Modelling of Boil‐Off and Sloshing Relevant to Future Liquid Hydrogen Carriers

Change log
Smith, JR 
Mastorakos, Epaminondas  ORCID logo

This study presents an approach for estimating fuel boil-off behaviour in cryogenic energy carrier ships, such as future liquid hydrogen (LH2) carriers. By relying on thermodynamic modelling and empirical formulas for ship motion and propulsion, the approach can be used to investigate boil-off as a function of tank properties, weather conditions, and operating velocities during a laden voyage. The model is first calibrated against data from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier and is conse-quently used to investigate various design configurations of an LH2 ship. Results indicate that an LH2 ship with the same tank volume and glass wool insulation thickness as a conventional LNG carrier stores 40% of the fuel energy, and is characterised by a boil-off rate that is nine times higher and twice as sensitive to sloshing. Adding a reliquefaction unit can reduce the LH2 fuel depletion rate by at least 38.7% but can increase its variability with velocity and weather conditions. In calm weather, LH2 boil-off rates can only meet LNG carrier standards by utilising at least 6.6 times the insulation thickness. By adopting fuel cell propulsion in an LH2 ship, a 1.1% increase in fuel delivery is expected. An LH2 ship with fuel cells and reliquefaction is required to be at least 1.7 times larger than an existing LNG carrier to deliver the same energy. Further comparison of alternative scenarios indicates that LH2 carriers necessitate significant redesigns if the standards of LNG carriers are desired. The present approach can assist future feasibility studies featuring other vessels and pro-pulsion technologies and can be seen as an extendable framework that can predict boil-off in re-al-time.

hydrogen, boil-off, sloshing, cryogenic, fuel cell, reliquefaction, low-carbon shipping
Journal Title
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
EPSRC (2104951)
EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant EP/R513180/1