Since the early days of submarining, increasing submerged endurance has been a key goal. Now the dream of staying submerged for extended periods has come true for non-nuclear submarines.
Air-independent propulsion (AIP) is the answer.
Our proven HDW fuel cell system delivers a unique AIP solution for direct integration into non-nuclear submarines. Fuel cells are energy converters that transform chemical energy directly to electrical energy without noise or combustion. In these fuel cells, hydrogen and oxygen stored on board combine to produce water while giving off electricity (DC). The electrical energy is fed directly into the submarine's network system. The HDW fuel cell system is specially designed as a silent energy converter and extension to a conventional propulsion system. Its modular layout is just as simple as the principle itself. As it produces no exhaust gases and very little dissipated heat, the HDW fuel cell plant is the most effective AIP system, irrespective of diving pressure and with no deteriorating influence on the submarine's signature.
Fourth Generation of Fuel Cell System
We are dedicated to continuously improve our existing technology to be at cutting-edge of naval technology. In 2019, we unveiled the 4th Generation of our Fuel Cell System. The FC4G is designed to be a high-availability modular system composed of redundant components to retain a maximum performance at all times. In terms of H2-storage, the systems rely on the well-proven and exceptionally safe system of metal hydride cylinders as previous generations. These cylinders do not contain any active components; thus, reducing failure to a minimum holding hydrogen molecules safe in place in the crystal lattice of the hydride. Since hydrogen is fed to the system in its purest form, no chemical conversion is required and, therewith, the efficiency of the verall system remains very high.
"These are the reasons, why in total 45 HDW fuel cell systems were contracted so far with 9 customer navies."
Philipp Schön, Head of Product Sales Submarines
The large number of submarines already operating or under construction with HDW fuel cell propul-sion systems clearly indicates how well accepted this technology is among navies worldwide. Low noise and infrared signatures, high efficiency and low maintenance requirements make HDW fuel cell plants the ideal AIP solution for new non-nuclear submarines.