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Develop new complementary technologies for achieving competitive solutions for marine applications
Deadline: May 3, 2016  

 Marine and Coast
 Energy Efficiency
 Intelligent Energy
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Fuel cell technology is able to address powertrain electrification in the domains of marine propulsion. This market represents high potential for reducing energy consumption and emissions (especially for harbour boats and tugs), because the source of emissions is not as dispersed, i.e. significant energy/ emission savings can be achieved by replacing a single conventional powertrain on a large ship. However, despite all the potential benefits, existing fuel cell technology components face application specific challenges that need to be addressed in order to drive large scale adoption in the marine sector. Hence, in order to achieve competitiveness, additional research and demonstration efforts are required for such drive systems in order to become competitive with conventional technologies.


The aim of this topic is to develop an emissions-free fuel cell hybrid based powertrain system, suitable for marine applications, and to validate it in the target marine vessel.

The project must address the following key issues:

  • Identify the components that have specific marine application requirements (e.g. lifetime and resistance to shock, vibration, corrosion, power range, SU/SD, etc.) in comparison to automotive or other vehicular applications
  • Select amongst the identified components those with highest impact for the marine application in cost and performance
  • Develop improved, industrialisation-ready system components (including but not limited to: fuel cell stack, compressor, humidifier, intercooler, valves, or turbine/expander, etc.) for high efficiency and low cost Balance-of-Plant (BoP), focused on the specific needs of the marine application
  • Demonstrate significant improvement of the complete fuel cell based powertrain efficiency and stack lifetime due to integration of improved fuel cell components
  • Validate the system performance on a powertrain test bench and in a target marine vessel for a period of minimum 6 months
  • Investigate the CO2 performance (through Life Cycle Analysis techniques) of current marine powertrain solutions and demonstrate the specific emissions saving that can be achieved by replacing conventional technology

TRL at start: 4

TRL at end: 7

The consortium should include at least one marine OEM or their subsidiaries and at least one fuel cell component manufacturer and/or relevant suppliers.

The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected duration: 3-4 years

A maximum of 1 project may be funded under this topic.

Expected Impact:

Expected impacts of the project include:

  • Fuel to electric efficiency > 42 %
  • Freeze start capabilities from -35°C
  • Operational ambient temperature -30°C to +45°C
  • Powertrain system cost below 6000€/kW
  • Fuel cell system of at least 75kW
  • Fuel cell stack life of >15,000 hours
  • Ability of the system to withstand the shocks, vibrations, saline environment and ship motions commonly encountered on water as well as other marine application relevant requirements.
  • Taking into account the project achievements (e.g. costs and lifetime), clearly indicate the current state of return on investment for a prospective customer. Out of the business model analysis extract the technological leverages that still have to be considered for future projects.
  • Formulation of initial go-to market strategy with support from stakeholders from the marine industry.
  • Potential for future demonstration ‘innovation’ actions once the project is completed

Public link:   Only for registered users

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Ideas proposed for this Call See all Ideas

Western Norway Research Institute is offering to investigate CO2 performance (trough Life Cycle Analysis) of current marine powertrain solutions, and demonstrate the specific emission savings ...