30-kW Ballard fuel cells used in hybrid marine tests by Japanese research groups
Ballard Power Systems announced that two of its FCveloCity-MD 30-kW modules have been successfully integrated and tested in a hybrid marine application by a Japanese consortium that includes Yanmar, National Maritime Research Institute and Japan Ship Technology Research Association (JSTRA).
The 30-kW modules were previously provided to Yanmar by Toyota Tsusho Corporation, a member Company of the Toyota Group, under its Distribution Agreement with Ballard.
With support from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (“MLIT”), the project – which has been underway since 2015 – has focused on development of safety guidelines for hydrogen fuel cell-powered boats below gross tonnage of 20 operating in Japan’s restricted coastal waters. For the test, a hybrid power system was designed using a 60kWh lithium-ion battery and two Ballard modules producing a total of 60kW of power.
The system was installed on a 16.5 metre boat owned by NMRI and successfully tested under maritime loads and conditions.
Ballard VP for technology and product development, Dr. Kevin Colbow, said: “We are pleased to be providing fuel cell modules and technical services for this important work with Yanmar in Japan. This work will support the development of safety guidelines for fuel cell-powered boats in Japan. We continue to see an expanding range of heavy payload transportation applications for which zero-emission fuel cell electric systems offer a compelling value proposition, particularly where customers require long range, fast refueling and full route flexibility.”
In 2016, Ballard also announced a distribution agreement with Toyota Tsusho, under which Toyota Tsusho acts as a distributor of Ballard-powered fuel cell products in Japan. Toyota Tsusho is the Toyota Group’s sole general trading company and is one of the largest trading companies in Japan.
Meanwhile, automotive and industrial giant Toyota is working on a similar hybrid boat programme. The PONAM-28V model features a 260-HP engine, as well as 36-kW motor which can be powered by an 11 kWh battery. The vessel will be loaned to the Tokyo government during the 2020 Olympic Games, as part of a testing programme running from 2018-2021.