Fuelling maritime decarbonisation

Multi-stack hydrogen fuel cell zero-emission solutions for vessels

In July 2023, the Member States of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) committed to a target for the maritime sector to be net zero by 2050. They also committed to ensure an uptake of alternative zero and near-zero GHG fuels by 2030, as well as indicative checkpoints for 2030 and 2040.  

Additionally, there are various global regulatory frameworks coming into force in 2025 with the aim of supporting the decarbonisation of the maritime industry. 

The maritime sector is currently facing numerous challenges, including meeting sustainability targets and adhering to regulatory requirements. Additionally, there is mounting pressure from supply chains seeking to reduce their scope 3 emissions. Consequently, the industry must tackle the hurdle of developing innovative, zero-emission methods to power both its existing fleet and the next generation of vessels.  



Ricardo's bespoke, optimised, high-power, multi-stack hydrogen fuel cell solution delivers significantly enhanced power density in terms of both volume and mass. It also represents an opportunity to improve system efficiency and reduce complexity and cost through greater integration and a reduced component count. This innovation assists vessel owners and operators in overcoming their vessel decarbonisation challenge while also contending with cost and space constraints.


Why use Ricardo’s multi-stack hydrogen fuel cell solution?

• Our multi-stack fuel cell solution enables high power with zero-emissions, meeting IMO targets
• Able to be tailored to meet your specific power needs
• Optimised and bespoke Balance of Plant (BoP) for multiple stacks ensures increased system efficiency, enabling greater range and reduced fuel costs
• Customisable design tailored to meet space constraints
• We have prototype designs to accelerate development and implementation

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Ricardo expertise


Ricardo is actively supporting the maritime sector to accelerate and optimise their decarbonisation strategies’. We understand the long-term ambition to reach net-zero by 2050 and are actively collaborating with the IMO, with our experts informing both the setting of targets and the formulation of future policies aimed at tackling GHG emissions.

Ricardo is working with sustainable HYdrogen powered Shipping consortium (sHYpS), leading on the specification, engineering, and design of a world-leading 400 kW net fuel cell sub-module with a common, optimised balance of plant for multiple stacks, and a 40-foot containerised multi-megawatt power plant that combines the outputs of eight fuel cell modules, which has now achieved Approval In Principle from Lloyd's Register.

Hydrogen Tank

Ricardo develops hydrogen fuel cells to power passenger ships

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Supporting the International Maritime Organization’s decarbonisation agenda

Find out about our work
Find out more about hydrogen fuel cell

Find out how Ricardo’s multi-stack hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology can support your organisation in achieving vessel decarbonisation goals.

Fuel cell system design & engineering
Cruise Ship
Reduce parasitic energy losses

Find out how Ricardo’s multi-stack hydrogen fuel cell technology optimises Balance of Plant (BoP) and reduces parasitic energy losses.


How to Optimise Fuel Cell Balance of Plant with Ricardo Multi-Stack Technology
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Understanding hydrogen fuel cell system

Read more about the application of hydrogen fuel cell systems

Understanding Hydrogen Fuel Cell Systems


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