High-power marine fuel cell concept receives AiP

Ballard Power Systems and ABB receive approval in principle (“AiP”) from DNV for a jointly developed high-power marine fuel cell concept.

Ballard Power Systems is a leading global technology company that aims to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. Particularly, announced with ABB, that they have received ground-breaking approval in principle (“AiP”) from the leading classification society DNV. They jointly developed a high-power marine fuel cell concept


The AiP represents an important milestone in developing new technology. An independent assessment of the concept confirms the feasibility of the design. Thus, no significant obstacles exist to prevent the concept from establishment. With the AiP in place, the jointly developed solution can initiate with confidence that it is eligible to receive final approval for application onboard a wide range of vessels.


The high-power fuel cell unit is a flexible solution that will support the energy needs of multi-megawatt scale vessels with diverse use cases. Specifically, the subject development is capable of generating 3MW, or 4,000 HP, of electrical power. For example, a cruise vessel operating in coastal areas could either run entirely on zero-emission fuel cell power. Alternatively, switch to it when operating in environmentally sensitive areas or emission control zones. In the meantime, a ferry with a regular schedule and frequent bunkering opportunities could operate solely on fuel cell power. For ocean-going vessels, fuel cell power could support auxiliary needs. The concept of the solution also envisions the integration with an energy storage system.

Views on the project

“ABB’s industry-leading experience in marine solutions and Ballard’s expertise in development and deployment of megawatt-scale fuel cell systems for land-based use has proven to be the right combination, enabling us to take the next step in our joint efforts to make this technology available for larger vessels… Securing an AiP offers a signpost to the maritime industry regarding the potential of this truly transformative concept.”

Jesper Themsen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems Europe A/S

“This AiP is an important milestone in making high-power fuel cells commercially available, and it underpins our commitment to bring new levels of; efficiency, reliability, and sustainability to the global shipping industry… As we continue to pave the way towards decarbonizing shipping, we are confident that vessel electrification, including fuel cell technology, will play a pivotal role in helping the marine industry achieve its environmental targets.”

Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports.

The successful development of this system concept builds on a three-year collaboration between ABB and Ballard Power Systems. Note that the latter is the leading global provider of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell solutions. As part of its strategy to develop alternative emission-free technologies, ABB is already well advanced in the collaborative development of fuel cell systems for ships.

Zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells are considered among the most promising technologies available in terms of greenhouse gas reduction. Note that, they are already powering smaller vessels over short distances. Hence, the technology is on the verge of being ready for installation on larger ships.

Source: Ballard

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