Abengoa press release – Translation by Naval News
Abengoa, an international company has signed a contract as technologist and main supplier of the AIP System for the S80 submarines with the Spanish public company that is a reference in the design and construction of high-technology ships, Navantia.
The propulsion system will allow the submarines to extend their missions thanks to the new function of recharging the batteries with the submerged submarine. Until now, non-nuclear submarines have used batteries in their propulsion systems that only allowed them to operate underwater for one or two days. Now, with the new AIP system, that period is extended to three weeks.
Specifically, the AIP System is composed of several main pieces of equipment: Bioethanol Processing System (BPS), Fuel Cell System (FCS), Power Adjustment System (PAS), CO2 Removal System (SECO2), and AIP Control System (SCAIP). Abengoa is responsible for the design, manufacture and validation of several of these main elements (SPB, SAP and SCAIP), as well as the integration of the SPC and SECO2 to guarantee the required performance, functionality and operation.
In order to meet the enormous demands required by this program, a multitude of challenges had to be overcome, taking the technology to new heights. An example of this can be seen in the SPB, not only for the efficiency, robustness and safety of the equipment, but also for having to meet the requirements in size and maintainability according to underwater applications.
The work, which was a technological challenge, was made possible thanks to the intense collaboration between the Ministry of Defense, Navantia and Abengoa.
This project represents a new milestone in Abengoa’s Defense activity and, in particular, for its Hydrogen program, on which Abengoa has been working for more than 15 years, and in which it currently has developments of different technologies to produce, store and use hydrogen in different fields.
Naval News comments:
About S80 submarine Fuel Cell AIP system
For the record, Spanish shipbuilder Navantia announced it has successfully completed the development of the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system for the S80 submarine program at the end of February.
Following the closure of the pressure hull of the first submarine in the class, the S81 “Isaac Peral”, the S80 Program passed another milestone by successfully completing the final tests for the development of the AIP system. According to Navantia, this AIP system will provide the Spanish Navy with unmatched tactical capabilities and discretion.
The Spanish AIP System is based on fuel cell technology, which uses hydrogen produced through bioethanol and oxygen processing to generate electricity, allowing the submarine to sail for weeks without surfacing.
About S80 Submarine
The S80 class (or Isaac Peral class) are AIP (air independent propulsion) submarines currently under construction for the Spanish Navy. Four boats have been ordered, all are under construction by Navantia at its yard in Cartagena. Construction of the submarines had been suspended in early 2013, when it was found that the first submarine in the series, the Isaac Peral, was 75 to 100 tons too heavy relative to its length. General Dynamics Electric Boat was brought in by Navantia through a Foreign Military Sale in 2013 to tackle the weight distribution issues. Each submarine has been stretched with a 10 meters ring to better distribute the weight of the submarine. The intended delivery date of the first submarine is December 2022.
S80 Specifications (baseline)
Displacement: 2200 tons
Length: 71.05 meters
Beam: 11.68 meters
S80 Plus Specifications (stretched)
Displacement: 3000 tons
Length: 80.81 meters
Beam: 11.68 meters