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The canal boat Ross Barlow is a hybrid hydrogen narrowboat, power-assisted by an electric motor whose electricity is supplied by a fuel cell or a battery. It debuted on 21 September 2007.

Ross Barlow
Launched: 21 September 2007
General characteristics
Type: Narrow boat
Installed power: hybrid hydrogen fuel cell
Propulsion: Permanent magnet brushed DC electric motor



The Protium Project[1] at the University of Birmingham started at the beginning of 2006. The boat is named in memory of a postgraduate student who was killed in a hang gliding accident in March 2005 at the age of 25. He had worked on the project in its early stages and was an enthusiastic supporter of sustainable energy.[2]


The fixed tanks are refuelled at a waterway hydrogen station. The hydrogen is generated by electrolysis using solar or wind turbines.


Storage: 2.5 kilograms (5.5 lb) of hydrogen at 10-bar (1,000 kPa) in 5 Ti-V-Mn-Fe[clarification needed][3] metal hydride solid-state hydrogen tanks,[4] a lead acid battery stack, a 5-kW PEM fuel cell and a high torque NdFeB permanent magnet brushed DC electric motor.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Protium: Hydrogen canal boat". Hydrogen Materials Group. University of Birmingham.
  2. ^ "The Ross Barlow: a zero-emission hydrogen hybrid canal boat". Antidote Counteragent. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Hydrogen Hybrid Canal Boat". Green Car Congress. 24 September 2007.
  4. ^ "In detail" (pdf).[failed verification]

External linksEdit