Demonstrating functional safety and stability in a wide variety of sea conditions is a critical part of achieving Type Approval for a marine-grade fuel cell module. As part of the certification process, Ballard’s marine fuel cell module FCwave™ - the first to be awarded Type Approval by DNV and Lloyd's Register - undertook a series of incline tests at a purpose built test station at Ballard's Marine Center of Excellence in Denmark.
Mimicking the movements of a ship at sea, the incline test determines the stability of the module and verifies that the equipment can function properly in a variety of sea conditions. This includes both the up and down motion caused by waves, as well as a side to side motion, in case rough sea conditions causes the module to incline. The test demonstrates that the fuel cell module continues to provide power to the ship even though it is leaning heavily to one side.
Video: Incline test of FCwave™
The module is tested at a static (non-moving) inclination of 22.5° to all sides while running, and then tested while the module tips from side to side (-22.5 to 22.5) over 10 seconds, simulating rough seas.
The FCwave™ marine module received DNV type approval on April 1, 2022, followed by certification by Lloyd's Register on July 27, 2023. Following successful integration and testing by Norwegian operator Norled A/S, the module launched on the MF Hydra passenger ferry - the world's first ship powered by liquid hydrogen.
“The installation of Ballard’s FCwave™ fuel cells on board MF Hydra, is not only showcasing how efficiently zero-emission operation of ships can be implemented, we are also able to show how user-friendly the actual fuel cell installation setup looks from an operator’s perspective,” said Thomas Therkild Petersen, Ballard’s Product Line Manager for Marine.
The two fuel cell systems are integrated into a clean-lined cabinet with easy access doors. All interfaces are accessible from the front for service and maintenance, and all connections are located below floor level. The DNV Type Approval certification of FCwave™ confirms that the design meets the stringent safety, functional, design and documentation requirements for the marine industry.
To learn more about the Type Approval process, check out this blog: “How Ballard achieved DNV Type Approval and what it means for marine”.