This paper discusses the prospects of using coal as the primary source of energy to power gas turbines for marine propulsion applications. The problems associated with burning coal for generating power are reviewed in terms of their inherent limitations, environmental effects, compatibility with turbomachinery combusters, and economic considerations. Various forms of coal-based heat sources and their applicable combuster system configurations are identified. Integration of these fuel/combustor combinations with different gas turbine cycles yields a number of possible coal-fired gas turbine systems. A comparison of these candidate systems with marine propulsion system requirements resulted in the selection of a COGAS system burning coal-oil slurry. Candidate COGAS system configurations are presented, and the overall propulsion engine performance is defined.
A baseline coal-oil fired marine COGAS propulsion system was selected, and its performance characteristics were estimated, taking into account the exhaust gas flow effect on the waste-heat steam generator. The payload capabilities and endurance limitations for a coal-fired COGAS ship are presented and compared with those of a conventional oil-fired ship to show the possible fuel cost savings.