Shell-led consortium to explore Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology use in shipping sector
Oct 11, 2022
Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd (Shell) has signed a consortium agreement with multiple organisations to develop Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology for the marine sector.
Powering Progress : Accelerating Marine decarbonization by demonstrating SOFC technology
Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd (Shell) has signed a consortium agreement with Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE), Ltd, HyAxiom INC, Doosan Fuel Cell Co., LTD, (DFCC), JP Morgan Asset Management and DNV to develop Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology for the marine sector.
Under the agreement, the companies will design, manufacture and install a 600 kilowatts (kW) Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Auxiliary Power Unit (SOFC APU) on a Shell-chartered LNG vessel for a year of testing in 2025. The trial is dependent on the results of feasibility studies currently underway.
A solid oxide fuel cell is a fuel to energy converter that can be designed to run on today’s marine fuels, in addition to all plausible future fuels, including hydrogen. Due to this flexibility, this technology could be critical in enabling the transition from the marine fuels in service today, to the fuels required in the future.
The trial aims to test the technology’s decarbonisation potential, prove its scalability as a propulsion solution for shipping and enable wider industry acceptance of fuel cells. Data collected over the year of testing will provide information on integrating SOFC technology with shipboard systems, enabling more efficient operations and creating the insight necessary to build future low and zero-emission vessels.
Under the agreement:
- HyAxiom and DFCC will provide the SOFC APU
- KSOE will act as the system integrator in addition to deploying the technology
- DNV will provide technical and safety expertise
- Shell will charter the demonstration vessel and coordinate with partners
Karrie Trauth, SVP Shipping & Maritime at Shell said: “This consortium and the cutting-edge technology we’re pioneering could help deliver less carbon-intensive operations in the near term while unlocking a pathway to net zero through the blending of conventional and alternative fuels until zero-carbon options are available at scale.”
“We’re excited to be collaborating with some of the leading names in shipping who share a vision of a zero-emission industry and are working hard to progress shipping decarbonisation.”
Notes to Editors
Shell engaged with the market to understand the key challenges delaying the pace of decarbonisation as part of the “All Hands on Deck” report and identified 12 solutions for the marine market in the subsequent ‘Decarbonising Shipping: Setting Shell’s Course’. Fuel cell technology was identified as a key accelerator because it can deliver:
- Efficiency of over 60%, and up to 80% if waste heat is harnessed1 (reducing fuel consumption and emissions)
- Improved operations (significantly reducing noise and vibrations while requiring less maintenance and lower operating costs)
- A plausible pathway to net zero through compatibility with a range of fuel types (from LNG now to hydrogen-derived fuels in the future)
All Hands on Deck, and Decarbonising Shipping: Setting Shell’s Course reports available here:
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1 Fuel Cell Fundamentals, Third Edition, 2016, page 284