With its partners Michelin Research and Technologies, HP Systems, University of Technology Belfort Montbéliard and EVE System, Alternatives Energies this week launched the first experiment of a hydrogen propulsion on a passenger ship in La Rochelle.

Named Galileo, the ship is part of the YéloH2 project. Co-financed by ADEME and the Nouvelle Aquitaine region, this one aims to test the relevance of hydrogen technology in maritime applications.

Operated by Proxiway on behalf of the Agglomeration Community of La Rochelle on the Old Port – Les Minimes line, Galilee must be experienced for at least one year. It carries a fuel cell associated with tanks storing up to 7 kilos of hydrogen at a pressure of 350 bars. The refueling takes place in a few minutes via a hydrogen station specially installed at the marina of the Minimes.

The Galilee is 15 meters long and can accommodate up to 75 passengers. Powered by two electric pods of 20 kW, it operates at a cruising speed of 6 knots and offers the same advantages as an electric boat powered by batteries. “For users, the changes are not very visible: the new system is housed in a bench on the bridge, is extremely quiet, and only discharges water,” notes the release of Alternatives Energies.

“This hydrogen system is an extension of autonomy that we can easily equip any electric boat batteries,” said the statement of Alternatives Energies. Gain of availability and autonomy, hydrogen makes it possible to lift certain constraints related to the batteries. What to envisage the creation of new maritime connections until now reserved for the boats working with diesel.