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Wärtsilä, Versa Power to integrate solid oxide fuel cells in power and marine products

The Finnish marine power and energy company Wärtsilä has announced a cooperative agreement with US-based solid oxide fuel cell developer Versa Power Systems, to develop and integrate Versa Power fuel cell technology into Wärtsilä products for the distributed energy and marine markets.

The agreement allows Wärtsilä to integrate Versa Power fuel cell stack modules, especially for larger power range products. The agreement gives VPS a partner with the ability to commercialize fuel cell products in large global markets.

‘VPS is leading the development of large SOFC stacks, and the company’s capabilities support Wärtsilä’s strategy of developing large SOFC systems for the distributed power and marine markets,’ says Erkko Fontell, Director of Fuel Cells at Wärtsilä.

Wärtsilä is already running successful pilot projects using fuel cell technology supplied by the Danish SOFC developer Topsoe Fuel Cell, and this cooperation will continue as planned. Wärtsilä is operating a WFC20 unit on landfill gas to produce electricity and heat in the Finnish city of Vaasa.

Power solutions based on fuel cell technology are expected to offer significant benefits in the shipping industry, where international emission regulations are becoming increasingly stringent.

Last summer, a WFC20 solid oxide fuel cell unit – operating on methanol – was installed onboard the Wallenius Lines car carrier Undine, for tests within the METHAPU project. Wärtsilä has also developed 50 kW WFC50 power units for internal validation.

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