Coordinated by the Technical University of Berlin, the ELEKTRA project is dedicated to realising an alternative, local, zero-emission energy supply system for ships that operate on inland waterways. ELEKTRA's project brief also includes testing the system’s economic efficiency. The test rig consists of a fully electric hybrid energy system, replete with fuel cells and accumulators, installed on an inland vessel. In this way, researchers can study the dynamic interactions between the energy sources and identify and also extend the maximum range of a canal tugboat.

For the first time in inland shipping, a driving assistance system is being developed in order to extend the vessels' range and thus their economic efficiency, also in comparison with other modes of transport.

Fuel cell technology is being leveraged for hydrogen-fed baseload energy supply for the powertrain and onboard grid. Accumulators are harnessed for peak loads. ELEKTRA is not only investigating hydrogen’s feasibility as an energy store given its specific properties, but also exploring ways of creating an infrastructure for charging accumulators with onshore electricity as well as supplying fuel cells with hydrogen.
Furthermore, the project is developing an extensive energy management system for all producers and consumers to ensure the limited energy available onboard is harnessed optimally. This will foster economic efficiency while also securing a competitive edge over conventionally powered ships.

Fuel cell: NT PEM

Fuel: Hydrogen

Project managed by: TU Berlin - EBMS

Project partnered by: ANLEG | Ballard | BEHALA | H. Barthel | EST-Floattech | Imperial | SER

Project term: 01 April 2017 - 30 September 2019