guidelines aimed at providing international standard provisions for ships using
fuel cell power installations have been agreed by IMO's Sub-Committee on
Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC 7).
The draft interim
guidelines cover issues including fire systems and gas/vapour detection. The
guidelines are intended to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electrical
and/or thermal energy through the use of fuel cell technology.
The development of
these interim guidelines for safety of ships using fuel cells is part of the
important work being carried out by the Sub-Committee in the context of
shipping's need for new fuels and propulsion systems to meet decarbonisation
ambitions set out in the Initial IMO GHG Strategy
Fuel cells can operate using hydrogen
A fuel cell is a
source of electrical power in which the chemical energy of a fuel cell fuel is
converted directly into electrical and thermal energy by electrochemical
oxidation. Fuel cells can operate using hydrogen (which has the potential to be
explosive) as the fuel source.
The draft interim
guidelines will be forwarded to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for
approval at its 105th session, scheduled to meet in April 2022.
Matters related to
newer types of fuel are considered under the agenda item on the International
Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code).
The IGF Code, which entered into force in 2017, aims to minimize the risk to
ships, their crews and the environment, given the nature of the fuels involved.
It has initially focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG), but work is now
underway to consider other relevant fuel types.
Amendments to guidelines relating to low flashpoint fuels requiring
agreed various draft amendments to guidelines and Codes in relation to ships
using or carrying fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is cooled to
very low (cryogenic) temperatures for carriage. The draft amendments relate to
the utilization of high manganese austenitic steel, including corrosion testing
for ammonia compatibility