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Fuel Cell Systems

ABB is playing a central role in the development of future-proofing fuel cell technologies for use on ships, through its internal Research & Development and as a partner in several industry projects. Fuel cell technology delivers emissions-free simplicity, maintainability and efficiency.

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Fuel cell technology - how does it work?

Fuel cells generate energy by exploiting an electrochemical reaction at the interface between the anode or cathode and the electrolyte membrane. They involve no combustion, converting fuel directly to electricity and heat.

There are several Fuel Cell technologies available. One of the most promising technologies is the Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). The PEMFC converts the chemical energy from hydrogen into electricity through an electrochemical reaction with oxygen producing also water and heat.

 

Fuel cells for the shipping industry

Primary benefits
The main benefit for the shipping industry is zero emission operation and lowering maintenance costs of the power plant. Fuel cells have higher efficiency than a combustion engine, and the technology allows energy to be concentrated more densely than in petroleum fuels. And if you use renewables to produce the hydrogen, the entire energy chain is clean.

How can fuel cell systems be integrated with ABB solutions?
The Fuel Cell Systems can be used as a power source in combination with batteries or engines. The fuel cells can be integrated to the AC Power System or Onboard DC Grid System, via a DC/AC converter or DC/DC converter. Further the Fuel Cell System can be integrated with our digital solutions for control, as well as condition monitoring in ABB Ability™.

Safety and reliability
Fuel cells are used to power buses and cars today, and are a safe and reliable option to combustion engines. Safety is our top priority, and is being addressed through studies with our partners.

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