SEOUL -- A crude carrier with a solid oxide fuel cell propulsion system developed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, a major shipbuilder in South Korea, has won certification from the American Bureau of Shipping, a maritime classification society.
The solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), an electrochemical conversion device that produces electricity directly from oxidizing fuel, has a wide variety of applications as it ensures high combined heat and power efficiency, long-term stability, fuel flexibility, low emissions and relatively low cost.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) said that a very large crude carrier (VLCC) installed with SOFC has won "Approval in Principle" from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). DSME and ABS signed a framework agreement in 2019 to promote strategic cooperation for joint research in next-generation power generation systems.
"Through this R&D achievement, we have laid the foundation for detailed design and test evaluation in the future," DSME's research center head Choi Dong-kyu said in a statement on January 21.
South Korea is investing heavily to utilize hydrogen fuel cells as a new power source. In September 2019, SK Engineering & Construction, a unit of South Korea's SK Group, signed a joint venture agreement with Bloom Energy, an American public company, to develop and produce SOFC.
Samsung Heavy Industries has partnered with Bloom Energy to develop core technologies for highly efficient solid oxide fuel cells for ships by 2022. Doosan Fuel Cell, a clean energy unit of South Korea's Doosan Group, works with Navig8, an integrated provider of shipping management services, to demonstrate a 50,000-ton petrochemical product carrier installed with a SOFC system.
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