The country’s first hydrogen-fueled vessel is expected to be launched by a North Vancouver marine outfit.
CleanBC’s Go Electric Advanced Research and Commercialization program has awarded Capilano Maritime Design a $178,000 grant to launch the proof-of-concept in the shape of a recreational harbor cruise boat.
“It’s virtually brand new,” said Chris Mulder, president of Capilano Maritime. “At this time, there are no ships in Canada that use hydrogen as a marine fuel.”
Mulder’s vessel will use a fuel cell electric hybrid propulsion system, which converts hydrogen energy to electricity and generates only water vapor as a byproduct, rather than internal combustion engines, which burn petrochemicals and release carbon.
Capilano Maritime engineers are developing a 24-meter catamaran with two 200-kilowatt fuel cells that will power twin 250-horsepower electric motors. It should have a range of 150 nautical miles on a full tank of hydrogen, however, it will largely be utilized for leisure excursions around the port. With a capacity of 194 persons, the cat may be set up for a dinner cruise or cocktail party. Mulder explained that they picked a port cruise ship because they wanted the public to be able to observe the new technology in operation.
“As a firm, we’re really highly interested in finding climate-change solutions.” “We’re doing our part and trying to move things along as rapidly as we can,” he explained.
However, both naval architects and regulators are unfamiliar with hydrogen fuel. Because it is a volatile gas, more caution and attention is being paid to how it is stored in the boat’s tanks. Mulder stated that the goal is to overcome all regulatory barriers with Transport Canada and Lloyd’s Register by the summer. They want to see the H-powered sailboat on the H2O within the following two years after that.
Because some kinds of hydrogen need substantial amounts of fossil fuel to manufacture, they may have a hidden carbon impact. However, Mulder believes hydrogen has a lot of promise to become the industry’s preferred zero-emission power source.
“It’s going to make a lot more sense than a battery vessel for maritime boats that are going to be an operating day in and day out,” he said. “The recharge or refuel time is considerably faster, and the amount of weight you have to carry about is a lot less.”
According to Mulder, there are no big laws on the way that will require the marine industry to decarbonize. Capilano Maritime is presently working on the project “to show that it can be done and that it is desirable.”
He went on to say, “Hopefully the regulations will follow.”
Ballard Power Systems Inc., Canal Marine & Industrial Inc., the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Lloyd’s Register Group Services Limited, Fairweather Cruises & Events, and the University of British Columbia are among the project’s partners. HTEC, based in North Vancouver, will provide the hydrogen fuel.
The inclusion of the firm in the province’s zero-emission research and development program was welcomed by the two NDP MLAs from North Vancouver.
“With transportation accounting for about a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia, the need for a swift shift away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy has never been greater.” In a statement, North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Susie Chant stated, “I’m glad to know that money from CleanBC will help Maritime Capilano to continue exploring strategies to decarbonize maritime transport.”
“With transportation accounting for about a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia, the need for a swift shift away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy has never been greater.” “I’m glad to learn that CleanBC money will allow Maritime Capilano to continue exploring strategies to decarbonize maritime transport,” said Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale.