Direct Ammonia Fuel Cell (DAFC) with up to 67% efficiency

Alma is developing modularized SOFC systems, the company’s direct ammonia fuel cell (DAFC), delivers an electrical efficiency of 61-67%.

Alma Clean Power is developing modularized Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) systems for applications in the ocean space, the company’s direct ammonia fuel cell (DAFC) system, delivers an electrical efficiency of 61-67%.

Concept

Alma Clean Power is on a mission to develop modularized Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) systems for applications in the ocean space, and the 6-kW unit is the first building block of a complete 100-kW SOFC module. The test validates the company’s design of a direct ammonia fuel cell (DAFC) system, delivering an impressive electrical efficiency of 61-67%.

methanol fuel cell
New methanol fuel cell-based power generator

Blue World Technologies has launched CellPack™ Stationary, a methanol fuel cell-based power generator to replace conventional fossil-based generators.

Ship Nerd

“I am very proud of the Alma team and their remarkable achievements in just over a year of system development. To our knowledge, this is the highest power output ever demonstrated with direct ammonia fuel cells (SOFC)”

Bernt Skeie, CEO, Alma Clean Power

Alma’s unique technology enables the direct feeding of ammonia into the fuel cell system, bypassing the need for any energy-intensive pre-treatment that converts the fuel into hydrogen prior to electricity production. With significantly higher efficiency levels compared to traditional combustion engines, this technology has the potential to make ammonia fuel cells operated in maritime environments, economically viable for ship owners.

Green ammonia, produced by electrolysis powered by renewables, is a carbon-free fuel with great potential to decarbonize maritime industries.

“It’s rewarding to see the system operate with stable operation and consistent electricity generation. To gain knowledge and fine-tune the setup, testing will continue throughout the summer. After that, we will proceed with the assembly and testing of a complete 100-kW module which will serve as the foundation for larger ship installations”

Rune Tveit, Project Manager, Alma Clean Power

Alma’s SOFC system is currently operating seamlessly 24/7 and is monitored remotely with a sophisticated safety and control system. The SOFC modules are combustion-free with no rotating parts. They are designed to operate autonomously without any maintenance need for long intervals.

Fuel Cells in Shipping

The shipping sector is responsible for ~3% of CO2 emissions, 13% of SOx emissions, and 12% of NOx emissions globally. IMO 2030 targets to reach at least a 50% reduction by 2050. Most of the emissions come from deep-sea shipping, which is also the most difficult segment to decarbonize. The Alma ammonia fuel cell technology can eliminate all three emission types, enabling zero-emission deep-sea shipping. The picture shows Viking Energy which will be retrofitted with 2 MW Alma ammonia fuel cells, allowing it to sail solely on clean fuel for up to 3,000 hours annually.

Direct Ammonia Fuel Cell (DAFC) with up to 67% efficiency
Viking Energy with Ammonia Fuel Cells

Source: Alma Clean Power

See Also

The maritime sector, which accounts for approximately 2.9% of global carbon emissions, is seeking to meet broader climate goals such as the Paris Agreement and ‘Fit for 55’ in Europe. Thus, IDTechEx said it sees green fuels, such as green hydrogen and ammonia, as some of the most promising solutions.

In its report ‘Fuel Cell Boats & Ships 2023-2033: PEMFC, SOFC, Hydrogen, Ammonia, LNG,’ IDTechEx has predicted that green hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and LNG/green ammonia fuel cell (SOFC) markets will grow rapidly at 35% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) over a ten-year period.

The company explained that LNG vessels are the largest alternative fuel in marine markets. Noting that, the global LNG fleet has been growing for decades. It is driven by an initial policy aimed at reducing localized emissions (sulfur oxides, nitrous oxides, and particulate matter). However, the focus is now shifting toward reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Witness to the shift are the new regulations in the maritime sector.

marine fuel cells
Rapid adoption of green fuel cells in marine markets

IDTechEx released a report outlining the adoption of green fuel cells in marine markets, running on alternatives such as green hydrogen and ammonia, as some of the most promising solutions.

Ship Nerd