Energy storage specialist Corvus Energy is to start development and production of sustainable, large-scale maritime-certified hydrogen fuel cell systems. Production will take place in Bergen, Norway, with Toyota joining as key partner and supplier of mass-produced fuel cell technology.
Corvus says it is leading a collaboration with Norwegian partners Equinor, shipowners Norled and Wilhelmsen, ship design company LMG Marin, the NCE Maritime CleanTech cluster and R&D institution the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN). The collaboration’s aim is to develop and produce a modularized and cost-effective PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell systems for the international marine market. If the project goes as planned, the parties involved hope to showcase the first marine fuel-cell system on board a vessel in 2023, with the product marine-certified and available for commercial delivery from 2024.
Following the signing of a partnership agreement between Corvus and Toyota in late 2020, the use of the latter’s fuel cell modules will, says Corvus, give access to proven technology suitable for large-scale production at a competitive price point. The company identifies a reduction in the cost of fuel cells and increasing access to the technology as crucial to accelerating the transition to low-carbon shipping.
Corvus Energy CEO Geir Bjørkeli reinforced this point. “Adding fuel cell modules to our product portfolio is a natural step for Corvus and advances our vision to be the leading supplier of zero-emission marine solutions. Fuel cell technology has reached a maturity level where scale-up of systems will be the next step. Toyota is in the forefront of the development and is by far the best partner for us to make this a success.”
Corvus states its new dedicated fuel cell division will design and certify the marine fuel cell system using the Toyota fuel cell technology as a building block for larger systems. Furthermore, a specific marine control system uniting the battery and fuel cell operation will be developed for integration with power management systems from a range of system integrators.