Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions (Toshiba ESS) has entered into a partnership with Echandia, a Swedish company engaged in fuel cell systems for maritime applications. The partnership will focus on the development of fuel-cell technology combined with batteries to accelerate the electrification of the maritime sector.
The two companies have already been collaborating for some time. Echandia has been using the Goshiba rechargable LTO battery cell SCiB for the Echandia Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) battery systems. For example, Echandia provided the battery systems for a large electric ferry fleet in India. Now, Echandia notes that demand for electrification of deep-sea and larger vessels has built up. Indeed, when effectively banning fossil fuelled vans and cars by 2035, the latest EU Council stipulations also specifically targeted maritime applications. Since fuel cell systems have higher energy density than purely battery electric systems, they are “becoming an increasingly important part of the solution to decarbonise maritime transportation,” notes Echandia.
The partnership between Toshiba and Echandia aims to develop the market for maritime fuel cell solutions. Here, the two companies are focused on extreme heavy-duty applications.
Shigehiro Kawahara, Vice President of the Toshiba ESS, Energy Aggregation Division says: “Since Toshiba ESS began working on fuel cell systems in the 1960s, we have been advancing the development of hydrogen-related technologies.” Kawahara explains: “Striving toward the realization of a hydrogen society, we aim to provide high value-added hydrogen solutions by integrating related technologies such as renewable energy-derived hydrogen energy. By expanding our business through this collaboration, we will help make a carbon-neutral society a reality.”
In this partnership, the two companies say it should be possible to increase the lifespan of a typical fuel cell with at least 200 per cent. The joint aim is to commercialise a longer-life pure hydrogen fuel cell system around 2024. Echandia and Toshiba ESS have said they aim to explore future collaboration “to expand the market for zero-emission vessels in Europe.”
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