Pilot run for solid-oxide fuel cell

The SOFC is destined for a 50,000 t tanker

Doosan Fuel Cell is to develop a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) for ships (writes Nick Flaherty).

It will use the cell to drive large marine motors of 9-10 kW, the power depending on the propeller’s design and speed of rotation. Solid-oxide fuel is easier to transport for shipping, and produces no harmful emissions.

Doosan is working with Navig8 in Singapore to install an SOFC power and propulsion system in one of Navig8’s 50,000 t chemicals tankers as a pilot programme for commercialisation. Navig8 has 140 tankers and large ships.

The fuel cell uses the SteelCell SOFC stack technology developed by Ceres Power in the UK. It will be designed to operate at620 C, about 200 Clower than is typical, with higher efficiency and longer life.

The 5 kW SteelCell stack has a power density of 500 W/litre and can be stacked to provide the power for the ship’s motors and propellers as well as to power the rest of the vessel.