New feasibility study released on hydrogen fuel cell ferry

OCTOBER 27, 2016—While there has been a surge in ferries using alternative fuels, such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as well as hybrid and all-electric propulsion technologies, what about a fast ferry that could operate on a hydrogen fuel cell?

You can get some of your answers from a new feasibility study released today by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). The study, “Feasibility of the SF-BREEZE: A Zero-Emission, Hydrogen Fuel Cell, High-Speed Passenger Ferry, was prepared by Joseph W. Pratt and Lennie E. Klebanoff, Energy Innovation, Hydrogen and Combustion Technology, Sandia National Laboratories. The study examines the technical, regulatory, and economic viability of a high-speed passenger ferry powered solely by hydrogen fuel cells and its associated hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the San Francisco Bay. 

Dr. Pratt and Captain Joe Burgard, Vice President, Operations, Red and White Fleet, will discuss the zero emissions ferry that uses liquid hydrogen in a presentation at Marine Log FERRIES 2016 Conference & Expo, which will be held in Seattle, WA, Nov. 3-4, 2016.

Funded through MARAD’s Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance (META) Program, the 340-page study determined that it is possible technologically to build and to operate a 150 passenger, high speed, zero emission hydrogen-powered ferry and its associated hydrogen station in the current regulatory environment; however the current ferry design has a cost premium compared to a conventional diesel ferry.  Cost reduction strategies specific to the vessel design and strategies for leveraging developments in the fuel cell technology are now being explored. 


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