Yanmar just completed the first sea trial of its new hydrogen-powered boat, developed with Toyota, off the coast of Oita in Southern Japan. Yanmar says the 40-foot boat is the first to comply with Japan’s safety guidelines for hydrogen fuel-cell vessels.
The boat used a marine hydrogen fuel-cell system that incorporates modules from Toyota’s Mirai car, the first mass-produced hydrogen fuel-cell car in the world; these cells have been used in large trucks and Tokyo’s buses for the past five years.
The Yanmar boat, weighing 7.9 tons, was driven by a 250kW powertrain using two modules of polymer electrolyte fuel cells fed by eight tanks of hydrogen at 70 MPa. Yanmar wants to scale the hydrogen system by connecting it to multiple units; it hopes to deploy the system on larger vessels by 2025.
Yanmar, based in Korea, and Toyota, based in Japan, hope the hydrogen system will meet the targets to reduce carbon emissions set out in the Paris Accords. Two years ago, Korea published its Hydrogen Economy Roadmap designed to make the country the leading producer of hydrogen-powered cars in the world by 2030.
And last December, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced its own green growth strategy aimed at carbon neutrality by 2050; that strategy highlighted new power sources aimed at reducing their impact on the environment, including hydrogen.
The world’s first hydrogen-powered river boat is due to be launched in France this year. It is being developed by ABB energy management and Ballard fuel cells; they also are working on hydrogen fuel cells for Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Read more: