03.01.2020

2 minutes of reading

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Naval Group* has successfully generated electricity continuously for 18 days in representative submarine patrol operational conditions, thanks to a fuel cell (FC) powered by a hydrogen production system developed in partnership with IFPEN. This system, based on onboard diesel reforming to produce hydrogen fuel for the FC, represents a breakthrough in the field of air-independent propulsion systems** for conventional (non-nuclear) submarines. With the system, their submersion time can be considerably increased. This breakthrough - a world record - demonstrated remarkable hydrogen production, with stable operation of the various units making up the system, paving the way for potential maintenance-free submarine use for a year. IFPEN’s teams made a significant contribution to this success within the framework of a project conducted in partnership with Naval Group (completed at the end of 2015), which was responsible for industrialization and marketing. A video demonstrating the system is available:

* French industrial group specializing in the naval defense industry and ocean renewable energies 
** Air Independent Propulsion systems (AIPs) allow submarines to operate over long periods of time without using external air and without returning to the surface 
 

To find out more: Hydrogen