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Tuesday, September 14, 2021 

Ship designer Incat Crowther reports that 'Sea Change', an Incat Crowther 22, which it believes is the world’s first zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric-drive high-speed passenger ferry, has now taken to the water.

Delivered by All American Marine, the project has been spearheaded by the vessel owner SWITCH Maritime and was brought to fruition by a consortium of contributors, including Incat Crowther, Zero Emissions Industries, BAE Systems and Hornblower Group, with which Incat Crowther worked closely on the recent NYC Ferry newbuild programme.

The project is supported by a grant from the California Air Resources Board, administered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, that comes from the California Climate Investments initiative, a California statewide program that funds greenhouse gas emissions reduction as well as strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. Upon delivery, the vessel will operate in the Bay Area of California and exhibit the viability of the hydrogen fuel cell marine technology and demonstrate a pathway to commercialisation.

The vessel is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell power package provided by Zero Emissions Industries (formerly known as Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine), comprising 360kW of Cummins fuel cells and Hexagon hydrogen storage tanks with a capacity of 246kg. This system is integrated with 100kWh of lithium-ion battery capacity provided by XALT and a twin 300kW electric propulsion system provided 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, whilst further efficiencies were gained in the structural design for Sea Change, with the Incat Crowther design delivering robustness and low weight. Incat Crowther took a leading role in navigating the regulatory framework for the new technology, working closely with numerous branches of the US Coast Guard and key stakeholders.

Incat Crowther says it is proud to contribute to such a project, leveraging a long tradition of involvement in the implementation of alternative propulsion technologies.

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