Fuel cell research

The PA-X-ell2 research project is entering its next phase with a network of eight project partners. The aim of the participating companies is to investigate and develop a decentralized energy network and a hybrid energy system with a new generation of fuel cells for use on ocean-going passenger ships.

As early as 2014, MEYER WERFT put a fuel cell prototype into operation on land as part of the previous PA-X-ell project, and since 2016, MEYER WERFT has been carrying out a first test of fuel cells aboard the Mariella Baltic Sea ferry. In a new phase of the project, the new fuel cells will be tested on the AIDAnova cruise ship. AIDAnova is the only cruise ship in the world that is fully powered by low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG). The fuel cell will generate even lower emissions on board than is currently possible with LNG, with less noise and vibration. The hydrogen used to power the fuel cell is reformed from methanol, which can be produced using renewable energy sources. The fuel cell can therefore be operated without emissions.

The first cruise ship to set sail with the new fuel cells from the manufacturer Freudenberg is AIDAnova in 2021. Intensive fuel cell testing has shown great durability with a lifetime of more than 35,000 operating hours.

The PA-X-ell2 research project is integrated into the e4ships cluster, as is the RiverCell2 project, which is being carried out to research fuel cells aboard river cruise ferries. The research projects are part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme and are funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure.

(2017 - UP TO NOW)

EPEA Services

  • Environmental analysis of fuels and materials
  • Evaluating the safety and toxicity of materials
  • Advice on alternative materials
  • Disassembly design advice
  • Advice on the recyclability of materials
  • Advice on service concepts and take-back systems


  • Safe, sustainable, decentralized, recyclable energy system for ships
  • Good properties in terms of storage volume, vibration and flexibility
  • Operating with zero net carbon emissions
  • No particulate matter, sulfur and nitrous oxide emissions

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