FCS Alsterwasser, the first ship entirely powered by hydrogen fuel cells developed by Alster-Touristik GmbH in 2009, has been operating on inner city waterways in Hamburg Germany. It can hold up to 100 passengers and has worked for more than 1,900 hours. The hydrogen fuel cells generate approximately 100 kilowatts of electricity and have proven to be an extremely reliable energy source.
Since the shipping industry is considered one of the biggest consumers of fossil fuels, and therefore the largest producer of greenhouse emissions, integrating hydrogen fuel cells might just be the best energy source for the transportation vehicles. Moreover, the raising prices of oil together with the governmental regulations on emissions, urge the shipping industry to look for alternative energy sources, and more particularly hydrogen power.
FCS Alsterwasser has two hydrogen fuel cell systems with 12 hydrogen fuel tanks to power the ship. In addition, it has a lead-gel battery that serves as a back-up option if the hydrogen cells fail. Although most of the times the ship receives its energy from the hydrogen fuel cells, an energy management system is there to determine whether the batteries should be put into use.
The makers of FCS Alsterwasser are proud to state that the ship has demonstrated how hydrogen fuel cells are perfectly reliable source of alternative clean energy. Considering that the vessel has not reported major problems to date, mainly due to the high performance of the cells, it can serve as a great example for all ship manufacturing companies.
Via: Hydrogen Fuel News