a collaboration with Norwegian energy company Equinor, shipowners Norled and Wilhelmsen, ship design company LMG Marin, the NCE Maritime
CleanTech cluster and the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) to develop and produce modularised and cost-effective PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel-cell systems for the international marine market.
Development partners USN and NCE Maritime CleanTech will contribute expertise around safe hydrogen systems, while Equinor, Norled, Wilhelmsen and LMG Marin will offer data from their own ongoing hydrogen projects.
Norway’s state-backed grant funding agency Innovation Norway has given the initiative €5.2M (US$6.3M).
The fuel cell development project has targeted 2023 as the debut for its first marine fuel-cell system on board a vessel. A statement from Corvus said the fuel-cell system will be marine certified and available for commercial delivery from 2024.
"The initiative combines Norwegian maritime expertise together with fuel-cell modules supplied by one of the world’s largest fuel-cell producers Toyota, which has 30 years’ experience in the development and production of fuel cells for the car market and other land-based applications," the company said.
Corvus and Toyota signed a partnership agreement on 18 December 2020 which secures Corvus access to the manufacturer’s fuel-cell technology for large-scale production.
"Interest in hydrogen for maritime applications has been increasing rapidly, with hydrogen power seen as an important step to reach shipping’s ambitious goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. Reducing the cost of fuel cells and increasing access to the technology is crucial to accelerate the transition," the Corvus statement said.
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