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A Study on the Viability of Fuel Cells as an Alternative to Diesel Fuel Generators on Ships


This study investigates methods for reducing air pollution in the shipping sector, particularly in port areas. The study examines the use of fuel cells as an alternative to diesel generators. Environmental pollution at ports remains a critical issue, so using fuel cells as an alternative to conventional energy systems warrants further research. This study compares commercial fuel cell types that can be used on a case study very large crude carrier (VLCC) vessel specifically, although the technology is applicable to other vessels and requirements. Seven different fuel cell types were ranked based on five criteria to accomplish this. The proton-exchange membrane cell type was found to be the most suitable fuel cell type for the case study vessel. Based on the input fuel, ammonia-based hydrogen storage has been identified as the most promising option, along with using an ammonia reforming unit to produce pure hydrogen. Furthermore, this study provides an integrated fuel cell module and highlights the economic, environmental, and maintenance aspects of implementing the proton-exchange membrane fuel cell module for this case study. It also calculates the required space as a crucial constraint of implementing fuel cell technology at sea.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United Kingdom

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