Sunday, July 15, 2007

Greece Opts for Fuel Cell Submarine

While fuel cell powered submarines cannot stay submerged as long as nuclear submarines, they are able to remain underwater for a respectable 3 weeks before needing to resurface.
The HDW Class 214 submarine has a fuel cell-generated power supply, allowing it to operate entirely on hydrogen. The fuel cell, which produces electrical energy from oxygen and hydrogen, allows the new submarine to cruise under water for up to three weeks without resurfacing. Conventional diesel-electric submarines typically deplete their battery power after a few days cruising under water. In addition, the fuel cell makes no noise and produces no detectable exhaust heat, in turn making the submarine virtually undetectable.

This is the most advanced conventional submarine in the world and the Greek State was the first in the world to order it.

The power system is based upon technology developed by Air Products.
The fueling technology is based on Air Products’ unique cryogenic hydrogen compressors (CHCs), which are used in conventional hydrogen supplies, as well as in bus fueling applications.

“We are paving the way to the future hydrogen economy, by already supplying liquid hydrogen from Central Europe, as far as Ireland, Italy, Spain and Israel. By supplying liquid hydrogen as well as fueling equipment, we are able to offer a complete and safe package to our customers. We are proud to have already supplied hydrogen fueling equipment, as well as liquid hydrogen, to fuel submarines from the German Navy and now the Hellenic Navy, and we hope more will adopt this revolutionary technology soon,” said Ian Williamson, general manager-Future Energy Solutions, Air Products Europe.

It is important for Greece to have a submarine capability for patrolling its many kilometers of coastline. Along with many other countries on the Mediterranean, Greece is under assault from hundreds of thousands of would-be immigrants, many terrorists among them, who seek to flee a life of oppression in muslim countries to the south.



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