Professional and recreational shipping plays a major role in the Wadden Sea region. It is vital for the economic growth of the area, but has a major impact on the environment. Within the sector, therefore, the transition to sustainable energy sources is being looked at. The basis is electrification of shipping and use of battery systems and possibly additional use of fuel cells to increase the range. Fuel cells require hydrogen or methanol to generate electrical energy.
Green methanol as an energy carrier
The challenges in the storage and use of hydrogen are significant at this time. Green methanol as an energy carrier is seen as a promising alternative to hydrogen. Methanol is easier to store and has a good energy density, is widely available and easy to produce, and is price competitive with diesel.
Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Development
Currently, the technology that enables application of biomethanol as a marine energy source is limited. This project will work on the development and small-scale testing of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology for maritime applications. The Green methanol is used directly, without intermediate steps, by the fuel cell. Energy is generated through a redox reaction, with minimal emissions of non-fossil CO2 and no environmental emissions.
Within the project period, two types of energy systems based on the DMFC are investigated and developed. The first system involves a methanol fuel cell, which replaces diesel generators and lead-acid batteries to provide a reliable power grid and heat supply on board.
The second system involves the development of technology for DMFC energy for the range extension of electric propulsion of ships. Motor yachts of 8m and 12m are chosen as the test platform for the DMFC power train.
The project is being carried out by Electric Ship Facilities in cooperation with Bureau Scheepvaart Certificering, Conoship International, Stokkel Engineering and FME.