A land-based test conducted in Sweden has showcased the successful integration of technologies from PowerCell Group, e1 Marine, and RIX technologies, marking a significant advancement in the utilization of methanol as a clean power source. The demonstration involved a methanol-to-fuel cell power chain, where methanol is converted into hydrogen, which is then utilized to generate clean power through a fuel cell.
By employing methanol as the storage medium, the technology eliminates the need for complex storage arrangements. Instead, a conversion system delivers a steady stream of low-pressure hydrogen as required. The tests were carried out on a 200 kW system, serving as validation for Maritime Partners’ M/V Hydrogen One inland pushboat. This vessel will be equipped with a 1.4 MW methanol-to-hydrogen system as its sole power source for propulsion.
The application of this innovative power chain is expected to benefit various maritime segments, including tugboats, push-boats, and superyachts. Richard Berkling, CEO of PowerCell Group, expressed confidence in the successful completion of the tests, providing assurance to future ship owners, integrators, and methanol suppliers regarding the potential of this powerful combination of technologies. Fuel cells are known for their exceptional efficiency in extracting energy from fuel, and this deployment represents an unprecedented scale of utilization.
Berkling highlighted the groundbreaking project with Torghatten Nord, where PowerCell Group will supply 12.8 MW fuel cells for Norway’s longest ferry route. This ambitious endeavor stands as the largest maritime project to date and underscores the readiness of the new generation of fuel cells to harness energy from various fuel sources.
Robert Schluter, Managing Director at e1 Marine, emphasized the fruitful collaboration among equipment suppliers that contributed to the rigorous testing and exciting results. He emphasized that the methanol-to-hydrogen power chain has proven its readiness to deliver renewable power to a range of maritime applications, fostering optimism across the industry.
Austin Sperry, President and Co-Founder at Maritime Partners, expressed satisfaction with the results and system validation, confirming that the M/V Hydrogen One is on track to set sail in 2024.
The successful demonstration of the methanol-to-fuel cell power chain represents a significant milestone in the quest for cleaner and more sustainable maritime solutions. The industry can now look forward to the utilization of this innovative technology, which holds great promise for reducing emissions and advancing the transition to renewable power sources in the maritime sector.