Power management optimization for battery and fuel cell powered electric ferries

Closing Date

30th June 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier

The Research Project

Worldwide thrust to utilise clean energy sources is driving the development of electrically powered transportation systems. "Battery powered electric ferries" is a promising new advancement in this trend with the world's first being deployed in 2015, in Norway. Even though such ferries do not burn fossil fuels on-board and thus eliminate emissions in waters, batteries require grid power for charging resulting in a shift of emissions from one place to the other, rather than achieving zero emissions. Therefore, a real zero emission solution should have an on-board charging solution as well.

The most promising and practically achievable solution that meet this requirement is the battery-fuel cell hybrid power systems which is self-sustained and "totally green" in current terminology. Nevertheless, the engineering challenge of this solution is associated with the slow response and complex operation of fuel cells which require advanced power management strategies to operate on more than seven variables including current density, anode humidification temperature, cathode humidification temperature, pressures, oxygen flow rate, air flow rate and active surface area to maintain maximum efficiency.

The power management optimization strategies developed so far operate on a few variables listed above while keeping/assuming the others constant. A comprehensive optimization study which takes all the fuel cell variables, and also the load profile of an electric ferry, into account is not reported so far. Therefore, the aims of this project are to develop a laboratory prototype of a battery-fuel cell hybrid power system, test the behaviour of the fuel cell in various operating conditions and develop an artificial intelligence (AI) based power management optimization method targeting electric ferry applications.

  • Optimization algorithms, Power electronics, Fuel Cells
  • Applicants from variety of disciplines are eligible to apply

See the following web page for entry requirements: www.utas.edu.au/research/degrees/what-is-a-research-degree

Assessment Criteria

Ship power systems

Application Process

Applicants who require more information or are interested in this specific project should first contact the listed Supervisor. Information and guidance on the application process can be found on the Apply Now website.

Information about scholarships is available on the Scholarships webpage.

More Information

Please contact, Shantha Jayasinghe Arachchillage for further information.