Together, Siemens AG and PowerCell Sweden AB want to develop an energy system for ships that is based on fuel cells. Siemens is providing an integrated energy and drive system for this in the form of SISHIP BlueDrive, into which PowerCell installs its fuel cell modules. Potential joint projects could include energy supply systems for ferries, yachts, and cruise and research ships.
The German-Swedish collaboration is pointing the way forward, as stricter environmental regulations will come into force for maritime vessels as of 2020 following a decision by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). After that deadline, only fuels with a maximum sulfur content of 0.5% may be used anywhere in the world. From 2021, new ships will also have to reduce their emissions of nitrogen oxide by around 75% in the North and Baltic Seas. As a result, fuel cells are becoming extremely important for the energy supply on board ships, as they are highly efficient, they cause no pollution in operation, their noise emissions are low, and they use water as their raw material, which is available to a nearly unlimited extent.