In their first major marine deployment, Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) fuel cells demonstrated a significant increase in electrical efficiency on a luxury cruise ship built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique (CdA). Bloom and CdA have also announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on developing future multi-MW installations on board marine vessels.
The 150kW solid oxide fuel cell platform provided auxiliary power to the ship, the MSC World Europa operated by MSC Cruises, while in port using liquefied natural gas (LNG), one of the cleanest marine fuels available. The MSC World Europa (CruiseMapper) was docked in Qatar in November and December for the 2022 World Cup.
The Bloom Energy Server™ demonstrated 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. Lower carbon emissions and higher efficiency will be critical to ship operators while their vessels are in port.
“Bloom Energy fuel cells have shown their effectiveness in decarbonizing land-based industries,” said Suminder Singh, senior director, marine, for Bloom Energy. “With the deployment by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, we have now proven that they will be effective in decarbonizing 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,” said 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 so-called hoteling power sharply reduces in-port pollution, an important step towards the goal of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions by half compared to 2008 levels. Bloom’s future-proof platform 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, the American Bureau of Shipping’s New Technology Qualification Process and 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 in the Mediterranean Sea.
Bloom is working with our 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 100% to fuel cells when the ship is docked at the port.