ABB to provide fuel system for Royal Caribbean vessel

13 November 2017 (Last Updated November 13th, 2017 14:48)

ABB has been selected to provide a fuel cell system to power a luxury cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International (RCL).

ABB to provide fuel system for Royal Caribbean vessel
ABB’s hydrogen fuel cell system. Credit: ABB.

ABB has been selected to provide a fuel cell system to power a luxury cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International (RCL).

The system is planned to be installed on-board the vessel under a new pilot project and will incorporate control, converter and transformer technology from ABB.

It has already been developed, marinised, assembled and tested by ABB Marine & Ports, and will be capable of generating up to 100kW of energy.

An FC-velocity proton exchange membrane (PEM) pure hydrogen fuel cell engine from Ballard Power Systems has also been selected for use in the pilot system.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Maritime and Newbuilding executive vice-president Harri Kulovaara said: “Our goal is to take the smoke out of the smokestacks.

“We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement and environmental responsibility, and using fuel cell technology gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars.”

“We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement and environmental responsibility, and using fuel cell technology gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars.”

In addition, RCL intends to strengthen its commitment to leveraging emissions-free fuel cell technology to power its future Icon-class ships via the installation initiative.

ABB Marine & Ports managing director Juha Koskela said: “This pilot installation demonstrates that fuel cell technology is now firmly in sight of the cruise industry.

“Fuel cells have been the next big thing for 25 years, but now they are reality.

“At ABB, we believe that the next generations of vessels will be electric, digital and connected. Fuel cell technology matches exactly that.

Fuel cells have significantly higher efficiency than combustion engines and allow energy to be concentrated more densely than in petroleum fuels.

“If you use renewables to produce the hydrogen, the entire energy chain is clean and truly emission free.”

According to The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2016, the use of mobile power from fuel cells surpassed that of stationary installations across the maritime industry last year.