EMSA study analyses fuel cell applications in shipping

The European Maritime Safety Agency released a technical study this week, reviewing 23 maritime Fuel Cell projects and assessing which technologies hold the most promise for improving shipping in the future. The report, which was conducted and prepared by DNV-GL, concluded that the three most promising hydrogen technologies were first Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs), followed by High Temperature PEMFCs and then Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs).

Low-temperature PEMFCs won the gold for being a mature, safe and relatively cheap technology. High temperature PEMFCs were judged as more efficient but less safe, while SOFCs scored relatively poorly on cycling tolerance and cost.

However the report acknowledged that different technologies could complement each other, and that

“Smaller and medium applications may favour low and medium temperature technology, such as PEM and high temperature PEM. Larger applications which can more easily accommodate waste heat solutions, such as industrial and large maritime, are better for the high temperature solutions such as molten carbonate or solid oxide fuel cells.”

The full study, which also included a regulatory analysis and safety assessment for different fuel cell technologies on board ship, can be downloaded here.