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Dynamic modelling of SOFC marine power systems and shipboard applications

Sustainable and efficient provision of shipboard energy is an obvious challenge for the merchant marine industry. Various initiatives have been made to find alternatives to replace the currently used combustion engine for ship power and propulsion. In recent years, fuel cell technology, as has been widely advertised as a clean and efficient means of power generation, is drawing much attention from the marine industry. Among various types of fuel cells, the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) tops others in terms of energy conversion efficiency as it can be fed with both hydrogen rich fuels and traditional fossil fuels after being chemically reformed. These features make it most promising to meet the large power demands of seagoing ships. However, due to the comprehensive and hazardous working environment, shipboard installation of SOFC power systems is not available. Can the SOFC be a viable proposition for commercial shipping and how will it behave under severe seagoing circumstances? These questions need to be addressed before commercialising SOFC marine power systems. In the thesis, simulation methods are used to predict the performance of marine SOFC systems at both static and dynamic working loads. A mathematical model is developed for describing the thermodynamic nature of a tubular SOFC concerning the thermal equilibrium of the system. Electric-chemical reactions are reflected in the stack modelling. Reforming reactions of the fuel are included in the model. Auxiliary subcomponents within the SOFC power system are modelled based on their own mechanisms and working principles. The whole simulation system is composed by combining subcomponent models via reasonable control strategies to function the system's purpose. SOFC power system models are developed to represent different working scenarios which may possibly occur onboard ship. The dynamic responses of simulation systems are examined. Thermal flow transfer influence, manifold volume influence and controller 's influence are also taken into account in the dynamic modelling process. As concluded from the simulation outcomes, the sample SOFC system, while running alone, could satisfy the demand of dynamic load change for both propulsion and auxiliary power. However, the electric output of the SOFC system would be greatly smoothed if paralleled with a battery. In addition, risk and safety issues regarding SOFC onboard installation are examined from both design and operating perspectives. Relevant ship rules and regulations for verifications of system installation and maintenance are reviewed in detail. Conceptual design of marine SOFC application are also proposed at the last stage.
Date January 2014
CreatorsSan, Baogang
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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