Significant Development Potential of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for the Technical Progress of the Marine Main Propulsion Plant in the Context of Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction
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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has proposed a series of strict pollutant emission regulations and carbon emission reduction targets, and the shipping industry is seeking new types of the marine main propulsion plant with advantages of high-efficiency and low-emission. Among the possible alternatives, the marine electric propulsion technology whose electric power source is fuel cell has gained sufficient attentions. At present, the worldwide research of the marine applications for fuel cell supplying propulsion power focuses more on the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) with low power instead of other types of fuel cell, and a series of research projects have achieved concrete results such as the industrialized marine fuel cell system or practical demonstration application. But the development trends of the application of the marine fuel cell supplying propulsion power are from the small boat to the great ship, from the navigating zone with low environmental complexity such as coastal water, inland waters to the ocean with complex navigation conditions. Thus, the power demand of the marine fuel cell in the future will show steady growth, which will create more development opportunities for the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with the advantages of higher power, greater efficiency, long life span and fuel diversity. Although some challenges exist, the solid oxide fuel cell with significant development potential can certainly lead the technical progress of the marine main propulsion plant in the context of energy conservation and emission reduction.
Keywords:Fuel cell Marine clean energy Energy conservation Emission reduction Electric propulsion
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