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Study on Applicability of Energy-Saving Devices to Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Ships


The decarbonisation of waterborne transport is arguably the biggest challenge faced by the maritime industry presently. By 2050, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry by 50% compared to 2008, with a vision to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century as a matter of urgency. To meet such targets, action must be taken immediately to address the barriers to adopt the various clean shipping options currently at different technological maturity levels. Green hydrogen as an alternative fuel presents an attractive solution to meet future targets from international bodies and is seen as a viable contributor within a future clean shipping vision. The cost of hydrogen fuel—in the shortterm at least—is higher compared to conventional fuel; therefore, energy-saving devices (ESDs) for ships are more important than ever, as implementation of rules and regulations restrict the use of fossil fuels while promoting zero-emission technology. However, existing and emerging ESDs in standalone/combination for traditional fossil fuel driven vessels have not been researched to assess their compatibility for hydrogen-powered ships, which present new challenges and considerations within their design and operation. Therefore, this review aims to bridge that gap by firstly identifying the new challenges that a hydrogen-powered propulsion system brings forth and then reviewing the quantitative energy saving capability and qualitive additional benefits of individual existing and emerging ESDs in standalone and combination, with recommendations for the most applicable ESD combinations with hydrogen-powered waterborne transport presented to maximise energy saving and minimise the negative impact on the propulsion system components. In summary, the most compatible combination ESDs for hydrogen will depend largely on factors such as vessel types, routes, propulsion, operation, etc. However, the mitigation of load fluctuations commonly encountered during a vessels operation was viewed to be a primary area of interest as it can have a negative impact on hydrogen propulsion system components such as the fuel cell; therefore, the ESD combination that can maximise energy savings as well as minimise the fluctuating loads experienced would be viewed as the most compatible with hydrogen-powered waterborne transport.

Funding source: This research was funded by the Department of Transport & Innovate UK grant number 10011677.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United Kingdom

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