Combination of reformer and high-performance fuel cell
Freudenberg e-Power Systems has developed an innovative approach to using methanol for marine applications. This combines highly efficient fuel reforming technology with a long-life PEM fuel cell in a modular, scalable system unit. It generates hydrogen via steam reforming, which then reacts with oxygen from the air in the fuel cell to produce the electrical energy needed for both propulsion and the ship’s electrical system. The heat required for the reformer can be obtained directly from the waste heat of the fuel cells. Fuel cell stack, reformer and control electronics as well as all components for media supply are located in a prefabricated, modular unit. This containment design facilitates easy installation on board.
The safety concept of this innovative system architecture has now received Type Approval from the classification society RINA. This confirms the safety of the system and its conformity with maritime standards and regulations. “With our extensive experience in fuel cell systems and hydrogen production by reforming methanol, combined with Freudenberg’s proven industrial expertise, we are realizing innovative energy and power solutions for the maritime industry. In this way, we are making an important contribution to decarbonizing this important segment,” explained Dr. Manfred Stefener, Managing Director of Freudenberg Fuel Cell e-Power Systems and responsible for the safety architecture. “Achieving Type Approval represents an important milestone for the maritime industry. This lays the foundations for fuel cell systems to be used on a megawatt scale on cruise ships and the international ocean fleet. The marine energy systems of the future will be safe and highly efficient thanks to fuel cell technology.”