The proven technology in fuel reforming and hydrogen fields contributes to improving submarine operation capabilities. Technology is key for Air Independent Propulsion (AIP).
The system which produces high-purity hydrogen through methanol and water was delivered to South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD). The Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy evaluates that this research will raise the operational performance of South Korean submarines to the next level. In addition, DSME says it has secured a level of competitiveness that put them shoulder to shoulder with countries already mastering fuel reforming and hydrogen refining technology.
A fuel cell is a representative eco-friendly power generation device that has high power generation efficiency, no noise and vibration, and does not generate substances other than water after electricity production. In addition, submarine fuel reforming technology is a cutting-edge technology that has been devoted to R&D for more than 20 years in countries such as Germany, France, and Spain.
Currently, the hydrogen supply required for submarine fuel cells generally utilizes a metal hydride cylinder. However, this method has low storage efficiency per weight and requires a dedicated space for equipment installation. In addition, auxiliary equipment for hydrogen charging (a large installation located in the submarine base) was required and the charging time was long.
In comparison, the fuel reforming method using methanol has high storage efficiency and thus improves the submersible operation capability. In addition, space efficiency is high for equipment installation, and fuel supply and demand are easy. In addition, there is no need for a separate facility for recharging, and the charging period is short.
DSME, in cooperation with major local companies such as H&Power Co., Ltd. and KTE Co., Ltd., produced the first high-pressure methanol reforming plant in Korea based on the core technologies of the ADD: methanol reforming, hydrogen refining, and heat source supply technology. They were selected as a prototype manufacturing company in December 2018 and have been concentrating on product development by utilizing their technology and know-how as a total system company such as energy and armament.
In particular, DSME installed a plant at the ‘Eco-friendly Fuel LBTS (Land-Based Test Site)’, a land-based test facility within the Siheung R&D Campus, and conducted a performance test by creating a test environment with safety. The company successfully completed the process from functional and performance tests to the final evaluation of the components using state-of-the-art equipment such as control consoles and gas analyzers.
DSME Research Institute Director Choi Dong-gyu, Executive Vice President, said,
“The company has proven its world-class technological competitiveness in this field by carrying out this research project.” .” he said aspirations. end.
The first submarines to feature this new technology will likely be the KSS III Batch 2 of the ROK Navy.