Friday, August 12, 2022
Maritime Propulsion

June 29, 2022

PowerCell Sweden to Provide Fuel Cells for Hydrogen One Towboat

(Image: Maritime Partners)

PowerCell Sweden AB will provide fuel cells to power Hydrogen One, the world’s first methanol-fueled towboat, one of the project partners e1 Marine announced on Wednesday.

Hydrogen One is being developed by Maritime Partners LLC, using e1 Marine's methanol-to-hydrogen generator technology. Other project participants include naval architecture firm Elliott Bay Design Group as well as ABB, who will supply electrical power distribution and automation systems. The first-of-its-kind towboat is set to hit the water in 2023 as the maritime industry continues to develop and implement new technologies for cleaner vessel operations.

Austin Sperry, President at Maritime Partners, said, “Batteries are not suitable for a decarbonization of the towboat sector due to the restrictions they put on range, operation areas and uptime. Fuel cells running on reformed methanol is a commercially viable solution as it provides the boat with the same operating characteristics as a traditional propulsion system but in a much more sustainable way.”

Within the towboat, fuel cells running on hydrogen produced by on-board reforming of methanol will provide continuous power to the vessel over extended periods. The system will comprise of several PowerCellution Marine System 200 fuel cells with a total effect of multiple megawatts. The agreement also includes cooperation on delivering related services, including installation, class approval and commissioning support.

Robert Schluter, Managing Director of e1 Marine, said, “Methanol is a common fuel within the marine industry and is available in 88 of the top 100 ports worldwide. As it has a high energy density, M/V Hydrogen One has an expected range of 550 miles. Formalizing our agreement with PowerCell accelerates the launch of this innovative and progressive towboat. It was really important for us to source a fuel cell system which lowers the environmental impact from energy generation and this is another significant step forward to transforming the way vessels power their operations, especially within short sea shipping at this stage.”

Richard Berkling, CEO of PowerCell Sweden, said, “The order is proof that we have developed a leading fuel cell technology which we have managed to industrialize for large and demanding applications. Successful industrialization of this technology will be decisive for future opportunities within the technology shift towards increased sustainability that is starting to take place and must take place.”

Hydrogen One will be compliant with the International Maritime Organization’s IMO 2030 requirements. IMO 2030 targets a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40% up to 2030.