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Successful test of hydrogen fuel cell with maritime control system

Bergen, Norway – 18 October – 2023 – Clara Venture Labs, in cooperation with HAV Hydrogen and Norwegian Electric Systems (NES), has successfully completed a test of a hydrogen fuel cell combined with a maritime control system. The technology shall make it possible for large ships to sail over longer distances with zero emissions at a high speed, using hydrogen and battery technology.

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By HAV Hydrogen and Clara Venture Labs Published

In the picture: Kjersti Wergeland Krakhella - Fuel Cell Operator and Fuel Cell System Model Responsible, and Jarle Farnes - FreeCO2ast Project Manager

The test is a continuation of the FreeCO2ast project that has developed a high-capacity hydrogen-based energy system that can be retrofitted onboard ships.

“This brings us another step closer to realizing our objective of making the first commercial delivery of a fully integrated hydrogen-based energy system for ships,”
Kristian Osnes, managing director of HAV Hydrogen.

The scope of the project was to test NES’ proprietary control system and interface with a hydrogen fuel cell and associated drives, including validation of the system design, software and hardware. In addition, control, safety systems and barriers for the integration of the fuel cells were tested.

In the test, the hydrogen fuel cell was benchmarked against a meticulously simulated load profile, developed using advanced simulation tools from the FreeCO2ast project.

“Securing a robust interface between the hydrogen fuel cell and the control system is normally a complex and challenging task. We made it work in a short space of time, which is something we are very proud of,”
Siv Remøy-Vangen, managing director of NES.

The test activities of the 200 kW fuel cell were managed by Clara Venture Labs at Sustainable Energy’s test centre at Stord, The Energy House. Hydrogen is produced locally and any surplus energy from the tests is recycled back into the hydrogen production.

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Energy House: Maritime testing on land

“It is crucial for us to have a place where we can test the technology we work with at full scale, and in a realistic environment. The Energy House has become a global test centre for future fuels – it’s like a ship on land, thereby giving us a unique opportunity for testing of maritime solutions”, says Michelle Williams, CEO at Clara Venture Labs.

FreeCo2ast is a Pilot-E project that is supported by the Norwegian Research Council, Innovation Norway and Enova. Major project partners include Havila Kystruten and HAV Group's subsidiaries HAV Design, Norwegian Electric Systems and HAV Hydrogen, in addition to research institutions Clara Venture Labs and Sintef Ocean.