Proposal: Hydrogen Fueled Propulsion

Discussion in 'Forum Questions and Suggestions' started by WarthogARJ, May 8, 2021.

  1. WarthogARJ
    Joined: May 2021
    Posts: 6
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Sheffield

    WarthogARJ Junior Member

    Hi,
    I've been lurking on this really excellent forum.

    And I was wondering if it might be a good idea to have a specific section in Propulsion for Hydrogen Fueled vessels.

    I understand that the existing forum organisation is more to do with the specific engine, as in a "Diesel" Engine, "Gasoline" Engine, Electric Engine etc., but I think in many ways that hydrogen fueled vessels should have their own section. Both fuel-cell type (producing electricity), as well as in burning hydrogen in an engine: either spark, diesel or turbine.

    In effect, it's the TYPE of fuel that determines the type of engine/motor/mechanical device in the boat:
    - Otto (or Spark) engine fueled by gasoline, or gas (LPG for example)
    - Diesel engine fueled by diesel, bio-variants, or sometimes with a gas added (hydrogen for example)
    - Tubine with liquid or gaseous fuels
    - Electrical motor powered by batteries, solar, generator or fuel cell
    - Sails or kite powered by the wind
    - Muscle powered oars/paddles fueled by biomass

    And it's the choice of FUEL-type that drives your boat's torque/power/weight relationships. As well as your range, and even more these days, where you are allowed to go (due to emissions restrictions etc). And there's a big difference between a boat powered by a liquid fuel, electricity, or gaseous fuel (hydrogen).

    There are five major distinctions in boat energy-souces:
    Liquid fuels: including both gasoline and diesel
    Gaseous fuels: hydrogen, and LPG
    Electric: batteries, fuel cell and solar
    Wind: includes classic sails as well as rigid wings and kite assisted propulsion
    Bio-mass: ("food") consumed by humans to power muscles that move paddles

    But only two of these has its own section in Propulsion (in fact, Liquid Fuels have TWO: Gasoline and Diesel). OK, the Wind people are in their own section, although logically there SHOULD be a Wind section as well in Propulsion. Not every boat that uses the wind as an energy source is a "sailboat", after all.

    And to be really thorough, perhaps there should also be a Turbine section created. Maybe there are not many civilian turbine craft, but it's definitely popular in military vessels. And with the predicted growth in hydrogen as a fuel, turbines might well start showing up in smaller boats.

    So if there's going to be a split in Liquid Fueled types between Otto-type and Diesel, then Turbine powered vessels are significantly different, and should have their own section.

    As for the human powered boats, maybe it's more a matter of boat size, than anything else. After all, I don't see much action on big ships either, like tankers, freighters etc. BoatDesign.Net tends to be devoted to boats from 2m to 100m: right?

    But I think hydrogen-fueled vessels are going to get a lot more popular quite soon, so it makes sense to be pro-active, and encourage discussion on it by having a separate Propulsion section for it.

    Alan
     
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