ABS has granted approval in principle (AiP) to solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology developed by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), which could replace one of the gensets on VLCCs
The granting of the AiP follows two joint development projects between ABS and DSME, the latest to develop SOFC technology to replace at least one of three diesel generators typically on board a very large crude carrier (VLCC).
SOFC technology is widely seen as a viable long-term alternative to today’s fuels. By electrochemically converting fuel into electricity, SOFCs can potentially produce power with higher efficiency than internal combustion engines running on the same fuel without creating polluting emissions or particulates.
The news comes only days after ABS cleared the Avin International Suexmax tanker newbuilding to be ready for conversion to ammonia power.
ABS is now working with DSME on future research and development areas to be carried out during detailed design and testing of the SOFC technology.
“Fuel cells are an important technology in the development of next-generation marine propulsion systems and can make a significant contribution to the industry’s decarbonisation ambitions. We are proud to be able to support DSME in developing this system and realising its potential,” said ABS senior vice president, global engineering and technology, Patrick Ryan.
DSME executive vice president, Dr Dong-kyu Choi added "We have completed the conceptual design, including how to effectively deploy fuel cell systems in a limited space and utilise them safely through joint development projects with ABS, and these joint research results will serve as a cornerstone for future design and test evaluation.”
Daewoo enjoyed a fruitful 2020, securing a US$1Bn order for six LNG-powered container ships.
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