AIDA Cruises, part of Carnival Corporation, is taking part in Germany’s research project which will test the use of fuel cells on passenger vessels.
The Pa-X-ell2 joint project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Apart from AIDA Cruises which is represented by Carnival, the project also gathers Meyer Werft shipyard, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, and other partners.
As explained, the objective is to find practical solutions for climate-neutral mobility across all shipping. The groundbreaking project specifically aims to develop a decentralized energy network and a hybrid energy system with a new generation of fuel cells for use on oceangoing passenger vessels.
According to the cruise line, fuel cells are planned to be tested on board AIDAnova for the first time. This is seen as a next step in the company’s Green Cruising strategy.
“With the first-time use of fuel cells on board an oceangoing cruise ship, we will reach a further important milestone on our journey to emission-neutral cruising, and will show further concrete solutions for achieving our climate targets,” Felix Eichhorn, AIDA President, commented.
Fuel cells enable power supply on board with even lower emissions than is currently possible with liquefied natural gas (LNG). Furthermore, they operate with low noise and vibration. A fuel cell runs on hydrogen obtained from methanol, which also has the potential to be produced from renewable energies in the future.
In 2018, AIDA Cruises commissioned AIDAnova, the world’s first cruise ship that is entirely powered with low-emission LNG.
Two further LNG-powered AIDA cruise ships, built by the Meyer Werft shipyards in Rostock and Papenburg, will be put into service by 2023.
What is more, a battery storage system with a total output of 10-megawatt hours will start operating aboard AIDAperla in 2020. As part of its Green Cruising strategy, AIDA is also exploring the possibility of CO2-free extraction of liquefied gas from renewable sources.
As early as at the end of 2020, 12 of AIDA’s 14 ships will be able to use shore power.