KSOE wins DNV GL’s AIP for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) has secured an Approval in Principle for its Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) power generation system design from the DNV GL classification society.

The presentation ceremony was held at the KSOE office in Ulsan, South Korea on November 23.

In the power generation system, some parts of the 3MW power engines on an Aframax tanker was replaced with SOFCs. According to KSOE, the SOFC can reduce greenhouse gas (CO2) by more than 40 percent and reduce emissions of environmental pollutants such as SOx and NOx.

In addition, KSOE increased space utilization by 12% with their own integrated design and on-board layout of fuel cell power generation systems.

Fuel cell systems have a significant potential to help ships reduce their emissions in line with the IMO decarbonization targets along with battery and wind-assisted propulsion systems.

Another South Korean shipbuilder, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), is working on the use of solid oxide fuel cells.

Earlier this week, DSME signed a joint development project with ABS classification society to replace at least one of three diesel generators typically onboard a very large crude carrier (VLCC) with SOFC. 

It’s the second SOFC-focused JDP between ABS and DSME, with the first collaboration in 2019 revealing the high efficiency of a SOFC and gas turbine hybrid system due to the re-use of hot exhaust off-gas.

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Samsung Heavy Industries is also working on the development of fuel cells. The shipbuilder joined forces with U.S.-based manufacturer of solid oxide fuel cells Bloom Energy in 2019 and a year later they signed an agreement advancing their plans to design and develop fuel cell-powered ships.

Initially, SHI and Bloom Energy plan to focus on developing fuel-cells for LNG carriers, eventually moving toward this type of power for container ships and tankers, Bloomberg reported.

The agreement between SHI and Bloom Energy follows an Approval in Principle for fuel cell-powered Aframax crude oil tankers from DNV GL obtained in September 2019.