Small Fast Multi-Use Hydrogen Fuel Cell Harbor Craft
Projects Updates/The Results
Following approval at the March 2021 business meeting, this project was executed and kicked off in April 2021. The project team is developing initial specifications for the vessel, hydrogen fuel cell power package, and refueling systems by generating comparison charts for different original equipment manufacturer products. The team is also engaging with media and other knowledge transfer pathways to share initial project information.
This project is developing a marine hydrogen fuel cell powertrain to power a passenger/patrol vessel. The project is optimizing the fuel cell stack operating conditions to achieve desired performance, efficiency, and lifetime through intelligent load sharing, use of energy storage, and balance of plant control. Hull performance is being maintained by optimizing the arrangement and integration of the fuel cell system and onboard hydrogen storage. A portable refueling method is being developed to enable the vessel to be fueled with hydrogen sourced from existing retail stations, avoiding the need for siting shoreside infrastructure. The researchers are demonstrating the completed vessel over a six-month demonstration shared between the Port of San Francisco and Port of Long Beach.
By using automotive-based fuel cell powertrains, the project aims to reduce vessel capital costs by 50 to 80 percent compared to currently available industrial-style fuel cell powertrains.
Environmental & Public Health
Converting a single commercial vessel of this size to hydrogen fuel cell power will result in around 19,818 gal/yr of avoided diesel consumption and 272 metric tons/yr of avoided CO2 emissions. Creating additional demand for hydrogen can reduce costs and availability of the low carbon fuel for other end-uses.