Bloom Energy wins AiP for engineless, fuel cell-powered ship design

U.S.-based manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells Bloom Energy has secured approval in principle (AiP) from the classification society DNV for engineless, fuel cell-powered LNG carrier design.

Illustration; Image Courtesy: Samsung Heavy Industries
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The ship is being developed in cooperation with South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and the duo plans to have the design ready to present to the potential customers in 2022.

Furthermore, Bloom Energy received verification as an alternative power source for vessels as part of the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) New Technology Qualification (NTQ) service.

The fuel cell-propelled LNG carrier eliminates the need for internal combustion engines by replacing the ship’s propulsion and auxiliary engines with fuel cells running on non-combusted natural gas, the company claims.

“Building on the successful deployment of our fuel cells on land powering large loads, Bloom Energy Servers are well-suited to meeting the significant energy requirements of shipping vessels. They are also highly efficient, reduce fuel usage, and in the case of LNG carriers, create enhanced opportunities for operators to sell fuel at port,” said Surinder Singh, senior director, engineering, marine applications, Bloom Energy.

“Our new concept vessel can … reduce air pollutant emissions, as well as noise and vibration and maintenance and repair costs, by replacing an internal combustion engine with fuel cells,” said Jeong Ho-hyeon, head of Samsung Heavy Industries’ Technology Development Division.

Bloom Energy and SHI estimate that replacing oil-based power generation on large cargo ships, which require up to 100 megawatts of power per ship, could reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 45 percent.

Bloom Energy expects to achieve final ABS certification and classification in 2022.

The two companies revealed their cooperation in 2019, when SHI announced it wanted to become the first shipbuilder to build a large cargo ship powered by fuel cells running on natural gas.

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