Canadian Manufacturing

Ballard introduces commercial zero-emission module to power ships

The FCwave product provides primary propulsion power for marine vessels

September 8, 2020  by CM Staff

Ballard’s FCwaveTM fuel cell module provides megawatts of power for marine vessels, in 200-kilowatt increments PHOTO: Ballard Power Systems Inc.

VANCOUVER — Ballard Power Systems announced the launch of the fuel cell industry’s module designed for primary propulsion power in marine vessels. Ballard’s FCwave fuel cell product is a 200-kilowatt (kW) modular unit that can be scaled in series up to the multi-megawatt (MW) power level.

According to a company statement, the FCwave product provides primary propulsion power for marine vessels — such as passenger and car ferries, river push boats, and fishing boats — as well as stationary electrical power to support hotel and auxiliary loads on cruise ships and other vessels while docked at port (also known as ‘cold ironing’).

“Ballard is focused on Heavy- and Medium-Duty Motive applications, particularly where requirements include heavy payload, extended range and rapid refueling. This is a sweet spot for our fuel cell value proposition, which is backed up by more than 50 million kilometers of operational experience in thousands of vehicles,” Rob Campbell, Ballard chief commercial officer said in  a prepared statement. “These same requirements underpin use cases in the maritime industry, resulting in a significant addressable market opportunity that can be effectively addressed by our new FCwave product. Global efforts to decarbonize include commercial maritime activities, where Ballard intends to build on our leading position in zero-emission fuel cell solutions.”

Fuel cells provide a zero-emission solution for the reduction of carbon emissions in marine vessels. Ballard’s FCwave product was designed to leverage the Company’s technology and critical components already proven in existing product applications to ensure that it can withstand the rigors of marine applications while meeting all performance and safety requirements.

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FCwave offers:

  • Durability, with greater than 30,000 hours expected operating lifetime;
  • High system efficiency >55%;
  • Light weight at 4.4 kilograms/kW;
  • Flexibility through modular components for scalable power;
  • Extended range, limited only by the volume of hydrogen fuel stored onboard;
  • Reliable performance;
  • Safe operation; and
  • Proven service model.


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