Abeking & Rasmussen designs cruise ship using fuel cells and methanol

By September 5, 2018 Marine Fuel

Wed 05 Sep 2018 by Rebecca Moore reporting from SMM, Hamburg

Abeking & Rasmussen shipyard is designing a cruise ship that will use both fuel cells and methanol with the aim to be as free of emissions as possible.

The shipyard is designing the 100-passenger capacity cruise ship upon the request of a customer – but is keen to use the concept for other cruise operators too.

Abeking & Rasmussen naval architect and sales director, special vessels, Nils Olschner told PST that the fuel cells would be used to provide power demand for the hotel load and generate power to drive the ship up to a speed of 8 knots. If the ship needs to travel at a faster speed, pure methanol engines will be used to provide the power for this.

Mr Olschner said “Fuel cells need hydrogen and hydrogen is difficult to store, so we decided to go for fuel cells fed by methanol. This means that each fuel cell has a reformer, and we set up the methanol to each reformer, which will make hydrogen out of the methanol and provide this for the fuel cells.”

There is capacity of 1.5 MW for the fuel cells and 1.5 MW for the methanol engines.

And work is still ongoing on the design – which was started 10 months ago – to try to find a way get rid of the combustion engines so there are no emissions at all.

The cruise ship design has a “private yacht feeling on board” and is designed for passengers that have a “high demand for luxury and comfort and at the same time wouldn’t feel comfortable in spoiling the environment”.

Mr Olschner said that “as soon as the customer is ready”, the shipyard will build the vessel.