A first-of-its-kind fuel cell system technology will soon power a Carnival Corp. cruise ship, and the company stated on Monday.
The debut of the hybrid system will happen on AIDA Cruises by 2021. AIDA is Carnival’s German-based cruise line. The introduction of this hybrid system will enable lower emissions from the cruise ship in addition to other benefits such as decreased noise and lower vibrations.
Carnival stated, “the fuel cells are anticipated to have a longer lifecycle than these at present being developed for automobiles, with early trials on land showing a lifespan of over 35,000 operating hours.” The ships will run on the fuel cells but also, will burn liquefied natural gas (LNG), one of the cleanest burning fuel sources at the moment available.
It’s a project that is a blend of public and private interests. The technology behind the fuel cell system was funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
In its “2019 Cruise Ship Report Card” of the “environmental footprint of 16 main cruise lines and 185 cruise ships,” the Friends of the Earth organization gave Carnival an “F” grade. They have been one of nine cruise lines to obtain a failing grade in a survey that included topics similar to “Sewage Treatment” and “Transparency” among several other grading categories.
Ten ships under the Carnival umbrella that utilize liquefied natural gas (a clean-burning fossil fuel) can be hitting the open seas in the coming years. It is a development that Carnival says “helps the company’s environmental objectives with the complete virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95% to 100% reduction). Using LNG will also considerably reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide.”