Solid oxide fuel cells for ships: System integration concepts with reforming and thermal cycles

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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For decades, ships have been propelled by diesel engines. However, there are increasing concerns about their environmental impact. Fuel cells can provide an alternative to convert fuels directly into electricity, with high efficiencies and without hazardous emissions.
Solid oxide fuel cells have a ceramic membrane, which functions at high temperatures. This makes them less prone to contamination, allows internal conversion of various fuels and enables integration with thermal cycles to achieve high combined efficiencies.
So are ships and solid oxide fuel cells a match made in heaven? This dissertation breaks ground on the challenges and opportunities regarding the application of solid oxide fuel cells in ships, internal fuel reforming and integration with thermal cycles.
How do solid oxide fuel cells compare to other power plants? How can we compare different system integration options? Does internal fuel reforming affect the efficiency and lifetime? Can cell experiments provide useful information on overall system performance? These are among the questions addressed in this dissertation.
The reader will learn how solid oxide fuel cell integration with reforming and thermal cycles can provide power on ships with high efficiency and reliability, no pollutant emissions and low noise, but also about the challenges and opportunities of this potentially budding love.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Purushothaman Vellayani, A., Supervisor
  • Visser, K., Advisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date14 Feb 2020
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-248-2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • solid oxide fuel cells
  • alternative fuels
  • maritime application
  • combined cycles
  • dynamic modelling
  • direct internal reforming
  • kinetics


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