After months of preparation, Blue World Technologies has announced the successful testing of the world’s first 200 kW high-temperature PEM fuel cell module. The test was completed at the newly established test facilities in connection to the Blue Aalborg Factory, where the fuel cells for the system are produced. The initial testing has been completed with great results which has exceeded performance expectations. 

With an electrical efficiency of up to 55% when reaching a commercial stage, the fuel cell system will typically provide a fuel saving of 20-30% which enables a cost-efficient use of green fuels. Additionally, the fuel cell system allows for up to 100% carbon capture for both utilisation in green fuel production and for storage.

“This is a major breakthrough within maritime decarbonisation and with the test of our 200-kW system, we are proving that the HT PEM fuel cell technology has the potential of being one of the key technologies to decarbonise the hard-to-abate sectors. During the test period, we successfully validated our system setup with the methanol fuel processor, the series connection of the fuel cell stacks, as well as the balance of plant components surrounding the fuel cells”Dennis Naldal Jensen, Chief Technology Officer at Blue World Technologies explains. 

1 MW system for Maersk

The first pilot system is a 1 MW system for onboard power production. The system will be installed on one of A.P. Moller – Maersk’s large dual fuel-enabled methanol vessels and the installation on board is expected during H1 2026.

Read also: How to lower CO2 and NOx emissions? ‘Green’ methanol may be the answer, according to Aumet RCCI combustion

“Having worked with fuel cell technology for more than 20 years, it is amazing for us to reach this stage of the technology development, where we with these large systems can provide a strong alternative to an industry that is heavily dependent on fossil-based technologies”, says Anders Korsgaard, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Blue World Technologies and continues: “Maersk is the global frontrunner when it comes to maritime decarbonisation, and we are very pleased with the collaboration on the first 1 MW pilot and we are very much looking forward to getting the system out sailing”. 

The order for the pilot system was followed by a venture investment by Maersk Growth – the venture arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk – where they at the end of 2023 participated in an 11 million EUR pre-C-round alongside The Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO), Cycle Group, and other new and existing shareholders. With the great potential of the HT PEM fuel cell technology, they are following the development and test of the system closely:

“As an investor in Blue World Technologies, we are pleased to follow the progress of the system development and we share the team’s excitement for the successful testing of the 200-kW fuel cell system. The maritime industry needs multiple new technologies and pathways to reach its net-zero targets, and high-temperature PEM fuel cell technology is very promising in finding a balance between the high electrical efficiency, size, and load adjustment. This is a great example of how we can support innovation through both investment and partnership”, explains Alex Smout, Investment Director at Maersk Growth.

Blue World will initially supply systems for auxiliary power and expects that their maritime system will reach a commercial level in 2027. Eventually, the company will proceed to supply multi-megawatt propulsion systems for global shipping, which is where the fuel cell technology will provide the greatest impact on both the environment and climate.

The Blue World maritime system

  • The system is a scalable configuration, firstly aiming to replace conventional fossil-based gensets, but later also provided as large multi-megawatt fuel cell-based propulsion systems.
  • The system is built with a modular approach, allowing for fuel cell power systems as containerised solutions on deck or integrated on the ship.
  • Expect to reach a commercial stage with the system for power production in 2027.
  • With an efficiency of up to 55% when reaching commercial stage, the system typically provides a fuel saving of 20-30%.
  • The system, that is based on high-temperature PEM fuel cell technology (HT PEM), provide high-grade waste heat of 150°C.
  • When powered by renewable methanol, the system has a net-zero operation.
  • The fuel cell system is ready for carbon capture, allowing for CO2 to be recycled or storage.
  • With no NOx, SOx, or particle emissions, the fuel cell system does not cause any air pollution. 

Highlights

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