Hydrogen Fuel Cells Could Soon Power Seaports


Hydrogen fuel cells are already powering mobile lighting systems, emergency backup systems, and more. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have now found that they may be both technically feasible and commercially attractive as a clean and efficient power source for docked or anchored ships, replacing on-board diesel generators. The Sandia study evaluated a simple fuel cell strategy that consists of mounting a hydrogen-fueled proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell on a floating barge. Supplying a container ship with average power and run times (1.4 megawatts over 48 hours) requires four 40-ft containers, two for the fuel cell and two for hydrogen fuel storage, which could fit on a typical flat-top barge.