Royal Caribbean, Meyer Werft and Freudenberg e-Power Systems develop new fuel cell system for ships

   March 22, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Shipbuilder Meyer Werft, German battery technology company Freudenberg e-Power Systems, and Royal Caribbean Group are working on a completely new fuel cell system specifically tailored to the maritime sector.

This is a multi-year project aiming to create a fuel cell system for cruise ships, which will power Royal Caribbean Group’s Nova class and represent a major step towards achieving net zero newbuilds.

At the completion of the new project, the fuel cell installation is expected to cover the full hotel load of a cruise ship and allow for zero local emissions while in port.

What posed a challenge, however, was the process to reform LNG (liquefied natural gas) to usable hydrogen at scale for a shipboard environment, which delayed the project's onboard implementation.

The partners hope the first maritime demonstrator system to be completed later in 2023 as work continues toward full-scale application.

The undertaking of the complex project represents an evolution of how energy is generated/distributed onboard, paving the way for a more sustainable future, the partners revealed.

The project achieved major success to evolve the use of fuel cells, including the maritime safety concept's approval.

Meyer Werft started building the 2nd LNG-fueled Icon-class ship for Royal Caribbean in February 2022.

The first Icon-class vessel, Icon OTS, was recently launched at Meyer Turku’s shipyard. The liner will be handed over at the end of 2023 and is scheduled to set sail on its first journey in January 2024.