Bloom Energy’s fuel cells have demonstrated a significant increase in electrical efficiency on a luxury cruise ship built by French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique (CdA).
Bloom and CdA also announced that they had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on developing future multi-megawatt installations on board vessels.
A 150 kW solid oxide fuel cell platform provided auxiliary power to MSC Cruises’ ‘MSC World Europa’ while berthed in port using LNG. The cruise ship was docked in Qatar in November and December for the 2022 World Cup.
The patented Bloom Energy Server provided 60% electrical efficiency while the ship was in port, a significant improvement over existing high-efficiency power systems, as well as a reduction of carbon emissions by 30% with no methane slippage, the company claimed.
“Bloom Energy fuel cells have shown their effectiveness in de-carbonising land-based industries,” said Suminder Singh, Bloom Energy’s Senior Director, Marine.
“With the deployment by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, we have now proven that they will be effective in de-carbonising shipping, both in port and on the high seas.”
“We are firmly committed to leading the shipbuilding industry in its transition to a more environmentally friendly future,” added Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique.
“The in-port performance of Bloom Energy’s fuel cells shows that we have charted the right course to making this a reality. We look forward to having Bloom Energy on board for the future.”
Using Bloom fuel cells for hotel services power sharply reduces in-port pollution by half, compared to 2008 levels. The solution is IMO 2040 and 2050 ready, with the ability to operate on LNG, blended hydrogen, ammonia, and hydrogen.
The Energy Server platform has passed two critical safety reviews – ABS’ New Technology Qualification Process and another by Bureau Veritas.
While the MSC installation was geared towards proving the efficacy of Bloom system’s in-port operations, the fuel cells, which had undergone rigorous tilt-table testing, also achieved full power output during the vessel’s maiden voyage between Saint-Nazaire and Qatar, while transiting the Mediterranean.
Bloom is currently working with its customers to design fuel cell-based power delivery architecture that will operate in engine parallel mode, while the ship is sailing, and transition hotel loads to 100% fuel cells when the ship is berthed.