Norway´s Alma Clean Power claims it had tested successfully world’s first 6kW direct ammonia fuel cell system, delivering an electrical efficiency of 61-67%.

The Bergen-based company Alma Clean Power said that it was developing a modularized Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) systems for applications in the ocean space, and the 6kW unit is the first building block of a complete 100kW SOFC module.

The test validates the company’s design of a direct ammonia fuel cell (DAFC) system, delivering an electrical efficiency of 61-67%.

“To our knowledge, this is the highest power output ever demonstrated with direct ammonia solid oxide fuel cells,” said Bernt Skeie, CEO in Alma Clean Power.

This new technology enables the direct feeding of ammonia into the fuel cell system, bypassing the need for any energy intensive pre-treatment that converts the fuel into hydrogen prior to electricity production.

With significantly higher efficiency levels compared to traditional combustion engines, this technology has the potential to make ammonia operated maritime energy systems economically viable for ship owners.

Alma’s SOFC system is currently operating seamlessly 24/7 and is monitored remotely with a sophisticated safety and control system. The company claims SOFC modules are combustion-free with no rotating parts, and are designed to operate autonomously without any maintenance need for long intervals.

“It’s rewarding to see the system operate with stable operation and consistent electricity generation. To gain knowledge and fine-tune the setup, testing will continue throughout the summer. After that, we will proceed with the assembly and testing of a complete 100-kW module which will serve as the foundation for larger ship installations,” said Rune Tveit, Alma Clean Power’s Project Manager.