Toshiba TSS and Echandia collaborate on H2 fuel cell systems for marine use

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Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions (Toshiba ESS) and Echandia, a Swedish business that develops, manufactures, and sells batteries and fuel cell systems for maritime applications, have entered into a cooperation.

The alliance will focus on the development of fuel-cell and battery technology to speed the electrification of the marine industry.

The two firms have been working together for some time. Echandia’s Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) battery systems have been utilizing the Goshiba rechargeable LTO battery cell SCiB. For instance, Echandia supplied the battery systems for an extensive fleet of electric ferries in India. Now, Echandia observes an increase in demand for electrification of deep-sea and bigger boats. In fact, while virtually outlawing fossil-fueled vans and automobiles by 2035, the most recent EU Council requirements also targeted marine uses. Since fuel cell systems have a better energy density than battery-only electric systems, they are “becoming an increasingly vital component of the answer to decarbonize maritime transportation,” according to Echandia.

The agreement between Toshiba and Echandia intends to expand the market for fuel cell technologies for maritime applications. Here, the focus of the two organizations is on applications requiring the heaviest of loads.

Shigehiro Kawahara, Vice President of the Energy Aggregation Division of Toshiba ESS, states, “Since the 1960s, when Toshiba ESS began working on fuel cell devices, we have advanced the development of hydrogen-related technology.” Kawahara notes, “In an effort to realize a hydrogen society, we strive to deliver hydrogen solutions with high added value by combining related technologies such as hydrogen energy obtained from renewable sources. By expanding our business through this partnership, we will contribute to the realization of a carbon-neutral world.”

In this agreement, the two businesses claim that it will be feasible to enhance the average fuel cell’s lifespan by at least 200 percent. The goal is to commercialize a pure hydrogen fuel cell system with a longer lifespan by 2024. Echandia and Toshiba ESS intend to explore further partnership “to increase the European market for zero-emission boats.”

Nedim Husomanovic

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