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Integrating Modular Hydrogen Fuel Cell Drives for Ship Propulsion: Prospectus and Challenges

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This paper proposes a new drive system for the ship propulsion. The drive power for propelling ship varies from few MW in a small cruise ship to hundreds of MW for large cargo ships. A typical cruise ship has a 6 MW drive whereas a cargo ship has 80 MW drive. Combustion drives are not sustainable and environment friendly. An idea of electric drive system using hydrogen fuel cell and necessary storage has been proposed. The hydrogen reformer develops hydrogen fuel cell using off-shore renewables like Wind, Wave and Solar power but the power handling capability of this fuel cell system (100 kW) restricts the application to the propulsion drives of several MW. The detail drive scheme describing; how multiple modular hydrogen fuel cell drives are integrated to develop variable power. The different options available for the propulsion system and factors affecting the choice are discussed in detail. Also, how such modular drives are helpful in controlling torque and power requirements is discussed. Replacement of electric drive reduces volume and weight of the ship and the available volume can be utilized for the storage and reform systems. The proposed paper will give a remarkable concept to overcome the challenges of utilizing hydrogen fuel cell to the larger scale and in future it can be extended to all other applications.
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  • SUNY Maritime College, Bronx, NY, USA
  • SUNY Maritime College, Bronx, NY, USA
  • SUNY Maritime College, Bronx, NY, USA
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