21 Apr Hydrogene de France and ABB plan to develop hydrogen fuel cells to power containerships.
Hydrogene de France (HDF) and ABB intend to build zero emission fuel cell systems for containerships. Hydrogen provides about 10 times the energy density of a lithium battery besides allowing a much faster refuelling system.
The marine transport industry is still using large vessels powered by diesel that are responsible for about 2.5 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. If we take into account that it is considered that a large containership can cause the same amount of air pollution as 50 million cars, as published a decade ago, the electrification of the fleet will mean a great step forward in the protection of the environment.
The agreement between HDF and ABBA to develop a mega-watt scale powertrain for large vessels is for a future where hydrogen will play a key role. Ballard Power Systems, specialists in proton exchange membrane fuel cells will be in charge of the design together with HDF and ABBA.
If we consider that a Triple-E Class Maersk containership carries 18,000 containers, burning 80,000 fuel litres and an energy of 60 megawatts a day, we will understand the great breakthrough these new hydrogen powertrains that might be used as auxiliary support for the energy requirements of the aforesaid boats.