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Experimental Investigations of Hydrogen-Natural Gas Engines for Maritime Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Harsh D. Sapra, Milinko Godjevac, Klaas Visser

Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands

Youri Linden

Defense Material Organization, Utrecht, Netherlands

Wim van Sluijs

Pon Power Nederland, Papendrecht, Netherlands

Paper No. ICEF2018-9615, pp. V001T02A004; 10 pages
  • ASME 2018 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference
  • Volume 1: Large Bore Engines; Fuels; Advanced Combustion
  • San Diego, California, USA, November 4–7, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Internal Combustion Engine Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5198-2
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


A novel ship propulsion concept employs natural gas to reduce ship emissions and improve overall ship propulsion efficiency. This concept proposes a serial integration of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) and a natural gas engine, while anode-off gas (gas at the fuel cell exhaust) is used in the natural gas engine. This study focusses on SOFC-gas engine integration by experimentally analyzing the effects of adding hydrogen, which is the main combustible component of the fuel cell anode-off gas, in marine natural gas engines. The overall challenge is to employ the anode-off gas to improve the performance of marine natural gas engines. To study the effects of anode-off gas combustion in natural gas engines, experiments with hydrogen addition in a marine natural gas engine of 500 kW rated power were performed. Natural gas was replaced with 10 % and 20 % of hydrogen, by volume, without any penalties in terms of output power.

We found that the high combustion rate of hydrogen improved combustion stability, which allowed for better air-excess ratio control. Thus allowing leaning to higher air-excess ratios and extending the, otherwise, limited operating window. Hydrogen addition also improved brake thermal efficiency by 1.2 %, while keeping NOx emissions below the maritime emission regulations. The improvement in engine efficiency with a larger operating window may help improve the load-taking capabilities of marine natural gas engines.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Hydrogen , Gas engines



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