Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Echandia, Toshiba to develop fuel cells for heavy-duty vessels

As the demand for electrification of deep-sea and larger vessels builds up, heavy-duty and durable fuel-cell solutions are becoming an increasingly important part of the solution to decarbonize maritime transportation.

A Swedish company Echandia has entered into an agreement to deepen its collaboration with Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corporation to explore the possibility of jointly developing a market for ships that use pure hydrogen fuel cell systems in order to respond to the accelerating electrification of shipping in Europe. The partnership will focus on the development of fuel-cell technology combined with batteries for extreme heavy-duty applications in the maritime industry.

The fundamental strength of all of Echandia’s solutions is safety, durability, and superior lifetime. Previously, Toshiba rechargeable LTO battery cell SCiB was used by Echandia to build its successful Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) based battery systems. The LTO cell technology allows the development of systems that are more compact, lightweight, and cost-effective.

The two companies will consider the possibility of incorporating the next-generation pure hydrogen fuel cell currently under development by Toshiba ESS into the electric propulsion systems for ships being developed by Echandia, with the joint aim of commercializing a longer-life pure hydrogen fuel cell system around the 2024. By integrating these next-generation pure hydrogen fuel cells, the systems for ships currently under development are expected to last approximately 200% longer. In addition, the two companies will explore future collaboration to expand the market for zero-emission vessels in Europe.

“Since Toshiba ESS began working on fuel cell systems in the 1960s, we have been advancing the development of hydrogen-related technologies. Striving toward the realization of a hydrogen society, we aim to provide high-value-added hydrogen solutions by integrating related technologies such as renewable energy-derived hydrogen energy. By expanding our business through this collaboration, we will help make a carbon-neutral society a reality,” says Shigehiro Kawahara, Vice President of the Energy Aggregation Div.