Applications of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology to the Sustainable Propulsion of Leisure Crafts

Jean-Baptiste R. G. Souppez, Francesco Pignone

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    The contemporary concerns inherent to sustainability have become predominant in a number of industries, including the marine one. In July 2011, the Marine Environmental Protection Committee of the International Maritime organisation (IMO), imposed a reduction of pollutants, such as NOx and SOx, by 90% before 2025, and a complete end to CO2 emission by 2050. Consequently, several alternative fuel options have been proposed and investigated in the literature, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and hybrid, with however some issues regarding their long term implementation. On the other hand, a combination of full electric and fuel cells have not yet been fully considered as a means of propulsion in the marine industry. Some promising examples of fuel cell applications have highlighted up to 15% savings on a hybrid system onboard offshore supply vessels. Moreover, fuel cells have been applied to river ferries. Nevertheless, the technology has yet to be adapted to the leisure craft market as a main source of propulsion, building on extensive research of the automotive industry, with wide scale applications for public transport. The proposed system will be applied to the design of a cruising catamaran, but its application will be generalised to both new constructions as well as retrofitting installation on existing vessels. Utilising solar energy to perform hydrolyses, the vessel will be able to run on hydrogen fuel autonomously with no more restriction in range. Among the numerous advantages of this system are the absence of fuel consumption, the unlimited range capabilities, and absence of noise and vibrations for enhanced comfort. Furthermore, the considerable space savings compared to a tradition propulsion system will allow for more accommodation volume than similar vessels of the same size, with a tremendous step forward towards a more sustainable marine industry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBritish Conference of Undergraduate Research
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2018
    EventBritish Conference of Undergraduate Research - Sheffield
    Duration: 12 Apr 201813 Apr 2018


    ConferenceBritish Conference of Undergraduate Research


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