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Bureau Veritas delivers Approval in Principle to HELION fuel cell system, FC-Rack™

Posted on: 4 August 2022

This Approval in Principle (AiP) is the result of a close collaboration between HELION and Bureau Veritas, aiming at deploying the safe use of hydrogen as an energy vector for propulsion and shore-to-ship power supply.

The work carried out has enabled the Alstom subsidiary’s 6th generation of hydrogen fuel cells to comply with Bureau Veritas rules that correspond to the use of fuel cells on board ships.

The fuel cell “marinization” is ensured thanks to a double envelope enclosure that enables the system to be perfectly sealed in a saline environment. In addition, HELION’s new FC-RACK™ Marine incorporates a thermal management system, a dedicated on-board control system, and a hydrogen safety system that enables the FC-RACK™ Marine to be installed inside or on the deck of the vessel. Finally, its vertical architecture facilitates ease-of-access during maintenance operations.

“This new generation of fuel cells is in line with our pillars which are: durability, safety, and maintainability. The substantive work that has been carried out along with our certifying partner confirms our belief that the product meets the requirements of the maritime sector. The latter also suggests that our FC-RACK™ Marine will quickly obtain final approval (Type Approval Certificate). This certificate will lead to the industrialization of the FC-RACK™ Marine in order to provide a reliable and robust solution to our customers in the marine industry in their decarbonization ambitions. The story does not end there since our fuel cell system has already been selected in marine projects in real-world conditions”, says Vincent MAHEO, President of HELION Hydrogen Power.

Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, commented: “Our role as a Class society is to enable our customers to tackle the energy transition. We use our expertise to help advance safe innovation and to make possible solutions for tomorrow. Collaborating with HELION on the zero-emission hydrogen powered electric generator is very stimulating. We look forward to continuing the partnership and support the industry decarbonization’s journey.”

HELION’s marine certified fuel cell will be operational by the end of 2023 and will supply zero-emission power to a dredger operating in the Occitanie Region and built by Piriou shipyard. For this world’s first hybrid diesel-hydrogen dredger, HELION’s 200 kW FC-RACK™ will provide the energy required for life on board when the vessel is at berth and will partly supply the power needed for the propulsion during dredging activities.

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