Safety and reliability analysis of an ammonia-powered fuel-cell system

Nikoletta L Trivyza, Michail Cheliotis, Evangelos Boulougouris, Gerasimos Theotokatos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Downloads (Pure)


Recently, the shipping industry has been under increasing pressure to improve its environmental impact with a target of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared to the 2008 levels. For this reason, great attention has been placed on alternative zero-carbon fuels, specifically ammonia, which is considered a promising solution for shipping decarbonisation. In this respect, a novel ammonia-powered fuel-cell configuration is proposed as an energy-efficient power generation configuration with excellent environmental performance. However, there are safety and reliability concerns of the proposed ammonia-powered system that need to be addressed prior to its wider acceptance by the maritime community. Therefore, this is the first attempt to holistically examine the safety, operability, and reliability of an ammonia fuel-cell-powered ship, while considering the bunkering and fuel specifications. The proposed methodology includes the novel combination of a systematic preliminary hazard identification process with a functional and model-based approach for simulating the impact of various hazards. Furthermore, the critical faults and functional failures of the proposed system are identified and ranked according to their importance. This work can be beneficial for both shipowners and policymakers by introducing technical innovation and for supporting the future regulatory framework.
Original languageEnglish
Article number80
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021


  • emissions
  • safety analysis
  • reliability analysis
  • preliminary hazard identification
  • ammonia
  • fuel cells
  • fault-tree analysis

Cite this