In the next technical lecture of the IMarEST Benelux branch, an overview of the various elements of the GasDrive project, including their interactions, is given.
The GasDrive project focusses on a ship power and propulsion concept which consists out of a solid oxide fuel cell and internal combustion engine, connected in series. The proposed configuration offers not only high overall energy efficiency (up to 68%) but also provides additional flexibility in the type of fuel used on-board because of the fuel cell-engine propulsion configuration. The solid oxide fuel cell can process various fuels and the gasses coming from its anode further enhance the combustion process of natural gas in an internal combustion engine. To understand the individual dynamics and overall interaction of the involved components it was necessary to perform several studies that include modelling and experimental work. The results show how to include fuel cells in future propulsions concepts that are based on fully renewable fuels and how to estimate the performance of combustion engines for different renewable fuels.
Besides a novel power and propulsion concept, the GasDrive concept also aims at reducing the amount of exhaust emissions on deck of ships by means of underwater exhaust and utilizing it to reduce ship resistance by means of air-lubrication. The air-lubrication was investigated using different hydrophobic nano-coating materials for hull coating as a way to capture the exhaust gasses and reduce the ship resistance. The effect of the underwater exhaust on the maritime eco system is investigated through series of experiments that enabled better understanding of the impact of ships on underwater organisms.