By early 2021, Carnival Corporation’s German market brand, AIDA Cruises, aims to be the world’s first cruise company to test the use of fuel cells on a large passenger ship on board its LNG fueled cruise ship AIDAnova.
The fuel cellt trial will be apart of the Pa-X-ell2 research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
In addition to AIDA Cruises/ Carnival Maritime GmbH, other partners include shipbuilder Meyer Werfts and fuel cell specialist Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. The objective is to find practical solutions for climate-neutral shipping.
The Pa-X-ell2 project specifically aims to develop a decentralized energy network and a hybrid energy system with a new generation of fuel cells for use in oceangoing passenger vessels.
“With the first-time use of fuel cells on board an oceangoing cruise ship, we will reach a further important milestone on our journey to emission-neutral cruising, and will show further concrete solutions for achieving our climate targets,” says AIDA President Felix Eichhorn.
AIDA notes that fuel cells enable power supply on board with even lower emissions than is currently possible with liquefied natural gas (LNG): Additionally, they operate with low noise and vibration. The fuel cell runs on hydrogen obtained from methanol, which has the potential to be produced from renewable energies in future.
Shoreside tests by Freudenberg Sealing Technologies indicate that its fuel cells can achieve a lifetime of over 35,000 operating hours can be achieved.