Yanmar prototype fuel cell boat gets tested on the water
Last year, Yanmar announced that it was looking at developing a maritime system using hydrogen fuel cells from Toyota's Mirai production line. Now a passenger boat prototype has hit the water off the coast of Kunisaki in the Oita Prefecture in Japan.
The Japanese government recently announced a plan to move towards a carbon neutral economy by 2050, and part of that plan is to develop cleaner power and energy technologies. Indeed, the International Maritime Organization is already looking at ways to get its greenhouse in order and reduce emissions to zero by the turn of the century. One fuel that shows promise is hydrogen, though production will need to shift from mostly dirty to mostly green for maximum benefit.
Japan and Korea are already investing heavily in hydrogen as a fuel source for vehicles, and Yanmar is looking to put Toyota's Mirai fuel cell powertrain to use for maritime applications.
The company has installed a fuel cell system comprising modules from the Mirai car in an EX38A pleasure boat, which can carry up to 12 people, weighs in at 7.9 tonnes, is 12.39 m (40.6 ft) long and is 3.4 m (11 ft) at its widest point.
The 6CXBS-GT engine has been swapped for a 250-kW electric powertrain for the prototype, and the Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell is made up of two modules, with eight hydrogen tanks aboard the vessel.
It's reported to be the first boat to meet hydrogen fuel cell vessel safety guidelines penned by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
Oddly, today's announcement didn't include details on how the demonstration actually went, but presumably everything went according to plan as the company is now aiming to scale up the system to include multiple fuel cell units, with deployment in larger vessels planned by 2025.