In past posts, I’ve already talked about the German hydrogen submarine and the Greek hydrogen submarine being developed. Now, another European nation is diving into the hydrogen submarine pool, so to speak, Spain.
The German fuel cell submarine has already proved itself in April 2006 by diving and staying underwater for 2 weeks. In July of this year, the Greeks started working on their fuel cell submarine for the Hellenic Navy that will be able to stay underwater up to 3 weeks and be more stealth than a diesel-powered or nuclear-powered sub.
The Spanish fuel cell submarine is being developed by UTC Power and shipbuilder Navantia S.A. UTC is designing a 300-megawatt hydrogen fuel cell that will keep the Spanish Navy’s 2,500 ton S-80 underwater longer than comparable current diesel models.
Spain’s hydrogen submarine is a far cry from the Spanish Galleons of old. But, fuel cell submarines don’t use a galleon of gasoline, either (or another unfriendly fuel for that matter).
The military has turned to hydrogen submarines because they are extremely quiet and don’t leave much of a thermal footprint compared to other types of subs. When the U. S. will jump onboard this new technology, however, is anyone’s guess.