At DFDS we are excited about new technologies becoming available for shipping, and we are increasing our involvement in testing, among other things, fuel cells with partnered companies. Jakob Steffensen, Head of Innovation and Partnerships, says: “Dedicating one of our ships to be a sailing test platform comes with many expenses. We are happy to now say that we have received funding from the Danish Maritime Fund to upgrade Ark Germania to become a large scale fuel cell test vessel for the blue Denmark.” The development of fuel cells that run on, for example, hydrogen, methanol or ammonia, requires significant investments and testing at scale. This is to to reach the required reliability and cost effectiveness, in order to supplement or replace fossil fuels to propel and power ships.
The zero-emission challenge for shipping companies
Danish and international shipping companies have a big challenge in implementing new technologies in order to deliver reductions in emissions that meet customers and society’s desires for zero-emission shipping. The producers of fuel cell technology are currently not focused enough on the maritime world for this to happen, which is why DFDS and the Blue Denmark collective have made efforts to channel cross sector experience and dedicated projects into realised partnerships. “We at DFDS can provide fuel cell projects with that scale and a real maritime environment to test in. With this funding we can now begin working with our partners to realise the potential we believe there is in fuel cell technology,” says Jakob. Expected results “On Ark Germania we upgrade the electrical infrastructure to allow for testing of up to 1MW fuel cells. Our partners install their equipment in containers that we place on the weather deck, plugged into the ship and their fuel sources. The testing of new battery technology, supercapacitors and detailed analysis of all this also becomes possible.” “The testing made possible will enable cost-effective live tests for the fuel cell manufacturers and should prove valuable for both DFDS and the Blue Denmark as a whole. Gaining familiarity with fuel cells will help speed up the development of maritime zeroemission fuel technologies, and we hope this inspires further innovation partnerships to give our industry hands-on experience with the new sustainable fuels. With this setup we make it more attractive for businesses to focus on maritime uses of green energy technology, so we can reach our ambitions of developing zero-emission ships,” Jakob adds.
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