Japanese project tests out hydrogen fuel cells in boat

April 02, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
Japanese project tests out hydrogen fuel cells in boat
A consortium in Japan has successfully tested a full scale boat powered by two hydrogen fuel cells.

Ballard Power Systems supplied two FCveloCity-MD 30kW modules for the project, which is run by Yanmar, the National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) and the Japan Ship Technology Research Association (JSTRA).

The Ballard 30kW modules were provided to Yanmar by Toyota Tsusho.

With support from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism the project, which has been underway since 2015, is developing safety guidelines for hydrogen fuel cell-powered boats under 20 tonnes operating in Japan's restricted coastal waters. For the test, a hybrid power system was designed using a 60kWh lithium-ion battery and the two FCveloCity-MD modules producing a total of 60kW of power. The system was installed on a 16.5 m (55 foot) boat owned by NMRI and successfully tested under maritime loads and conditions.    

"We are pleased to be providing fuel cell modules and technical services for this important work with Yanmar in Japan," said Dr Kevin Colbow, Ballard Vice President for Technology and Product Development. "This work will support the development of safety guidelines for fuel cell-powered boats in Japan. We continue to see an expanding range of heavy payload transportation applications for which zero-emission fuel cell electric systems offer a compelling value proposition, particularly where customers require long range, fast refueling and full route flexibility."  


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