Det Norske Veritas (DNV) Research and Innovation has reported that a joint industry project, FellowSHIP, has run a 330 kW fuel cell successfully for more than 7,000 hours onboard the offshore supply vessel Viking Lady.

Fuel cell technology of this magnitude has never before been installed in a merchant vessel, and the project is innovative on a global scale, according to DNV. The achievements of the project include significantly reduced CO2 emissions, improved energy efficiency and zero emissions of harmful substances compared to conventional engine technology.

DNV said in a prepared statement that this recent success with fuel cell technology indicates that it is possible to lower the contribution from shipping to global warming. Introducing fuel cells to ships benefit human health and the environment by avoiding local consequences of air pollution. It can even completely eliminate CO2 emission if hydrogen from renewables becomes available.

According to Researcher Eirik Ovrum, fuel cells can have a viable future within shipping. “We recognize that it will take time before fuel cells can become a realistic on-board alternative, mostly restricted by costs, but the FellowSHIP project has taken some important first steps towards a future for fuel cells on ships,” he said.