I’ve talked about hydrogen boats, ships and other watercraft before but the Viking Lady supply ship has to be the largest vessel to date to use a fuel cell system for at least partial power. The Viking Lady uses primarily LPG for propulsion aided by a fuel cell system when necessary especially around eco-sensitive harbors.
Now the Viking Lady is becoming even more eco-friendly by adding a battery hybrid system to the vessel as well. This will make it the very first merchant ship to take this step.
According to DNV, “The Viking Lady is not like any other offshore supply ship. The three-year-old LNG-fuelled vessel, which is owned by Eidesvik Offshore, was the very first merchant ship to use a fuel cell as part of its propulsion system. The fuel cell, which generates an electric output of 330 kW, was installed in the autumn of 2009 and has successfully run for more than 18,500 hours. Based on this, the Viking Lady is already one of the world’s most environmentally friendly ships.”
This DNV undertaking is part of a larger project called FellowSHIP. And what is particularly interesting is that by adding the hybrid system to the ship, not only will CO2 emissions be reduced another 20 – 30-percent, but because of the high fuel prices, the return on investment for the hybrid system will only be 2 years.
Saving fuel, money and the environment all at the same time the Viking Lady is becoming a model for other ships to follow.