HyAxiom & Doosan Pass Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Components Environmental Testing for Ships 

Concept image of the SOFC for maritime application being developed by Doosan Fuel Cell and HyAxiom 

Fuel cell and hydrogen solutions providers HyAxiom, Inc. (HyAxiom) and Doosan Fuel Cell Co. (DFCC) have reached a milestone in their development of fuel cell power systems for ships with the passing of their solid oxide fuel cell stack in a critical environmental test by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the classification society and a recognized advisor for the maritime industry. This is the world’s first SOFC cell stack to pass such a test, which is a core component of the marine SOFC under development by HyAxiom and DFCC. 

Electrical equipment installed on vessels must pass extreme environmental testing under actual operating conditions, including temperature, humidity, vibration, inclination and electromagnetic interference. “Due to its lower operating temperature compared to other solutions in the marketplace, our SOFC offers a longer life span and is more efficient compared to existing internal combustion engines,” says Jeff Hyung Rak Chung, President and CEO of HyAxiom. “The environmental test results prove our SOFC is a viable solution for the maritime industry,” he added. 

The next milestone will be to achieve overall SOFC certification and conduct full-scale demonstrations. 

HyAxiom and DFCC signed a consortium agreement in 2022 with Shell PLC and HD Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, an intermediate holding company in the shipbuilding sector of HD Hyundai Group. The consortium aims to develop, manufacture and install a 600-kilowatt SOFC auxiliary power Unit on a Shell-chartered LNG vessel, which will undergo a year of testing in 2025 to demonstrate the technology’s ability to reduce carbon emissions from maritime transport, a sector which is vital to trade and economies worldwide but is considered hard-to-abate. 

Last year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved an amendment to its greenhouse gas emissions goal, which now aims to reach net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping by or around 2050, along with a commitment to ensure an uptake of alternative zero and near-zero GHG fuels by 2030. This strategy, along with the economics of carbon and fuel reduction, sets the stage for HyAxiom’s and DFCC’s SOFC technology and positions the product as a highly sought after maritime mobility solution. The two companies are developing and manufacturing solid oxide fuel cell technology in collaboration with Ceres, a leading developer and licensor of fuel cell technology. 

Based in Connecticut, HyAxiom is a key part of the Doosan fuel cell group of South Korea working on developing a full spectrum of hydrogen solutions including fuel cells for both stationary and mobility applications as well as electrolyzers for green hydrogen production. Its flagship product, the PureCell M400, is based on proprietary phosphoric acid fuel cell technology.