University of Tasmania
Symington_whole_thesis.pdf (5.76 MB)

Modelling and solar PV contribution to marine electric propulsion

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posted on 2023-05-28, 08:56 authored by Symington, WP
Efficiency improvement and emissions reduction initiatives world-wide are creating a significant opportunity for Australian shipbuilders. However, the application of electrical and renewable-energy technologies in vessels built by Australian aluminium shipbuilders is at least five years behind their European counterparts. This research project reviewed international progress in marine electrical and renewable energy systems research and development. It also identified and highlighted the market drivers for high-efficiency vessel development in Australia. A software model for use in the preliminary design of marine electric propulsion systems was investigated. The model development was commenced with an investigation of methods for approximating hull and propeller performance using minimal input parameters. The model was checked using the performance of the first all-electric ferry to operate on the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia. The application of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology to marine propulsion was investigated. An index was developed for calculating a vessel's maximum feasible power by solar PV (MFPS). A solar PV battery charger was designed for a shunting locomotive, along with a reference PV cell and data logging equipment. The use of a locomotive provided a moving platform with some similarities to a shipboard solar PV installation, but with the benefit of continuous operation within 3.5km of two Bureau of Meteorology weather stations. Analysis of the weather and insolation data sets provides insights for improving the design of future marine solar PV installations.


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  • Unpublished

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Copyright 2019 the author Chapter 2 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Symington, W. P., Belle, A., Nguyen, H. D., Binns, J. R., 2016) Emerging technologies in marine electric propulsion, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part M: Journal of engineering for the maritime environment, 230(1), 187‚Äö-198 Chapter 3 appears to be the equivalent of an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Australian journal of mechanical engineering on 17/11/2015, available online: Chapter 4 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Symington, W. P., Desjardins, C., 2017. The Little Ferry setting a big example in urban river transport, IEEE Transportation electrification community newsletter, June. : Copyright 2017 IEEE. Reprinted, with permission. In reference to IEEE copyrighted material which is used with permission in this thesis, the IEEE does not endorse any of the University of Tasmania's products or services. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. If interested in reprinting/republishing IEEE copyrighted material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution, please go to to learn how to obtain a License from RightsLink.

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