Norwegian shipyard Fiskestrand is exploring how hydrogen fuel cells and batteries can be used on a short ferry route from next year.
The shipyard’s HYBRIDship project is considering the optimum engineroom layout for fuel cells as well as how they can be integrated with other systems. The aim is to ensure that propulsion (including fuel cells) is robust enough for repetitive, short-burst service.
The SINTEF Ocean laboratory in Trondheim and ABB will assess how fuel cells and batteries can best function together for short-distance ferry operations. The tests will simulate the conditions that a ferry is expected to encounter on a high-frequency, 10-km route.
Outputs from the new tests are expected to accelerate Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) work in modifying regulations to better accommodate and approve hydrogen as a fuel. The project will provide input into extending rules for marine hydrogen use to include fuel cells.
The joint development programme will also focus on finding solutions to support the hydrogen supply and bunkering infrastructure.
The project is supported by the Pilot-E technology accelerator program, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and Norwegian government enterprise Enova.
In the second phase of the project a ferry will be selected for conversion to fuel-cell propulsion followed by testing and deployment. The vessel could be deployed in the Norwegian county of Møre og Romsdal, which has provided the test route and operating requirements.
Other partners in the project include ship designer Multi Maritime, class society DNV GL, hydrogen supply specialist Nel and the Norwegian Maritime Authority.