GE Power Conversion renews its Partnership Agreement with Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology for the development of marine fuel cell solutions
This partnership agreement builds on an initial cooperation agreement and a collaborative project already undertaken by the two companies.
- GE Power Conversion and Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology will partner to offer marine fuel cell technology solutions to the marine merchant marketplace.
GE Power Conversion has signed an agreement to renew its partnership with Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology for the development of marine fuel cell solutions. The agreement follows on from a previous cooperation agreement for collaborative work. A pilot project, for a large-scale marine fuel cell application provided valuable feasibility support to a cruise provider for their technical and commercial evaluation of decarbonization solutions.
GE Power Conversion and Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology are enthusiastic about the opportunity to continue working together and proactively offering alternative marine fuel and electric power technical solutions to the wider merchant marine market to support the sector’s transition to net zero.
The two companies envisage using marine fuel cell technology as part of GE Power Conversion’s electric ship system, replacing traditional diesel engine power sources with fuel cells, and heavy fuel oil (HFO) with hydrogen. Together, GE and Nedstack have engineered the concept for a 2 MW hydrogen fuel cell power plant on an expedition cruise vessel, with initial results being positive.
Hydrogen and Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology can offer the potential of achieving zero emissions in a large variety of maritime applications. PEM fuel cells are electrochemical reactors in which fuel and an oxidant react to generate electrical power. Such reactions, as opposed to combustion reactions, do not produce any emissions other than pure water and can be scaled to multi-megawatt power ratings.
Loïc Thiébaut, Senior Sales Leader at GE Power Conversion, explained: “Bringing fuel cells into mainstream maritime fleet use is not just about technology development; we are taking a practical, overall system view, integrating the fuel cell into the ship’s power network, whether for our electric propulsion or for on-board auxiliary power generation on larger ships. This means working on performance, functionality and scalability within the power network, safety, interfaces and energy management. That’s where our ship’s electric grid and systems know how comes in.”
Jogchum Bruinsma, Chief Commercial Officer at Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology, adds: “Hydrogen fuel cells offer a true zero emission solution for shipping providing high power and range. Nedstack's technology is already deployed in commercial shipping and with our new factory we will be able deliver hundreds of MW per year to the maritime industry. But our energy transition is all about cooperation and therefore we are honored by the trust of a renown system integrator like GE and jointly provide solutions for the future, today."
GE’s variable speed drives, electric architectures, energy storage systems and dedicated power distribution and energy management systems are engineered to help optimize both vessel operations and power system performance. For example, frequently switching fuel cells on and off can reduce life expectancy and GE’s controls limit the switch on-and-off frequency of the fuel cells when sailing or in port. Benefits include improved control and efficiency, direct management of the electricity produced by hydrogen fuel cells and extended fuel cell lifespan.
Thiébaut continued: “With an increasing focus on maritime sector decarbonization, clean maritime technologies are high on the maritime industry’s agenda, and a differentiator for our customers’ vessels to remain competitive. GE Power Conversion is pleased to partner with Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology to offer marine fuel technology, and its potential benefits, to the marine market.”
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