Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd. announced the development of a hydrogen fuel cell system for maritime applications based on fuel cell technology for automobiles, as part of efforts to offer environment-friendly powertrain solutions.
With the International Maritime Organization announcing a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero by the end of this century, marine environmental regulations have been tightened worldwide and the implementation of emission control areas has begun to have an effect on ship operations. To date, Yanmar has successfully addressed the various regional demands for emission control regulations by developing dual-fuel engines and ever-cleaner diesel engine technologies. The next challenge is to develop non-fossil fuel powertrains.
As a part of this challenge, Yanmar has been working on development of future powertrains using hydrogen as fuel. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Toyota Motor Corporation to develop a hydrogen fuel cell system for maritime applications based on hydrogen fuel cell system components including high pressure hydrogen tanks on MIRAI, a hydrogen fuel cell automobile manufactured by Toyota.
With a view to realizing an easily installable module with superior cruising range, Yanmar aims to install the maritime fuel cell system on its own boat and start a field demonstration test by the end of FY2020. Furthermore, the company plans to expand the technology for a variety of applications and deployments.
In 2018, Yanmar and Toyota Tsusho completed joint research on a fuel cell boat. (Earlier post.) This fuel cell boat was used by a consortium formed by Yanmar, Japan’s National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI), and Japan Ship Technology Research Association (JSTRA) to test an actual boat in the verification of a project assigned by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to study the development of safety guidelines for hydrogen fuel cell ships. The demonstration trial was conducted in March 2018.