A 1MW ammonia-fueled solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system developed by Alma Clean Power has been awarded an approval in principle (AiP) from DNV. The company’s SOFC system design was evaluated to ensure it complied with the DNV’s class rules and the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) guidelines for fuel cell installations.
The subsequent AiP which was granted is for a containerized module which also includes safety systems to handle ammonia as fuel.
“We’re excited that our design has received approval according to the highest standards in the maritime industry,” said Bernt Skeie, CEO, Alma Clean Power. “Excellent collaboration with DNV as a leading class society within fuel cell systems and new fuels, has been key to get this far, and we look forward to continued collaboration as we move to the next phases of the project.”
Alma Clean Power’s fuel flexible SOFC systems are capable of achieving more than 60% efficiency with low or zero emissions, depending on the fuel type being used. Unlike traditionally used combustion engines, fuel cells do not suffer from fuel slip or require any blending with carbon-based fuels. Due to this high efficiency and their ability to operate on hydrogen-based fuels, the SOFC is viewed as having the potential to aid the IMO in decarbonizing the maritime shipping sector.
“Our fuel cell systems are designed to operate on a variety of low- and zero-emission fuels such as ammonia, LNG, LPG, hydrogen, methanol, syngas and LOHC (liquid organic hydrogen carriers),” explained Erling Johannessen, senior advisor, Alma Clean Power. “The AiP is therefore an important verification of key safety principles relevant for all fuel types.”
Two of the company’s SOFC systems are scheduled to be retrofitted as a 2MW open-deck installation on board an offshore supply vessel owned and operated by Eidesvik called Viking Energy (below), as part of the EU-funded ShipFC project.
The SOFC system will be integrated with the vessel’s existing dual fuel gensets and a battery pack, enabling operations using only emission-free, green ammonia for all dynamic positioning operations. The ammonia fuel cell system for ShipFC will be tested at the Energy House at Stord in Norway before being installed on board the vessel – stated to be the first time an ammonia-powered fuel cell system is installed on a commercially operative vessel.