China’s 1st Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ship Completes Maiden Voyage

The “Three Gorges Hydrogen Boat No. 1” is China’s first hydrogen-powered vessel. On Wednesday morning, it embarked on its maiden journey in Yichang City, based in central Hubei Province in China, earmarking a breakthrough in the nation’s application of hydrogen fuel cell tech in inland waterway ships.

The vessel boasts a steel-aluminum structure with a length of about 49.9 meters, a beam that measures approximately 10.4 meters, and a draft of about 3.2 meters. Operated by a whopping 500-kW hydrogen fuel cell, this vessel possesses a max cruise range of about 200 km.

China's 1st Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ship
Credits: Yichang Three Gorges International Communication Studio

Following successful delivery, it’s used for transportation, emergency response, and patrol in the Three Gorges reservoir zone and between the Three Gorges-Gezhouba dams.

The vessel is developed by firms like the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Jianglong Shipbuilding, China Yangtze Power Corporation, and institutions like the Three Gorges Navigation Authority and Wuhan Changjiang Ship Design Institute. It’s the first-ever hydrogen-powered boat approved by the China Classification Society.

Recently, the application of new energy-power propulsion tech has become a key focus for developing green vessels.

Hydrogen energy is contamination-free, highly efficient, and renewable, and hydrogen fuel cells can also promote energy efficiency, secure zero emissions, and enhance cruise comfort, making them the perfect power propulsion devices for green vessels.

Compared to conventional fuel-powered vessels, the hydrogen-powered ship will likely replace about 103.16 tons of fuel oil and lower carbon dioxide emissions by 343.67 tons each year.

The vessel can have energy supplied at the green hydrogen and green electricity demonstration station of the Three Gorges situated at the Yangjia Bay in the lower reaches of the Gorges.

China’s first-ever dock-type inland hydrogen production and refuelling station uses clean electric energy generated by the Three Gorges power station for electrolyzing water to yield hydrogen that will be supplied directly to hydrogen-powered vessels following storage, compression, and filling. The station can provide 240 kgs of hydrogen every hour.

In the meantime, the China (Yichang) Green Energy Development Conference 2023 was conducted from 10–12 October in Yichang, which is also home to the nation’s mega Three Gorges hydropower assignment, rich in green energy resources and enjoys high development potential and intense growth momentum in the field, per Yichang Three Gorges International Communication Studio.

In a bid to bolster clean energy cooperation and also build a shared exchange platform among governments, specialists, and enterprises, the conference is likely to boost the development of wind and solar energy, energy storage, hydropower, and hydrogen power, and the integrated development of the supply, consumption, transmission, and energy storage.

The conference is also expected to extend support for boosting the green energy industry’s top-notch development based in Hubei and many other provincial-level areas along with the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the remaining nation, resulting in the development of an ecologically grand China.

References: PR Newswire, China Daily

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