Solid-oxide fuel-cell manufacturer Bloom Energy and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), a part of Samsung Group, have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to design and to develop fuel cell-powered ships. The two companies will work together to realize their vision of clean power for ships and a more sustainable marine shipping industry.
SHI LNG carrier
Our goal is to replace all existing main engines and generator engines with these highly efficient solid oxide fuel cells [SOFCs] to align with the International Maritime Organization’s 2030 and 2050 environmental targets.—Haeki Jang, vice president of shipbuilding & drilling sales engineering at SHI
SHI is actively participating in all of the relevant activities during the joint development, from early studies to project completion, in order to build highly efficient fuel cell-powered ships. In alignment, Bloom Energy has created a dedicated, cross-functional team of engineers to adapt Bloom Energy’s Servers to the unique requirements of the marine environment.
SHI and Bloom Energy are actively working towards the next milestone in this development with a target to present the design to potential customers in 2022. Following commercialization, the two companies anticipate that the market for Bloom Energy Servers on SHI ships could grow to 300 megawatts annually.
This joint development work aligns with the International Maritime Organization’s mandate to meet emissions reduction targets by 2050. Because the fuel cells create electricity through an electrochemical reaction without combusting the fuel, these ships would be able to improve air quality with a reduction of particulate emissions, including NOx and SOx, by more than 99%, and shrink carbon emissions.
The joint development agreement between SHI and Bloom Energy follows an Approval in Principle for fuel cell-powered Aframax crude oil tankers from DNV GL, the internationally accredited marine shipping registrar and classification society, announced in September 2019. The next class of ship to be submitted for design approval is the LNG carrier.