Ballard Power Systems Europe announced the construction of a Marine Center of Excellence at its facility in Hobro, Denmark, where fuel cell modules for ships will be developed and produced. The Marine Center is designed to help meet the shipbuilding industry’s growing requirements for emission-free drive trains.
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The new production hall in Hobro is scheduled to go into operation by the end of this year and offer capacity for fuel cell modules with a total output of more than 15 megawatts per year.
The development of the modules in the future Marine Center of Excellence is based on Ballard’s new liquid-cooled FCgen-LCS fuel cell stack and a next-generation high-performance module, which will be launched later this year to meet the requirements for European ship approvals.
The reduction of pollutants and CO2 emissions is a high priority for shipping and port cities. In various parts of the world, local and regional regulations are being introduced to limit diesel emissions, which is arousing interest in emission-free fuel cell technology, Ballard says. In 2018, the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships, including a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. A total of 173 countries agreed on the measure.
Update 09.04.2019: The Norwegian ferry and speedboat operator Norled has ordered two next-gen fuel cell modules from Ballard Power Systems Europe, each with an output of 200 kW. These will be used in a hybrid ferry scheduled to go into service in 2021. The Norled ship, with a capacity for up to 299 passengers and 80 cars, will be the world’s first commercially operating ferry with a liquid hydrogen fuel cell system. The modules will be developed and manufactured at the company’s new Marine Center of Excellence in Hobro, Denmark.
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