Powering Small Vessels With Next-Generation Fuel Cell Generators

Powering Small Vessels With Next-Generation Fuel Cell Generators

I interviewed Ivar Kruusenberg, CEO & Founder, at PowerUp Fuel Cells, Next-Generation Fuel Cell Generators. PowerUp Fuel Cells is a Estonian Energy Technology Startup producer of green hydrogen fuel cell based marine and RV generators.

PowerUp´s patented electricity generators are changing the world of energy generation and storage.

Why did you create PowerUp Fuel Cells?

In 2015, I started my post-doctoral researcher career in UC Berkeley. After the first year I had enough connections and courage to start my first business. So, in 2016, PowerUp was founded.

I have a number of friends and family members who have always had an issue with power generation on their boats and I knew that I could put my scientific skills into action and create a better solution for boat owners. Currently used diesel generators tend to break down because of highly corrosive sea water conditions, which results in expensive maintenance works.

With more than 13 years of research experience in fuel cell technology and with the help of UC Berkeley´s start-up friendly ecosystem, I found it easy to start developing the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell based portable generator for the maritime market. As life shifted slowly back to Estonia, so did the company. After 3 years of development, PowerUp is ready with the 6th prototype that is now ongoing testing phases.

What is your vision?

We know that in order to achieve carbon-neutral society, we need hydrogen. Being one of the pioneers in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, we want to boost the transition in different markets that could hugely benefit from hydrogen technologies.

Powerup TechHow do you help your customers and partners?

In order to power equipment such as GPS, radio, bilge pump and lights, sailors usually have diesel generators and heavy batteries on board. The combination can weigh anywhere from 100 kilos to 900 kilos. Being able to replace all or most of that weight with just PowerUp’s 10 kg generator means a huge saving. UP400, using pure hydrogen gas as fuel, emits only water vapor and heat, thus environmentally conscious people now have the chance to replace their polluting diesel generator with something better suited.

What makes PowerUp different?

The generator, called UP400, has significant benefits over diesel generators: substantial weight and noise difference, environmentally friendliness and not less important – it requires the bare minimum of maintenance.

Where can we see and meet PowerUp?

If you would like to see the generator in action, you can find PowerUp’s team in Amsterdam at METSTRADE from November 19 to 21 or in Paris at Paris Boat Show from December 7-15.

How to get in contact with PowerUp Fuel Cells?

You can contact PowerUp Fuel Cells from their website at PowerUp Fuel Cells

By e-mail:


Or by its Social Networks:


About Dr. Ivar Kruusenberg

Dr. Ivar Kruusenberg PowerUp Fuel Cells OÜ Founder

Dr. Ivar Kruusenberg is the founder & CEO of PowerUp Fuel Cells OÜ. He has 15 years of research experience with fuel cell related technology. He has been working as researcher at UC Berkeley and senior research fellow at National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics. Former research experience from European Commission Joint Research Centre, Next Energy and Arizona State University. Dr. Kruusenberg is the recipient of 2015 Fulbright research scholarship and winner of the “I am a UC Entrepreneur” campaign.

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Javier Nieto León


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