Skip to content

Health-Conscious Optimization of Long-Term Operation for Hybrid PEMFC Ship Propulsion Systems


The need to decarbonize the shipping sector is leading to a growing interest in fuel cell-based propulsion systems. While Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) represent one of the most promising and mature technologies for onboard implementation, they are still prone to remarkable degradation. The same problem is also affecting Lithium-ion batteries (LIB), which are usually coupled with PEMFC in hybrid powertrains. By including the combined degradation effects in an optimization strategy, the best compromise between costs and PEMFC/LIB lifetime could be determined. However, this is still a challenging yet crucial aspect, rarely addressed in the literature and rarely yet explored. To fill this gap, a health-conscious optimization is here proposed for the long-term minimization of costs and PEMFC/LIB degradation. Results show that a holistic multi-objective optimization allows a 185% increase of PEMFC/LIB lifetime with respect to a fuel-consumption-minimization-only approach. With the progressive ageing of PEMFC/LIB, the hybrid propulsion system modifies the energy management strategy to limit the increase of the daily operation cost. Comparing the optimization results at the beginning and the end of the plant lifetime, daily operation costs are increased by 73% and hydrogen consumption by 29%. The proposed methodology is believed to be a useful tool, able to give insights into the effective costs involved in the long-term operation of this new type of propulsion system.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

Article metrics loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error