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TECO 2030 and Skeleton Technologies enter strategic partnership to boost hydrogen use in marine sector

TECO 2030 and Skeleton Technologies have entered into a strategic partnership to accelerate the use of renewable hydrogen in the maritime sector and demonstrate zero-emissions voyage and port operations. Skeleton Technologies is a manufacturer of high power, fast charging energy storage for transportation, grid, automotive and industrial applications.

As a first step, Skeleton’s SuperBattery will be integrated with TECO 2030’s fuel cell modules in the HyEkoTank marine fuel cell retrofit project led by TECO 2030, Shell, and other consortium partners from three European countries (Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands).

Skeleton Technologies and TECO 2030 will then aim to develop joint solutions combining TECO 2030’s hydrogen fuel cells and Skeleton’s SuperBattery to enable the maritime industry’s transition to net-zero, based on Skeleton's work in the HydroCap project funded by the Estonian government.

The HyEkoTank project started on 1 February 2023, in Lysaker, Norway, and is planned to last for 3 years, with the goal of eliminating carbon emissions during voyage and in port operations. TECO 2030 will retrofit six 400 kW Fuel Cell Modules in a container solution and demonstrate power supply for both propulsion and auxiliary loads using hydrogen with zero emissions as fuel.

Skeleton’s SuperBattery modules will sharply increase fuel cells’ performance and lifetime by reducing the requirement for peak power from the fuel cell.

On a fuel cell powered ship all energy is generated by the fuel cell and it is optimal to supply that energy directly to the consumer when possible. Therefore, large battery energy storage capacity is typically not needed on a ship. However, a fuel cell system needs a few seconds to react to load changes so a high-power battery for peak shaving is the perfect match. Combining the compact and dynamic FCM400 marine fuel cell from TECO 2030 with the high-power SuperBattery from Skeleton significantly reduces the installation space needed in the HyEkoTank project. In addition, this solution will be cheaper, safer and more sustainable than a conventional lithium-ion battery solution.

—Fredrik Aarskog, Director of Business Development in TECO 2030

The HyEkoTank is a project funded by the European Union under the Horizon Europe programme to develop optimized hydrogen fuel cell solutions for maritime applications and accelerate the achievement of climate neutrality of both sea-going and inland waterway waterborne transport.

Shipping is considered a hard-to-decarbonize sector and its CO2 emissions account for 2.89 % of the world’s emissions. The industry needs modular systems applicable for retrofit and newbuild, capable of reducing emissions and enable flexibility. Renewable hydrogen is seen as the best solution to enable the sector’s decarbonization goals, but fuel cells need complementary technologies such as Skeleton’s SuperBattery to increase their performance and lifetime. The solution may eventually be used beyond the maritime sector, in heavy duty trucks, rail, shorepower, and construction. Skeleton is already involved in the project HydroCap funded by the Estonian government to explore these additional applications.

TECO 2030, a spin-off from TECO Maritime Group, is building Europe’s first Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells gigafactory in Norway. The factory is planned to start production as soon as possible in 2024, with an annual output of 400MW in 2025 and 1,600MW of fuel cells by 2030.


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