Successful testing of an HT-PEM fuel cell system using methanol

In Q2 of 2022, Alfa Laval started up a small-scale methanol fuel cell system at the Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre.

Successful testing of an HT-PEM fuel cell system using methanol

Based on positive test results, the project is on track for a 200 kW installation. Ultimately, it will provide the marine industry with a scalable energy supply that does not involve combustion.

The project's aim is an efficient and cost-effective energy solution based on high-temperature proton exchange membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells.

Alfa Laval's Jeroen van Riel, Business Development Manager, Marine Energy Solutions, says:

"We are pleased with the progress in the HT-PEM fuel cell system project. Although this first installation is small, it allows us to test the basic setup and the function of the supporting equipment. The data compiled so far is very promising, which suggests that we can move into the next stage as planned."

The fuel cell system in development, which will provide clean operation with no particulate emissions, uses carbon-neutral renewable methanol. It comprises modules of HT-PEM fuel cell stacks that can be combined in racks of 200 kW, creating a standardized, scalable system for many megawatts of power.

In the current phase of testing, two modules containing one fuel cell stack each are being run with the distribution systems. The operational data will then be used to fine-tune the 200 kW module and rack setup.

Van Riel says:

"The project will lead to an integrated, safe and marine-certified product for application on tomorrow's green ships. Within the near future, it will offer a realistic alternative to combustion-based auxiliary power on board."