Germany’s Lürssen pioneers fuel cell technology for superyachts

Bremen-headquartered superyacht builder, Lürssen, has taken a major step forward with its first fuel cell installation on a superyacht. The vessel, currently under construction, is being built for “a pioneering and technology-driven client”, the company said.

The fuel cell will flank conventional generators and enable the vessel to anchor, completely free of emissions, for 15 days, or to cruise slowly for about 1,600kms.

Separately, the eight-shipyard company has established an Innovation Laboratory to simulate and test the integration and operation of a marine hybrid fuel cell system on a methanol-powered superyacht.

Working with fuel cell technology group, Freudenberg, the yacht builder is focusing on a fuel cell using hydrogen that is continuously reformed from methanol.

This has advantages, Lürssen explained, because methanol has a greater energy density than elemental hydrogen and is much easier to handle and store in underdeck tanks. Hydrogen itself, on the other hand, would have to be stored above deck, in liquid form, at -253°C.

Lürssen said that the fuel cell setup can be adjusted and customised to meet specific yacht design requirements, saving space and keeping costs down whilst achieving high efficiency rates at the same time.

Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore