Alma Clean Power, Odfjell and DNV to trial SOFCs on chemical tanker

Alma Clean Power, Odfjell and DNV have decided to test a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system onboard a chemical tanker.

Alma Clean Power

As the maritime industry faces major challenges adjusting to zero emissions over the next decades, fuel cells demonstrate a promising potential for scalable use for longer distances and larger energy needs in shipping. 

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are fuel flexible, and can convert fuels like ammonia, LNG, methanol and hydrogen to electricity with a potentially higher energy efficiency than internal combustion engines.

The project partners intend to place an 80KW natural gas fuelled solid oxide fuel cell container on board one of Odfjell’s chemical tankers, to demonstrate SOFC as an efficient energy converter for deep-sea shipping. 

“We are very excited about this collaboration with Odfjell and DNV. Odfjell, for continued support through years of development and recognizing this project as a great opportunity for innovation and testing on board their vessel, and DNV for bringing in the broad expertise of a classification society, applying their rule framework and ensuring a thorough risk-based approach to the design, construction, installation and operation onboard the vessel,” Bernt Skeie, CEO of Alma Clean Power said.

“We’ve been working structured and actively with energy-efficiency technologies and decarbonization for more than a decade, and this project represents another progressive step in energy efficiency-, fuel flexibility and zero emissions capability innovations. We look forward to continuing the collaboration with DNV and Alma Clean Power, and to document the impact this technology can deliver in our common quest to decarbonize deep-sea shipping,” Harald Fotland, CEO of Odfjell stated.

“This is an exciting project for DNV to be part of with two very forward-leaning partners. Identifying a suitable risk level and applying DNV’s existing rule framework will be key to managing the risks of the installation. At the same time, the project provides an ample opportunity to learn from the practical application to further improve our rules and guidelines and use this input to facilitate constructive dialogues with the applicable Flag Authorities,Tuva Flagstad-Andersen, Regional Manager Maritime – North Europe noted.

 In January 2023, Alma Clean Power was awarded DNV’s Approval in Principle (AiP) for their design of a 1MW ammonia-fueled SOFC system.

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The fuel cell system will be installed on a chemical tanker by the end of 2024, aiming to demonstrate the potential for significantly lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for deep-sea shipping.