[CES 2023] HD Hyundai's holding company partners with Estonian SOFC manufacturer to develop fuel cells for ships

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : January 10, 2023, 14:15 Updated : February 6, 2024, 01:59

[Courtesy of Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering]

SEOUL -- Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, the holding company of HD Hyundai, has partnered with Elcogen, a solid oxide fuel cells manufacturer in Estonia, to develop fuel cells for vessels and power generation. The two companies will also work with a German-based applied science research institute specializing in energy storage and fuel cell systems.
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) generate electrical energy by converting chemical energy through an electrochemical process. SOFC uses various types of gases including hydrogen as the main source of fuel. Because SOFC has a high power output compared to its size, the fuel cell system is ideal for powering mega-sized heavy equipment such as oil tankers and giant tunnel boring machines.

According to Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) on January 9, the company signed an agreement with Elcogen and Fraunhofer IKTS, a German research organization specializing in SOFC technology, at the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas. KSOE will work with the private company and the institute to demonstrate a large-capacity SOFC system for ships and power generation.
"The collaboration between KSOE, Fraunhofer IKTS, and Elcogen has high potential at a time when the shipbuilding and offshore industries are now moving into a net-zero era," KSOE's chief technical officer Kim Sung-joon was quoted as saying.
Through cooperation with the Estonian manufacturer and the German institute, KSOE will also develop a water electrolysis system, which decomposes water with electricity to produce hydrogen. Hydrogen companies have been testing many different methods to improve water electrolysis technologies to effectively produce hydrogen because of its high production costs. 
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