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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/S00193X/2
Title Powering Carbon-free Autonomous Shipping: Ammonia/Hydrogen dual-fuelled Linear Engine-Generator
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Transport) 80%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electric power conversion) 15%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen end uses (incl. combustion; excl. fuel cells)) 5%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr D Wu
No email address given
Sch of Engineering
Newcastle University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 January 2020
End Date 31 December 2021
Duration 24 months
Total Grant Value £452,877
Industrial Sectors Energy; Transport Systems and Vehicles
Region North East
Programme ISCF - Skills
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr D Wu , Sch of Engineering, Newcastle University (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Arnold Magnetic Technologies Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Siemens plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , BNC Engineering Solutions Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Meyer Werft GmbH & Co. KG, Germany (0.000%)
Project Contact , Wessington (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The project aims to develop a new power generation technology for full electrical propulsion (FEP) ships, based on an ammonia/hydrogen dual-fuelled Linear Engine-Generator (df-LEG), proposed in this application. The external ammonia reactor of the df-LEG uses a small amount of hydrogen, electrolysed from ammonia as the pilot fuel, to sustain continuous and stable ammonia combustion. Ammonia is identified as one of the most promising hydrogen carriers to enable a 'Hydrogen Economy' in the marine sector. It can be produced with renewable sources and stored in a safe and volumetrically-efficient way (-34C and ambient pressure) on board ships for long-distance maritime journeys. The 'carbon-free' emissions from complete ammonia oxidisation are mostly water and nitrogen, which could make a substantial contribution to reducing maritime transport carbon emissions (which currently stand at approximately 1000 million tonnes of CO2 annually). The research will potentially contribute to important debates at national and international level regarding the nature of the future hydrogen economy, mainly: how will shipping be powered in the 'Hydrogen Era' and can this technology contribute to future 'carbon-free' autonomous shipping.The proposed df-LEG utilises a novel configuration, which is the first-of-its-kind to fully integrate a linear alternator into a linear engine. Conventional internal combustion free-piston engine prototypes (10-20kWe), such as those built by Toyota (42% electric efficiency) and Newcastle University (34-45%) have already proved to be as efficient as proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. While the df-LEG prototype will demonstrate a comparable efficiency to the existing technologies, it has the potential to further advance the efficiency to more than 40% due to friction reduction, transmission loss minimisation, and thermodynamic cycle improvement. The pressure ratio can be increased to 30:1 due to the closed-cycle structure to further boost the overall efficiency.The prototype design approaches will involve a mixture of computational design and experimental testing, and builds upon ongoing research projects at Newcastle University (Innovate UK TS/P010431/1, EPSRC Impact Acceleration Awards). The research will be the first to demonstrate the feasibility of this integrated design and seek to answer questions regarding the fundamental relationships between ammonia chemical reaction, thermodynamic process, moving part (piston and magnets) dynamics, and electric energy generation. The experimental study on the prototype will fill the gap on our understanding of thermodynamics and dynamics of the linear engine-generator operating with a non-air working fluid. The research will also identify the best ratio of ammonia, air and hydrogen to optimise heat output and NOx emissions, eventually aiming to make the df-LEG the first direct 'ammonia-to-electricity' energy convertor.The fellowship willbe set in the vibrant academic environment of Newcastle University's disruptive linear engine and linear alternator technologies team. The project will include collaborations with national and international stakeholders: Meyer Werft (shipyard), Siemens (system designer), BNC (linear engine engineering), Wessington Cryogenics (cryogenic and pressurised tank manufacturer) and Arnold Magnets (linear alternator magnets manufacturer). The proposed new marine power technology will be considered in a scenario design for a cruise ship under construction at Meyer Werft, during the secondment of the PI.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 18/08/21