Reimagining Propulsion: Art Anderson Helps Guide Local Senior Project

We’re thrilled to have been a part of the successful completion of the senior capstone project for OC-WSU students Arwen A., Katsumi A., and Sarai H.!OC-WSU SCP Board

This project focused on developing the mechanical concept design of a hydrogen fuel cell system to repower an existing tug/barge vessel. With a focus on safety, efficiency, and environmental responsibility, the team developed an engine room layout to convert a diesel-powered Improved Navy Lighterage System (INLS) propulsion module to a hydrogen-electric vessel.

Key achievements:

  • Developed a comprehensive engine room arrangement concept for the conversion.
  • Created a 3D model in Rhino for visualizing the system layout.
  • Delivered a 2D concept drawing package in AutoCAD for clarity and detail.
  • Compiled a final project report outlining the entire design process.

Technical aspects:

  • Researched and selected an optimal hydrogen fuel cell based on weight/power ratio, efficiency, and cost.
  • Designed fuel cell support systems, including supply/exhaust air, process, cooling, and condensate water; and safety features (emergency pressure relief, gas alarms).

Looking ahead:OC-WSU SCP Presentation

This project lays the foundation for a future refinement of the vessel repower concept. Future work will involve developing the vessel’s power storage and management system, as well as refining the hydrogen storage and refueling systems. Ultimately, the vessel could be a key component for transitioning shipping in the Columbia river to a safer, more renewable, more eco-friendly alternative energy model.

The team did a great job selecting components and developing every aspect of a complex mechanical concept.