The aim is to recover and recycle waste energy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system using active techniques based on absorption cooling systems. The ultimate goal is to improve the efficiency of PEMFC power system by at least 20% through CHP system. The energy will be recovered by a combination of strategies, such as: recovering waste heat energy by the combination of an absorption cycle to recover energy from the cooling system of the fuel cell, minimizing energy losses of the overall system by smart energy monitoring, control, and distribution strategies, and minimizing energy losses through digital twin and modular vessel route planner, and by minimizing losses of fuel storage. The recovered energy will be used onboard for HVAC, sanitary water heating, preheating of fuel cell inputs or for other purposes. For cold regions offshore operations, this waste energy will also be used in the vessel’s winterization solutions, such as for fixed automated spray technology (FAST) for anti/de-icing fluids, hot water sprays, hot bubbling system for ballast tanks, hot water flooring to minimize accumulations, and other solutions.
This project is a response to the Horizon Call with title ‘innovative on-board energy saving solutions’. The call scope is to demonstrate at least 20% increase in overall efficiency of a combined power system and associated balance of plant components, the proposed system is based on a combined heat and power system (CHP) in which the main power source is a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cell stack (PEMFC) combined with an absorption cycle to recover waste heat from the fuel cell system to improve the on-board system performance. The overall goal is to maximise the potential for green house gas (GHG) reduction for waterborne operations, which includes both maritime and inland navigation.