Barrus Developing a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Battery Hybrid Power Plant for Inland Waterways Applications

By September 21, 2020 5   min read  (918 words)

September 21, 2020 |

canal boat fuel cell release

Responding to the UK’s 2019 Clean Maritime Plan (CMP), Barrus has partnered with Hypermotive and HPi-CEproof to develop a fuel cell battery hybrid power plant for inland waterways vessels.

Supported by a recently awarded Niche Vehicle Network (NVN) grant, this proof of concept programme builds on a previous successful technical and commercial feasibility study undertaken by Hypermotive, supported by Barrus.

The 2019 Clean Maritime Plan sets out the aim that by 2050 all vessels in UK waters must be zero-emissions. Barrus will be using knowledge gained by Hypermotive, fuel cell and battery integration specialists, in other industries, to develop a hydrogen-powered zero-emissions power plant to support the move towards zero emissions for the inland waterways market. Barrus already supply over 30% of the inland waterways power plants so are uniquely placed to understand the needs of the industry. Project partner HPi-CEproof, the UK’s only notified body licensed to certify small marine craft for the European market, will help ensure that the project meets the developing standards for marine electrification. The project will be overseen by a steering committee of industry stakeholders including BoC Linde (hydrogen gas), Beacon Park Boats and Mothership Marine.

Tara Glen, Director at EP Barrus said, “Barrus has been involved with low-emission marine power plants for a while, in the form of diesel-electric hybrid systems and pure electric. Barrus has always been at the forefront of bringing new ideas to the marine industry. A fortuitous meeting with Hypermotive at a British Marine/MIA gathering, led to our ideas becoming this project. We are delighted to partner with Hypermotive who have expertise in fuel cells from other sectors and HPi-CEproof, with whom we have worked many times concerning marine certification. We could not have two stronger partners for this project”.

Adam Huckstep, Managing Director at Hypermotive said,  “Hypermotive are really pleased to be collaborating with EP Barrus and HPi-CEproof on this project. Our previous feasibility study work has shown a good technical fit between the proposed fuel cell battery hybrid power plant and the marine duty cycle, and operationally the inland marine industry is already familiar with gaseous fuels. We firmly believe fuel cells will play an important role in decarbonising our waterways.”

Alasdair Reay, Managing Director at HPi-CEproof said, “Many industries are increasingly adopting hydrogen as the fuel of the future and with this project, the boating industry is doing the same. One of the perceived impediments to the industry adopting hydrogen is that the gas is not currently addressed in any boating standards and so there is no explicit compliance path to follow. HPi-CEproof, however, has formal accreditations to certify both boats and pressure equipment and using our knowledge from these areas, we look forward to ensuring the product that the project will realise, is compliant with the requirements of both the UK and EU markets.”

About the partners

EP Barrus Ltd has partnerships with major international companies representing leading brands in the marine, garden and industrial engine markets. Each of these market sectors is serviced and supported by specialist teams. They deliver professional sales and technical after-sales back-up to the Barrus network of over 3,000 authorised dealers to provide the highest quality products to the end-user. Barrus is also recognised worldwide as a leading custom power plant builder, Barrus’ applications engineers ensure the optimum specification is supplied direct to original equipment customers’ production lines. Barrus’ dedicated research and development team work as consultants with the MoD, the RNLI and other military and emergency services organisations supplying specialist power plants and equipment. The demanding operating environments that these organisations encounter set the standards that Barrus apply across all products and services. For further information please visit

Hypermotive Ltd is Midlands-based electrical integration specialists with a focus on energy storage systems, especially those incorporating hydrogen fuel cells. Serving a wide customer base across automotive, motorsport, niche vehicle, commercial, off-highway and marine,  Hypermotive’s engineering capabilities cover the full range required to transpose electric integration design and manufacture from concept through to prototype, including systems, mechanical, electrical, electronics, controls and software.  Hypermotive’s engineering expertise is supported by in-house low to medium volume manufacturing including tier 1 OEM supply of wire harnessing and custom electronics. For further information please

HPi-CEproof was, initially, the certification department within the UK Atomic Energy Authority. The company is now privately owned and is a Notified Body, appointed by the UK government and licensed by the EU Commission to certify products to a number of EU CE marking Directives. They are the only UK body appointed to certify to the EU Recreational Craft Directive and one of very few in the world, appointed to certify both to RCD and the EU Pressure Equipment Directive. This combination of knowledge was used to certify the first boat carrying a fuel cell in the UK, Hyrodgenesis, in 2012. HPi-CEproof certifies boats for companies such as Sunseeker, Princess & Oyster in UK and Mastercraft, Nordhavn, Elan, Riviera and AB Marine. The company also certifies pressure equipment for companies including Pfizer, Tata Chemicals, Aggreko, ABB & LG. For further information please visit

The Niche Vehicle Network is a free to join networking and support organisation focused on enabling UK low volume vehicle manufacturers and design and engineering companies to research and develop innovative low carbon vehicle technologies. The Network is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Innovate UK, the Advanced Propulsion Centre and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. For further information please visit


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