Maranda consortium that includes Powercell Sweden (publ) has secured funds from the European Union (EU) to develop a new fuel cell system for marine applications.

The €3m fund has been granted under EU’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking programme.

A prototype in the 20kW-100kW range is to be developed based on the PowerCell S3 system and will be designed to use pure hydrogen as fuel; the new system will be integrated and tested in various marine environments.

PowerCell Sweden CTO Per Ekdunge said: “A marine power solution free from noise and pollution is important for the environment and this solution opens many fields of applications.”

As part of the project, Maranda consortium will develop a complete and competitive fuel cell system, with two units of PowerCell S3 fuel cell stacks.

Once completed, the system will provide power to the vessel’s electrical equipment, as well as aid dynamic positioning during measurements without making noise, air pollution and vibration.

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"A marine power solution free from noise and pollution is important for the environment and this solution opens many fields of applications."

An Arctic research vessel, Aranda is operated by SYKE Marine Research Centre and will be equipped with the new system to validate its ability in demanding marine application over 18 months.

The project will require 48 months to complete and is set to begin in March this year.

Finland’s ABB, Suomen ympäristökeskus and Teknologian tutkimuskeskus; Italy’s OMB Saleri; France’s PersEE; and Switzerland’s Swiss Hydrogen are also included in Maranda consortium.

Image: A Maranda vessel at sea. Photo: courtesy of Panu Hänninen.