Integration of solid oxide fuel cell and internal combustion engine for maritime applications

Harsh Sapra*, Jelle Stam, Jeroen Reurings, Lindert van Biert, Wim van Sluijs, Peter de Vos, Klaas Visser, Aravind Purushothaman Vellayani, Hans Hopman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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The current literature on solid oxide fuel cell and internal combustion engine (SOFC-ICE) integration is focused on the application of advanced combustion technologies operating as bottoming cycles to generate a small load share. This integration approach can pose challenges for ships such as restricted dynamic capabilities and large space and weight requirements. Furthermore, the potential of SOFC-ICE integration for marine power generation has not been explored. Consequently, the current work proposes a novel approach of SOFC-ICE integration for maritime applications, which allows for high-efficiency power generation while the SOFC anode-off gas (AOG) is blended with natural gas (NG) and combusted in a marine spark-ignited (SI) engine for combined power generation. The objective of this paper is to investigate the potential of the proposed SOFC-ICE integration approach with respect to system efficiency, emissions, load sharing, space and weight considerations and load response. In this work, a verified zero-dimensional (0-D) SOFC model, engine experiments and a validated AOG-NG mean value engine model is used. The study found that the SOFC-ICE integration, with a 67–33 power split at 750 kWe power output, yielded the highest efficiency improvement of 8.3% over a conventional marine natural gas engine. Simulation results showed that promising improvements in efficiency of 5.2%, UHC and NOx reductions of about 30% and CO2 reductions of about 12% can be achieved from a 33–67 SOFC-ICE power split with comparatively much smaller increments in size and weight of 1.7 times. Furthermore, the study concluded that in the proposed SOFC-ICE system for maritime applications, a power split that favours the ICE would significantly improve the dynamic capabilities of the combined system and that the possible sudden and large load changes can be met by the ICE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115854
Number of pages22
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Combined cycle
  • Dynamic load response
  • Experiments
  • Maritime
  • Modelling and simulations
  • SOFC-ICE integration


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