February 26, 2024

Maritime Applications for Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen fuel cells provide clean, reliable energy for various high-power applications, including ships. These cells offer an alternate energy source by turning hydrogen molecules into electricity that the ship’s engine or other application can use to give it power. Long touted as a better choice than diesel fuel or lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen fuel cells for ships in the maritime industry have vast and substantial applications.

The Feasibility of Using Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Ships

Sandia National Laboratories conducted studies on the impact of hydrogen fuel cells on 14 ships and container vessels of various sizes and uses in 2017. The test conductors found that hydrogen cells are feasible for powering shorter, high-demand routes for these ships.

Sandia National Laboratories conducted studies on the impact of hydrogen fuel cells on 14 ships and container vessels of various sizes and uses in 2017.

Though hydrogen cells’ impact on high-powered vessels over longer distances is still to be tested, the project shows the valuable effect of hydrogen cells in the maritime industry.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Powering a Hybrid Electric Vessel: Project Nautilus Case Study

In 2023, Alcatraz Island Services, LLC (AIS) launched Project Nautilus. The group retrofitted a diesel-powered ship with hydrogen cells on a hybrid passenger ferry to reach the goal of reducing greenhouse gases in the shipping industry. The project encouraged the maritime sector to use hydrogen cells as an energy source.

The test conductors supplemented the existing lithium-ion batteries on the ferry with hydrogen fuel cells for longer trips, further supporting the case for the usability of hydrogen power in ships.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Generators in Port Operations

Between 2013 and 2023, the Maritime Hydrogen Fuel Cell (MarFC) project tested several generators in port operations. The test conductors outfitted the generators with hydrogen fuel cells instead of diesel-powered cells and compared the results.

The test conductors found that operating a generator fueled by hydrogen cells reduced the creation of harmful contaminants and could help contribute to a more sustainable way of powering generators at ports. While more research is needed, the evidence indicates that reducing maritime-related contaminants using hydrogen fuel cells could be possible.

Discover More With Chase Filters & Components

The benefits of using hydrogen fuel cells to power ships are clear. However, you’ll need a sufficient filtering system for your ship’s components to realize the full benefits of hydrogen cells. We at Chase Filters & Components are the leading solution providers of high-pressure filters for diverse industries. We supply filters for air, gas, oxygen, hydraulic liquid, water, engine lubricant, gas and fuel to keep your engine system clean.

For more information, call (757) 327-0036 or contact us at info@chasefiltercompany.com. Alternatively, fill out our online form and one of our experts will follow up with you promptly.