Doosan Fuel Cell’s SOFC passes world’s first environmental test for maritime applications

A demonstration project launched by a consortium of Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), Shell, HyAxiom, and Doosan Fuel Cell (DFCC) to apply solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) to large vessels has reached a new milestone with environmental test completed for SOFC.

The concept image of the SOFC for ships being developed by Doosan Fuel Cell. Courtesy of Doosan Fuel Cell

The consortium launched the project in 2022 intending to develop, manufacture, and install a 600 kW SOFC auxiliary power unit (SOFC APU) on a Shell-chartered LNG vessel, which will undergo a year of testing in 2025 to demonstrate the technology’s ability to reduce carbon emissions from maritime transport.

Fuel cell and hydrogen solutions providers HyAxiom and Doosan Fuel Cell (DFCC) have now revealed that their SOFC cell stack had passed a critical environmental test by DNV.

According to the partners, this is the world’s first SOFC cell stack to pass such a test, which is a core component of their marine SOFC development.

The next step is achieving overall SOFC certification and conducting full-scale demonstrations.

“Due to its lower operating temperature compared to other solutions in the marketplace, our SOFC offers a longer life span and is more efficient compared to existing internal combustion engines,” said Jeff Hyung Rak Chung, President and CEO of HyAxiom. “The environmental test results prove our SOFC is a viable solution for the maritime industry.”

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Doosan Fuel Cell and HyAxiom are manufacturing and integrating SOFC technology in collaboration with Ceres, a developer of clean energy technology. Doosan Fuel Cell has built a 50MW plant in Saemangeum Industrial Complex and is preparing a mass manufacturing system to complete the development and demonstration of stationary SOFC by 2024, and enter the market in earnest from 2025.