«This demonstrates that Hyon now have ready-made and approved modularised solutions for fuel cells on-board ships with all needed safety- and ancillary systems. The approved solutions can be installed above or below the main deck and encompasses cabinets from 100kW up to containers of megawatt power. The Hyon/PowerCell solutions are significantly smaller and lighter than marine power generators of equal power based on diesel or gas as fuel,” says Marine Technology Director at Hyon, Arild Eiken.
«With the approval we demonstrate to the market that there are safe solutions available for having hydrogen and fuel cells aboard all types of ships. This is a milestone in preparing for hydrogen fuel in maritime applications since the approval is based on the newly launched and detailed revision of DNV GL Rules for Fuel Cells. We thank DNV GL for excellent cooperation during the approval process”, says Managing Director of Hyon, Tomas Tronstad.
Hyon uses PowerCell as supplier of fuel cells, with their fuel cell properties on energy density and low weight. In maritime applications, the building block of Hyon’s modules is PowerCell’s fuel cell MS-100 with electric output of 100kW.
With increasing pressure for shipping to reduce harmful emissions, the latest example being the international shipping organisation IMO’s decision to half the sectors emission by 2050, the maritime market is becoming an attractive market for hydrogen technology. Confirmed projects that will utilise hydrogen technology is already under way for ferries and high-speed vessels. Short sea shipping including cruise vessels with fixed routes, work boats and offshore vessels are examples of other ship segments where hydrogen is well matched.
How does it work
The fuel cell:
Compared to a combustion engine, which is also powered by a reaction between fuel and oxygen, higher power efficiency is achieved. While the combustion engine’s thermomechanical process means that a large part of the energy is always consumed as heat, the fuel cell’s reaction takes place at a significantly lower temperature. In contrast to the combustion engine, water and heat are the only emissions generated by a fuel cell.
The fuel cell’s key components are an anode, cathode and electrolyte. The electrolyte largely determines the properties of the fuel cell. We use Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM), with ion-conducting polymer membrane as the electrolyte. PEM fuel cells operate at a relatively low temperature (<100°C) and therefore have valuable rapid start-up and response times. They have the highest power density of all fuel cell types and are thereby significantly smaller and lighter than other versions.
When in operation, the anode is fed with fuel in the form of hydrogen (H2), while the cathode is continuously fed with air (O2). The hydrogen molecules are oxidised at the anode, forming hydrogen ions and electrons. The electrons wander through the external electrical circuit, which connects the anode and cathode, to generate electricity. Meanwhile, the hydrogen ions are transported via the electrolyte to the cathode, where they combine with the oxygen molecules to form water and heat. The result is electricity, water and the heat generated by the reaction. Since the fuel cells are liquid cooled, the heat can e.g. be used to heat buildings.
Fuel cell stacks and systems:
A single fuel cell produces less than 1 V, which is insufficient for most applications. Therefore, individual fuel cells are typically combined in series into a fuel cell stack. It generates electricity in the form of direct current from the electro-chemical reactions that take place in the fuel cell. A typical fuel cell stack may consist of hundreds of fuel cells. The stack’s voltage and output can be varied by increasing or reducing the number of cells in the stack. The fuel cell stack is the heart of a fuel cell power system.
Hydrogen is stored in composite cylinders made by Hexagon Composites.
Hyon is a joint venture company owned by Nel ASA, Hexagon Composites and PowerCell Sweden.