Norwegian yard Fiskerstrand, engineering group ABB and Norwegian group SINTEF are testing fuel cells to provide answers needed by Fiskerstrand to convert an existing ferry to run on a combination of batteries and hydrogen fuel cells.
ABB and the SINTEF Ocean laboratory will assess how fuel cells and batteries can function together for short-distance ferry operations, and how Fiskerstrand can use them with other engine room systems. The tests will also provide answers into the introduction of hydrogen fuel cells for future reviews of the rules covering shipboard use of hydrogen. In addition, the tests will simulate the conditions the ferry is expected to face on a high-frequency 10-kilometre route. The aim is to make sure that the propulsion systems including fuel cells are robust enough for repetitive, short-burst service duties. The HYBRIDship project began in 2017, pushed forward by Fiskerstrand Holding, and is supported by Norway’s Pilot-E technology accelerator programme funded by the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian government enterprise Enova. The project aspires to create a zero-emission passenger ship equipped with fuel cells operating on a domestic Norwegian route by the end of 2020. Results from the new tests are expected to help the
Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) work in amending regulations to better accommodate and approve hydrogen as a fuel. Classification society DNV GL announced that it also supports the project to find out how fuel cells and batteries can work together for short-distance ferry operations.