The OSV Viking Lady is a ship of fuels, so to speak, or to be more accurate a ship of fuel cells. As part of the FellowSHIP (Fuel Cells for Low Emissions Ships) project, the OSV Viking Lady was first launched in 2003 and now is close to commercialization for the maritime industry.
The FellowSHIP project is a Joint Industry Project managed by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Offshore, Wärtsilä Ship Power, Eidesvik. MTU Onsite Energy and Wärtsilä Ship Design. According to DNV, “The third and final phase of the project, intends to be testing, qualifying and demonstrating a main fuel cell electric system, delivering between 1MW to 4MW of power.
“The success of the project so far has raised expectations that fuel cell technology is close to a commercial application and has resulted in a regulatory review to establish frameworks for moving the technology forward.”
Because most of the traffic from large cargo carrying ships takes place 250 miles or less from the coastline of a given country, pollution and especially particulate matter is of considerable concern. By cleaning up emissions from ships, that mostly run on diesel fuel, with a low emissions alternative, this will go a long way towards cleaning the air we breathe.
Green Car Congress describes the fuel cell used aboard the OSV Viking Lady, “MTU CFC Solutions is providing a ‘Hot Module’ fuel cell stack. In the Hot Module, incoming liquefied natural gas (the fuel gas in this case) is fed to the vertically-installed flow channels of the anodes via a gas distribution device. The horizontal fuel cell stack is sealed below through gravity. At a temperature of about 650 °C, the natural gas and steam split off the hydrogen needed on the anodes (internal reforming).”
I’ve talked about hydrogen boats and hydrogen ships in the past, but the OSV Viking Lady is the largest ship to date to take on the task of using H2 fuel cells to clean up our coasts with low emissions and now its clean sailing full speed ahead.