By Annette Frotjold - Picture of MSC World Europe Published
The HELENUS consortium will build, integrate and demonstrate a 500kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) module operating in cogeneration mode, in an MSC World Class series ocean cruise vessel. The project is managed by DLR (Germany’s research centre for aeronautics and space) and has been funded with roughly 14 million EUR. The ship is expected to enter operation in 2026.
Choosing LNG, the cleanest fossil fuel, can be the first step towards zero emissions. Availability of green fuels is still limited, and Alma’s fuel cells will be able to switch to green fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen/ LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers) when these become available. The same tank and fuel system can be used for LNG and ammonia, facilitating the green transition. Alma’s fuel cells can also operate on methanol, LPG, ethanol and syngas.
A long-term goal of the HELENUS project is to demonstrate feasibility that a SOFC-ICE*-hybrid vessel can achieve an efficiency gain of 23%. The MSC cruise ship will be built at Chantiers de’Atlantique, while the Alma fuel cells will be manufactured in a new pilot production line in Bergen, Norway. In addition to the ship installation, an SOFC test unit will be delivered and integrated at DLR test facilities in Germany to be used for functional testing and validation of simulation models.
The HELENUS consortium involves diverse stakeholders representing the entire value chain from technology development to field implementation - creating a rapid pathway towards commercialisation.
Partners in the project:
IHC MTI, MSC Malta Yard Management Ltd., Delft University of Technology, Balance Technology Consulting, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, IFEU, DLR, Chantiers de L’Atlantique, Wärtsilä (Norway).