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Bureau Veritas awards AiP to HELION marine fuel cell system

Bureau Veritas has issued an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Alstom subsidiary HELION for its marine fuel cell system, the FC-RACK Marine.

The marine fuel cell system uses a double envelope enclosure that enables the system to be perfectly sealed in a saline environment. In addition, HELION’s new FC-RACK Marine incorporates a thermal management system, dedicated on-board control system, and a hydrogen safety system that enables the FC-RACK Marine to be installed inside or on the deck of the vessel.

Finally, its vertical architecture facilitates ease-of-access during maintenance operations.

HELION developed its standard fuel cell system, the FC RACK, based on a simplified and modular architecture that can suit customer’s needs. Specially designed for high power applications, it covers a wide range of power from 100 kW up to several megawatts, and it can address stationary as well as heavy mobility markets.

Earlier, as part of the renewal of its fleet of vessels, the Occitanie Region ordered a hybrid hydrogen dredger which will be built by PIRIOU shipyard and designed in collaboration with LMG MARIN.


HyDrOMer hybrid hydrogen dredger. Copyright: PIRIOU

This first hybrid hydrogen dredger will be equipped with a HELION 200 kW marine-certified fuel cell; the fuel cell system will supply 100% of the energy needed during port operations and crew changes.

Alstom acquired HELION in April 2021. Alstom has injected some €6 million to boost production capacity at the Aix-en-Provence plant while reducing manufacturing costs.



' The marine fuel cell system uses a double envelope enclosure that enables the system to be perfectly sealed in a saline environment.'

So many neat sounding ideas like wave power have taken insufficient account of the corrosive properties of the environment at sea.

I remember many years ago now, being informed in an online discussion with one of the financiers of a large onshore wind array in Norther Spain ( my memory is not up to scratch on the exact location ) who pooh-poohed the projected lifespans and maintenance costs of offshore wind as off shore maintenance is tough, especially in storms, and salt corrosion etc far greater than onshore.

He was quite right, and the cost projections on which the UK roll out was based were rubbish, they lasted far less, and had much higher downtime.

None of which means, or meant, that it is impossible, and both builds and costs for new projects take into account real costs, which have been much reduced as the learning curve proceeded.

But they were giving a load of flannel, which cost billions to the unsuspecting, not unusual in pie in the sky projects.

They knew they were talking tosh, and it was a con job, for the 'best possible reasons', of course.

Some of the fantasists/liars posted on the old 'Oil Drum', including project managers and directors.

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