Hydrogen powered ships are ships that are powered by electric motors supplied with electricity from a fuel cell, or use hydrogen as fuel in an internal combustion engine. While these vessels are not widely used, this technology has been demonstrated to be viable. There are several vessels with varying levels of hydrogen refuelling capability. Some vessels were fuelled by mobile hydrogen station while others were built with onboard facilities to produce hydrogen to power the ship. Other vessels had exchangeable high pressure hydrogen tanks that could be refilled at local hydrogen stations. While these various hydrogen refilling technologies are available, the only alternative available for long haul ocean- going voyages is to install facilities onboard for the production of hydrogen far from shore. A hybrid boat has been developed that uses wind and solar power to produce hydrogen from seawater and store the hydrogen in tanks for later use.
For larger ships, large hydrogen storage tanks will have to be built onboard and larger power plants will have to be built onboard these ships to generate enough electricity to power the vessel and produce enough hydrogen for storage and later use. Thus a hybrid power generation system onboard which involves solar, wind, liquefied natural gas and hydrogen will be the ideal solution for now for power generation in large ships until the hydrogen power generation technology is further developed. The great advantage of using hydrogen power generation technology in ships is to drastically cut down the emissions of sulphur dioxides and carbon mono oxides into the atmosphere which are harmful to our environment. In addition, the overall cost of maintenance of the vessel is reduced as there are no moving parts which have to be constantly replaced due to damage by friction and excessive heat.