Det Norske Veritas: Milestone for Maritime Project

Stord, Norway Sept. 15: The joint industry project FellowSHIP today passed an important milestone with the installation of a full scale fuel cell on board the supply vessel Viking Lady. This will be the first merchant vessel ever to test fuel cell technology for production of electricity on board. The research project, which could imply an environmental revolution within ship power systems, is led by DNV.

The project was initiated by DNV in 2003 with a purpose of adapting fuel cell technology so that it can be used for the propulsion of vessels in the future. A fuel cell system has been tested onshore at Stord, Norway, for the past couple of months. With today’s successful installation onboard Viking Lady the testing of the fuel cell can start at sea.

Groundbreaking fuel cell technology

After today’s installation experts will continue testing and examining whether or not fuel cell technologies have a viable future within shipping. DNV project manager Tomas Tronstad warns that there’s a long way to go. “A lot of development still remains to be done, but I am convinced that fuel cells will have an important role in the future of shipping.”

The project has developed a fuel cell power system rated at 320 kW. Fuel cell technology of this magnitude has never before been installed in merchant vessels, and the project is innovative on a world scale. The achievements of the project will include significantly reduced CO2 emissions, improved energy efficiency and zero emissions of harmful substances, when compared to conventional engine technology.

Norwegian-German cooperation

The FellowSHIP project is a joint industry project managed by DNV. The fuel cell is developed by MTU Onsite Energy GmbH. The supply vessel Viking Lady which will be used as a test laboratory for the fuel cell is owned by Eidesvik. Wärtsilä Ship Design has designed and adapted the vessel, while Wärtsilä Norway has developed the necessary power electronics and control systems which connect the fuel cell to the electric grid on board the vessel.

DNV has approved the system considering all safety- and risk aspects of the installed equipment. The development of class rules for installation of fuel cells on board vessels has been an important part of the project.

The project is supported by the Norwegian Research Council, Innovation Norway and the German Federal Minestry of Economics and Technology.


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