Karmen Raja, Power Up Energy Technologies, Inc.


Hydrogen fuel cells – the future of maritime energy generation and storage. Hydrogen is the perfect power source for fuel cells. It is the lightest, most abundant element in the entire universe, but exists as a compound here on Earth in molecules like water, glucose, natural gas and oil.

With recent advances in science and technology, it is now possible to harness hydrogen in fuel cells and generators to power an increasing number of transport modes including boats and yachts. 

PowerUp Energy Technologies, a Berkley, California based start-up, has researched and created a hydrogen based electrical generator for the maritime sector. 

“It is an innovative, sustainable and economical alternative to diesel generators and batteries, that can be used in any field that requires electricity. There is a clear need for this type of new power and fuel source amongst professional and amateur sailors,” commented Ivar Kruusenberg, CEO of PowerUp. 

Diesel generators which are commonly used, tend to corrode in salty, oceanic weather conditions, and the best lithium-ion batteries are too heavy for maritime applications. Hydrogen-based generators, however, avoid many of these issues and provide a more secure power source at sea.

“Fuel cells are the best alternative to heavy batteries and unreliable diesel generators.”
Sailors can face many problems and challenges when sailing. Broadly, these can be summed up as: crew safety, boat safety, and annoyances. Crew and boat safety can become a concern with diesel generators, as they have a high risk of failing in the middle of the ocean. This means sailors could endanger their boat or in the worst case, their crew. There is also no shortage of annoyances when using a diesel generator, it is noisy, smelly and requires a lot of maintenance. 

Hydrogen-based generators are as efficient as a diesel generator, without the accompanying issues. PowerUp’s UP400 is small, lightweight, makes no noise and emits no smell. It does not require any maintenance and has a solid safety profile that in many cases makes it safer to use than other common fuels. Refilling is also easy with the UP400. This can be done either using renewable energy sources (wind, solar), the ultralight hydrogen cylinders provided by PowerUp, or hydrogen refueling stations found in many countries in Europe, Asia and America. 

“For applications where weight and corrosion resistance is important (like the maritime industry), fuel cell technology is the best alternative to heavy batteries and unreliable diesel generators. PowerUp will offer a viable alternative to outdated technologies to ease the life of sailors,” noted Ivar Kruusenberg.

PowerUp for Marine Startups