The Potential of Fuel Cells as a Drive Source of Maritime Transport


The state of environmental pollution brought about as a result of the modern civilization has been monitored, in the interests of the environment and human health, since the seventies of the last century. Ensuring the energy security is one of the most basic existential requirements for a functional civilized society. The growing civilizational needs caused by broadly understood development generate demand for the production of all kinds of goods in all sectors of the economy, as well as world-wide information transfer. The current energy demand is mostly covered using fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. Some of the energy demand is covered by the energy generated in nuclear reactions, and a small part of it comes from renewable energy sources. Energy derived from fossil fuels is inevitably associated with fuel oxidation processes. These processes, in addition to generating heat, are responsible for the emission of harmful compounds to the atmosphere: carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter. These pollutants pose a serious threat to the people as well as the environment in which they live. Due to the large share of fossil fuel energy generation in the process of combustion, it becomes necessary to seek other means of obtaining the so-called "clean energy". Fuel cells may have a very high potential in this respect. Their development has enabled attempts to use them in all modes of transport. An important factor in the development of fuel cells is their relatively high efficiency and the coinciding strictening of the emission norms from internal combustion engines used to power maritime transport. Therefore, the aim of this article has been to assess the potential of fuel cells as a main source of propulsion power source. A review of the designs of fuel cell systems and their use was performed. The article summarizes the assessment of the potential role of fuel cells as a power source of maritime transport.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Poland

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