|Cross-section of the Hot Module MCFC used in the FellowShip demonstration. Click to enlarge.|
The FellowSHIP (Fuel Cells for Low Emissions Ships) consortium, a group of Norwegian and German companies, is on track for the demonstration in 2008 of an offshore supply vessel powered by a 330kW molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC).
The FellowSHIP project team consists of Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Eidesvik Offshore, MTU CFC Solutions (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tognum), Vik-Sandvik and Wärtsilä Automation Norway. Phase I of the project, a feasibility study, ran from 2003-2005. Phase II, which began in 2005, will culminate next year with the demonstration.
|Principle of the molten carbonate fuel cell. Click to enlarge.|
MTU CFC Solutions is providing a “Hot Module” fuel cell stack. In the Hot Module, incoming liquefied natural gas (the fuel gas in this case) is fed to the vertically-installed flow channels of the anodes via a gas distribution device. The horizontal fuel cell stack is sealed below through gravity. At a temperature of about 650 °C, the natural gas and steam split off the hydrogen needed on the anodes (internal reforming).
|The full Hot Module system. Click to enlarge.|
The residual gas emitting from the upper part of the anodes is mixed with the additionally supplied air and afterwards catalytically oxidized. The gas mixture contains CO2 and O2 needed on the cathode. A fan circulates the gas mixtures through the horizontally installed flow channels of the cathodes.
The FellowSHIP technology will be up to 50 percent more efficient than today’s diesel power, while at the same time there will be no emissions of NOx, sulphur oxide (SOx) or particles. The CO2 emissions are reduced by 50 percent compared to diesel engines run on oil.—Tomas Tronstad, DNV project coordinator
In August 2006, the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded FuelCell Energy an additional $2.5 million to complete a land-based demonstration of its 0.5 MW ship service fuel cell (SSFC) power plant and begin design work on a next generation ship-based prototype.
The goal of that project is to improve the power generation efficiency on board ships—their non-propulsion hotel power—by adapting FuelCell Energy’s Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants to run on naval liquid fuels (diesel and jet fuel).
Those liquid fuels need to be de-sulfurized before being used as fuel in the DFC plant. As a result, FuelCell Energy has developed a fuel processing system that removes the sulfur before reforming the liquids into methane gas, which can be used as a fuel in the power plant. (Earlier post.)