Hydrogen has taken a step forward in the container ship sector after Ulstein and Edge Navigation announced they are evaluating hydrogen fuel cells for a box ship concept
The partners are evaluating using a modular hydrogen fuel cell solution to achieve non-fossil fuel propulsion, collaborating with ABB to develop this solution based on fuel cells from Ballard Power Systems. The design will incorporate the Ulstein X-Bow.
Ulstein Design & Solutions commercial director Lars Ståle Skoge told Container Shipping & Trade, “Combining Edge Navigation’s ambition to do something about emissions on the container trade with the X-Bow, we have a good starting point by reducing the need for power with this hull type. We have to react to the global goal of reducing emissions.”
It is the first time the X-Bow will be used on a container ship. “It is well suited for any ship because it allows the vessel to cut through waves, it is not lifted as high by the waves as with a traditional hull because the water slides off instead of hitting the flare and by this, reduces resistance and the need for energy to power the vessel. It takes away the vibration induced by the waves to the hull. Traditionally, waves hitting the bow will add slamming and vibrations to the vessel, and to have a vessel shaking year after year is stressful to all on board. Also, wear and tear on equipment is heavily reduced by using the X-Bow to avoid slamming.”
Furthermore, Mr Skoge said, “having a design that both takes away slamming and keeps speed without being impacted by waves and the current is good for a trade that must deliver on timings and land at certain times.”
He said the partners are looking at different sizes of container ships – both small and large – as well as different trades and routes. The aim is to release the design and have the vessel on the water in 2025.
Mr Skoge said, “Something has to be done in the container sector, and the good thing is they have a regular trade, because if you change energy sources you need to look at the logistics of supplying energy to the ships.”
He sums up, “I am happy a company like Edge Navigation has a such a long perspective into the business and is focusing on a sustainable way forward. We appreciate working with a partner like this and together, we can put good resources into developing this project. If it were not for Edge, we would not be where we are now.”
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