Yanmar leads coastal hydrogen fuel cell charge

by | 13th September 2023 | Ship & Boat International - News, Technology

Home News Yanmar leads coastal hydrogen fuel cell charge

The YPT hydrogen fuel cell system

Yanmar Power Technology (YPT) has commercially launched a customisable maritime hydrogen fuel cell system, specifically targeting vessels on coastal routes “where hydrogen refuelling is relatively accessible”, the company states.

YPT tells Ship & Boat International: “At this time, we are looking at applying the technology to sightseeing ships or similar with a capacity of about 200 passengers. The scale is similar to ferries and sightseeing boats in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea.” The YPT hydrogen fuel cell system weighs approximately 3tonnes and could feature a rated output of up to 300kW, depending on the end user’s requirements.

Dimensions for the system include a breadth of 3.4m and a height of 1.7m. The system’s hydrogen fuel cell module has received Approval in Principle (AiP) from Japanese class society ClassNK and, in addition to producing virtually zero CO2, NOx, SOx and PM emissions, the system is expected to guarantee low vibrations/noise and zero exhaust gas odour. “The gas valve unit is built into the system housing for easy installation aboard ships,” YPT adds.

The launch of the hydrogen fuel cell system follows a busy period of R&D for YPT, in which the company has participated in the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s (MLIT’s) ongoing projects to establish safety guidelines for the use of these systems, and to develop a road map for hydrogen adoption across the marine sector. The system was field-tested in Oita earlier this year, aboard Yanmar’s 12m x 3m EX38A FC pleasure boat.

For now, the system is being reserved for smaller vessel applications, with rollout to larger vessels expected to commence from 2025. YPT explains: “As for larger vessels, although it is theoretically possible to increase the output and hydrogen tank capacity by installing multiple fuel cell systems, there are issues such as hydrogen refueling, navigable time, and the ability to install in the limited space on ships.”

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