The World's First Fuel Cell Ship

The Viking Lady, owned by the Norwegian shipping firm Eidesvik, has a 320-kilowatt molten carbonate fuel cell that powers the 9,500 ton vessel. It's the first ship to ever use fuel cell technology:

But in the case of the 5,900 metric ton Viking Lady, Norwegian shipping company Eidesvik and its partners have gone further, installing a 320-kilowatt molten carbonate fuel cell that operates on liquefied natural gas (and can be reconfigured, if necessary, to run on methanol). Storage tanks for the hydrogen and carbon dioxide that gets the fuel cell started press up against the stern of the 92.2 meter-long ship (in case of explosion) as do the machines to regasify the fuel. The fuel cell operates at 650 degrees Celsius and is warm to the touch, even on a blustery, frigid day in Copenhagen's harbor.[...]

The investment was made, in part, to get an understanding of fuel cell technology and how it might be applied to shipping, according to DNV's Viking Lady project head Tomas Heber Tronstad. Initial estimates are that such fuel cells would cut CO2 emissions from an individual ship by 50 percent. But the investment was also made because Norway has a tax on nitrogen oxide emissions that paid an immediate return for installing gas rather than diesel engines, says Eidesvik CEO Jan Fredrik Meling. Compared to a traditional ship, even without using the fuel cell, the Viking Lady reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 90 percent, CO2 emissions by 20 percent and eliminates sulfur dioxide and soot emissions.


Link | Photo: Fellowship

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