Autonomous control for adaptive ships: with hybrid propulsion and power generation

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Shipping plays a crucial role in modern society, but has to reduce its impact on the environment. The commercial availability of power electronic converters and lithium-ion batteries provides an opportunity to improve performance of ships energy systems while reducing their environmental impact. However, the degrees of freedom in control for hybrid propulsion and power generation require advanced control strategies to autonomously achieve the best trade-off between fuel consumption, emissions, radiated noise, propulsion availability, manoeuvrability and maintainability.
This PhD thesis proposes dynamic simulation models, benchmark manoeuvres and measures of performance (MOP) to quantify energy system performance. These simulation models and MOPs are used to quantify the improvements with three novel control strategies: adaptive pitch control, parallel adaptive pitch control and energy management for hybrid propulsion and power generation. Finally, a layered control strategy is proposed that can autonomously adapt to changing ship functions, using the proposed control strategies. The proposed energy systems and control strategies can thus significantly reduce the impact of shipping on the environment, while more autonomously achieving its increasingly diverse missions at sea
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Negenborn, R.R., Supervisor
  • Hopman, J.J., Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date8 Jan 2019
Print ISBNs978-90-829766-0-1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • ship propulsion
  • Non-linear control systems
  • marine systems
  • Modelling and simulation
  • validation
  • Power systems


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