Bramble Energy, a pioneering force in sustainable energy solutions, unveils a groundbreaking fuel cell system tailored for narrowboats. This innovative technology has demonstrated its potential to replace diesel engines, offering an eco-friendly alternative for the marine sector.
Driven by the urgency to decarbonize maritime transportation, the narrowboat recently underwent emissions-free testing in Sheffield, Yorkshire, showcasing the promise of a cleaner and sustainable future for water travel.
Dr Tom Mason, co-founder and CEO of Bramble Energy, emphasizes the environmental impact of the marine sector, stating, “CO2 emissions from the marine sector are staggering. It requires a quick, convenient, cost-effective technology that also provides no compromise when it comes to performance.” Bramble Energy’s fuel cell system aims to meet this need, offering a 600-mile range powered by 14kg of stored hydrogen and energy from solar panels feeding into a 22kWh battery system.
Under the UK-funded HyTime project, Bramble Energy’s fuel cell technology, known as printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC™), showcases its potential as a scalable, cost-effective, and rapidly manufacturable solution for the hydrogen economy. Securing nearly £1 million in Government funding in 2022, the company embarked on a mission to develop hydrogen fuel cell technology as a viable alternative to diesel engines in boats.
The global maritime sector contributes a significant carbon footprint of 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually. With the Clean Maritime Plan mandating new vessels to be zero-emission capable from 2025, the HyTime project aligns with the urgent need to transition to sustainable alternatives. Dr Mason notes, “While road transportation has arguably had the greatest amount of attention in terms of developing zero-emission solutions, the reality is there is a massive urgency to decarbonise across all transportation sectors – especially marine.”
The HyTime project positions hydrogen as a range extender for pure battery systems and aims to eliminate reliance on charging bases, presenting a roadmap to a cleaner and more sustainable maritime future.
Dr Mason highlights the rapid progress of Bramble Energy’s solution, stating, “In a short amount of time we have designed, developed, built and launched a working demonstration of our PCBFC™ technology within a marine application. Our solution has the ability to meet a range of power needs and is easily scalable.”