Using H2 to supplement Diesel in Marine Applications

  • Arne Vögler

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)


    This study investigates opportunities and constraints in relation to the operation of marine Diesel engines in a dual fuel mode with diesel and hydrogen. Increasing costs of fuel place an additional burden on the marine industry and in some sectors, such as the fishing industry, the long term viability of ongoing operations at high fuel costs is no longer given.
    Indications are that it is possible to produce hydrogen at competitive costs from renewable energy sources, and approaches of how hydrogen can be used to reduce the fossil fuel requirements in the marine sector are identified.
    An initial background analysis of combustion technology is followed by a review of the state-of-the-art of the use of alternative fuels in Diesel engines.
    Experiments were undertaken on board of a vessel moored in Loch Beag on the Isle of Lewis, and it was found that it appears to be feasible to reduce the fossil fuel consumption of Diesel engines considerably by supplementing the fuel with hydrogen. A basic analysis of the brake efficiency, or propeller thrust efficiency, was carried out and it was found that the dual firing of the test engine with hydrogen and diesel achieved the best efficiencies at medium to high loads, which is the typical working range for these types of engines.
    The review of the literature has shown a range of contradicting findings and indications are that these are related to the differences of test engines and methodologies used.
    Combined findings of the review of both existing data and experimental data gathered during this study indicate strongly that the application of hydrogen in marine diesel engines as a co-fuel has the potential to achieve significant reductions of fossil fuel usage.
    Date of Award1 Apr 2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Edinburgh
    SponsorsESF PRA, Highlands and Islands Enterprise & Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
    SupervisorAlasdair MacLeod (Supervisor)

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