Bloom Energy receives DNV AiP for initial design for SOFC-powered LNG carrier; ABS verification as alternative power source
Bloom Energy has hit two key milestones on its path to decarbonize shipping. In conjunction with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), the companies’ initial design for an engineless, fuel-cell-powered liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier has received Approval in Principle (AiP) from DNV, a premier international maritime classification society.
Bloom Energy also received verification as an alternative power source for vessels as part of the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) New Technology Qualification (NTQ) service.
The opportunity for fuel cell-powered ships has accelerated in recent years, as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) set aggressive environmental targets to combat climate change. A key objective for international shipping under the IMO’s mandate is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half compared to 2008 levels. New technologies and power sources for shipping, such as fuel cells, are recognized as viable carbon-reducing solutions to achieving the IMO’s environmental goals.
DNV Approval in Principle. SHI and Bloom Energy first announced plans in 2019 to design and develop fuel cell-powered ships. Earlier this month, the companies took another step toward realizing that goal with receipt of an Approval in Principle from DNV, an international maritime classification society, for an LNG carrier powered solely by solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology.
This fuel-cell-propelled LNG carrier eliminates the need for internal combustion engines by replacing the ship’s propulsion and auxiliary engines with fuel cells running on non-combusted natural gas.
Bloom Energy’s SOFC technology has the added benefit of eliminating criteria air pollutants such as sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter, has negligible methane slippage, and can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from shipping vessels. As such, the new fuel cell-powered LNG carrier is expected to provide operators a more sustainable option to meet international emission reduction targets.
Our new concept vessel can dramatically reduce air pollutant emissions, as well as noise and vibration and maintenance and repair costs, by replacing an internal combustion engine with fuel cells. We will lead the international standardization of fuel cell propulsion systems.—Jeong Ho-hyeon, head of Samsung Heavy Industries’ Technology Development Division
SHI plans to conduct tests at LNG demonstration facilities at its shipyard in Geoje, South Korea and will be launching full-scale marketing for global ship developers.
ABS. Bloom Energy’s technology was recently awarded a Concept Verified Statement of Maturity by ABS, a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries.
ABS engineers reviewed Bloom Energy’s SOFC technology and verified its potential application as an alternative power source for vessels as part of the ABS New Technology Qualification (NTQ) service. The NTQ service offers guidance on early adoption and efficient implementation of new technologies, demonstrating the technologies’ maturity and risk profile.
Bloom Energy expects to achieve final ABS certification and classification in 2022.