New from my Yahoo news feed - Royal Caribbean International according to Cruise Critic and PR Newswire is developing the "Icon Class" cruise ship "no concept image yet" two have been ordered so far and it is to be powered by LNG and fuel cells. The deliveries are projected to be from 2022 and 2024, will be built by Meyer Turku in Finland and it will carry about 5,000 passengers.
So this is really fascinating. Currently fuel cells working from methane work as follows:
Methane (CH4) is cracked thermally to produce CO2 and H2. The H2 is then reacted with O2 to make H2O. There is essentially no NOx, SOx, or particulate because the reactions are very clean.
47% of the chemical energy that goes into the fuel cell is converted to electricity. Compare this to 25% (optimistically) for a diesel generator. But when the waste heat is used for cogeneration electrical efficiency can exceed 60%. That's just stunning. And with no NOx, SOx, or soot, exhaust gases might not even need a funnel; they could just be vented overboard.
But looking at this article, I'm confused: http://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruis ... ships.html
Mr. Baley, the President and CEO of RCI says in one paragraph that they are looking to new approaches for "power and propulsion" and then in another paragraph emphasizes "hotel functions."
On modern cruise ships, all the main generators power a single electric bus. This single electric bus then provides electricity for both propulsive and hotel loads. So is it RCI's intention to separate these two functions and provide hotel power with a fuel cell and propulsive power with diesel again? Or will fuel cells be the sole onboard generators?