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EngSci-ELM-127: Hybrid Propulsion for LNG Bunker Vessels

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Sharkh
    Prof A Cruden
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a fully funded doctoral studentship at the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute. The project will be concerned with hybrid propulsion of liquid natural gas (LNG) bunker vessels in which boil-off gas, which would otherwise be wasted, is used as engine fuel. This is driven by increasingly stricter emissions legislation and favourable financial conditions.

The engine is normally sized to meet the peak power requirement, which does not occur very often; most of the time the power fluctuates significantly and the engine operates at low efficiency. A hybrid propulsion system comprising a small engine/generator and a battery could potentially save weight and improve efficiency. The engine will be controlled to operate near its maximum efficiency to supply nearly constant power (or turned off). Excess power that is not consumed by the load is stored in the battery to be used later when the load demands more power than that provided by the engine.

The project aim is to determine a load profile for an LNG bunker vessel and then use that data to determine the optimal configuration and sizes of the components of a hybrid propulsion scheme, taking relevant laws and regulations into consideration. The benefits of the system will be assessed by comparing its performance it terms of size, cost and efficiency with a known base case vessel. It will also enable the assessment of the performance of components, particularly of the battery, under these operating conditions, which will inform their design.

Over the course of the studentship, the successful student will be part of a multi-disciplinary cohort of PhD students funded by the Leverhulme Trust “Understanding Maritime Futures” Doctoral Studentship scheme. The student will be supervised by a team of supervisors with complementary skills: Professor Suleiman Sharkh (hybrid propulsion systems); Professor Andrew Cruden (energy storage); Professor Dominic Hundson (naval architecture); Professor Filippo Lorenzon (maritime law); and Mr Jeremy Richardson (Shell Company Ltd). The student will also have the opportunity to engage with Shell Company Ltd, REAP Systems Ltd, the Marine Cost Guard Agency and Lloyds Register who will provide advice, information and opportunities for training.

The studentship will cover the UK/EU tuition fees and provide a tax-free RCUK-level stipend for 3 years. Full tuition fees and stipend are not covered for overseas (non-EU) students.

Candidates interested in this opportunity should complete a standard university application form at the following link: Please select Programme Type as Research, Full-time, 2016-2017 Academic Session, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment MPhil/PhD (Full Time) and include the above title of the PhD and Professor Suleiman Sharkh as supervisor.

Informal enquires can be made to Professor Sharkh, Email: [Email Address Removed]. Tel: +44(0)2380593397

How good is research at University of Southampton in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.23

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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