The ship’s construction was supported by a grant from the California Air Resources Board
The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered ferry, Sea Change, has been launched by shipbuilder All American Marine. The ferry is currently under construction for operator Switch Marine, and is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The vessel is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell power package provided by Zero Emissions Industries, which comprises 360-kilowatt fuel cells from Cummins and Hexagon hydrogen storage tanks with a capacity of 246 kilograms. This system is integrated with a lithium-ion battery with 100 kilowatt hours of capacity from by XALT and an electric propulsion system supplied by BAE Systems
Incat Crowther developed an arrangement for the vessel that accommodated the new propulsion technology, integrating it into the vessel’s structure and systems. The vessel’s hull form was optimised to reduce resistance, while further efficiencies were gained in the structural design for Sea Change. The firm also helped to navigate the regulatory framework for the new technology, working with branches of the US Coast Guard and other stakeholders.
The vessel is accessible to disabled people and includes ramps to the bow and side loading gates. The bow has a standard radius, allowing the ferry to be used in many US cities, while the elevated wheelhouse provides crew members with visibility over bow-loading operations.
The ship’s construction was supported by a grant from the California Air Resources Board taken from the California Climate Investments initiative, a California state-wide programme to reduce greenhouse gas emission, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment.
Sea Change will operate in the Bay Area of California.
Share this story