World Class will be equipped with new fuel cell technology
November 6, 2019

MSC Cruises and Chantiers de l’Atlantique have unveiled a ground-breaking R&D project named PACBOAT that focuses on the integration of a new fuel cell technology demonstrator onboard the LNG-powered MSC Cruises ship MSC Europa. This demonstrator will produce electricity and heat using LNG. The announcement was marked by the signing of the consortium agreement between the various partners involved.

A world first

The integration of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology onboard a cruise ship is a world first. This technology operates at very high temperature (~750° C) and is more efficient for high-power marine-like applications than the low-temperature Hydrogen-based Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) solutions, used for instance in the automotive sector. The SOFC technology offers a very good electrical efficiency of up to 60 per cent and as the heat produced can be self-consumed on board its total efficiency – heat and electricity – can be much higher, resulting in a direct reduction of energy consumption and, therefore, of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This SOFC solution fueled by LNG would thus reduce emission of GHG by about 30 per cent compared with a conventional LNG engine, with no emission of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides or fine particles. In addition, it offers the advantage of being compatible with many fuels (LNG/methane, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, etc.), and thus with their future low carbon versions.

Pierfrancesco Vago added: “We are pleased to be able to support this highly innovative project, as it further demonstrates our commitment to contributing to the development of next-generation advanced environmental technology for the benefit of the entire industry. This is a key element in our journey towards zero-emissions operations both at sea and ashore.”

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