Hydrogen cell running on LPG, Calor Gas or Propane
Specialist company Voller Energy are promoting their new green fuel cell to motorboaters, after extensive tests on a sailing yacht.
They are marketing their 1kW Emerald fuel cell as a supplementary night-time generator, for installation alongside other onboard systems on boats up to 70ft.
The fuel cell runs on LPG, Calor Gas or Propane, which is reformed into hydrogen.
Hydrogen is combined with oxygen from the air and passed across a special membrane.
The main output from the reaction is electricity, with the only waste products being heat and water.
Voller, who are based in Basingstoke, Hampshire, say: “This system has a number of user benefits; most notably the fuel cell is incredibly quiet with zero vibrations leading to a more peaceful experience at anchor.
“The fuel cell quietly charges the batteries on demand, producing heat which is used to efficiently heat water over night, essential for a welcome hot shower in the morning without the need to start the boat’s engines.”
Voller Energy was established in 2002 and initially developed the Emerald fuel cell for the sailing market.
“Knowledge gained through designing and manufacturing the first commercial model has resulted in the company realising the potential opportunity this technology also has for motorboat users,” they say.
Last year the cell was installed on board a Bénéteau 411 sailing yacht crossing the Atlantic.
Voller continue: “Over the 3,000 nautical mile passage the fuel cell withstood up to 7 G of force, a thorough test in extreme marine conditions.
“Voller Energy engineers do not envisage replacing the large, powerful traditional generators onboard motor boats and instead advise fitting the Emerald fuel cell as an additional quiet power generation source to cover the overnight power requirements alongside other onboard systems.
“Voller Energy understands the importance of evolving environmentally friendly practice in the European marine industry and the effect that this is having on boat designers, manufacturers and end users. Voller Energy expects to be a strong supplier to the motor boats of the future.”
The cell should be on the market through UK distributors at the end of March 2008. See Voller’s website for details.