KOMERI to research into hydrogen fuel cell ships

KOMERI signed MoU to investigate solid oxide fuel cell technology in marine environments. KOMERI signed MoU with two local fuel cell partners to investigate solid oxide fuel cell technology in marine environments (credit: KOMERI).

The Korea Marine Equipment Research Institute (KOMERI) signed an MoU with two local partners to develop hydrogen fuel cell technology suitable for marine applications.

The collaboration between KOMERI and two local fuel cell producers is intended to apply solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) ship technology in a marine environment. The MoU covers the development of a SOFC suitable for deployment in a test vessel, as well as the modification of vessels for SOFC module development.

The JV selected SOFC technology over alternatives because SOFC cells’ high operating temperature permits them to use a variety of hydrocarbon fuels, aside from hydrogen. SOFCs also have superior “load follow-up” (or variable energy generation in response to fluctuating demand) characteristics compared with other fuel cell technologies, second to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), which remain the best performing technology.

The two local fuel cell partners form part of a nascent fuel cell cluster. Italian energy company Solid Power signed an agreement in November 2018 undertaking to establish a corporation in Daejeon in 2020. As part of the agreement, Solid Power agreed to invest $51.2m in developing a fuel cell production facility in Daejeon.

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