Torqeedo takes on hydrogen fuel cells
By Chad Elmore28 April 2022
Collaboration integrates fuel cells into company’s marine propulsion systems
Torqeedo has announced a collaboration with Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH to integrate hydrogen fuel cell charging into Torqeedo’s propulsion systems for electric boats.
The Bavaria-based companies will work together on a marine hydrogen hybrid building kit integrating Torqeedo’s existing Deep Blue battery-electric drive systems and Proton Motor’s advanced fuel cell technology.
“The hydrogen-electric Deep Blue hybrid system will provide a practical and cost-effective solution that will allow for fast fuelling, overcome speed and range limitations, and will meet the most restrictive emission requirements on environmentally sensitive waterways or in urban areas,” said Jochen Czabke, senior vice president product development and global service for Torqeedo GmbH.
The project, which has the working title of “Ma-Hy-Hy” (Marine-Hydrogen-Hybrid), has received funding from the Bavarian federal government for 2021 through 2024.
The system will be designed to provide propulsion power ranges from 50 to 200 kW and fuel cell power of 30 to 120 kW and will have flexible options for hydrogen storage. A prototype system will be tested and validated at Torqeedo’s engineering centre near Munich. The companies expect to undertake collaborative marketing and industrialization of the system following the successful end of the development project.
“Integrating alternative fuels like hydrogen gives us yet another tool in the Deep Blue toolkit,” said Czabke. “We look forward to delivering a zero-emission hybrid-electric propulsion system that will enhance the range and performance of our battery-powered drives without the use of fossil fuels.”
Founded in 2005 in Starnberg, Germany, Torqeedo develops and manufactures electric and hybrid drives from 0.5 to 100 kW for commercial applications and recreational use. It is part of Deutz Group.
Proton Motor has focused on stationary applications such as emergency power for critical infrastructures and mobile solutions such as back-to-base applications, but also offered CO2-neutral hybrid systems for the automotive, maritime and rail sectors, as well as battery-electric uninterruptible power supplies. The German company has more than 100 employees and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Proton Motor Power Systems plc, located in England.