17 Jan 2023

Rolls Royce Runs Gas Engine on 100% Hydrogen

17 Jan 2023  by   

Rolls-Royce Power System says it has successfully run a gas engine on 100% hydrogen fuel.

The tests were carried out using a 12-cylinder gas variant of the mtu Series 4000 L64 engine and Rolls Royce said the results “showed very good characteristics in terms of efficiency, performance, emissions and combustion”.

For several months, the mtu gas engine underwent bench testing and continuous improvement in terms of efficiency, performance, emissions and combustion using 100% hydrogen as fuel.

Andrea Prospero, an engineer at Rolls-Royce responsible for the development of the engine, said: “We are very pleased with the rapid progress. The very low engine emissions are well below the strict EU limits and no exhaust gas after-treatment is required.”

Due to the different combustion behaviour of hydrogen compared to natural gas, some engine components including fuel injection, turbocharging, piston design and control, were modified in the test engine.

Tobias Ostermaier, President of Stationary Power Solutions at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “This engine will serve the market demand for hydrogen solutions in the energy transition and will be available to our customers as a reliable and clean power source for gensets and combined heat and power plants.”

He added that the tests mark another important step towards the commercial introduction of hydrogen solutions to meet the demand of customers for more sustainable energy supply.

The first installation of mtu engines running on 100% hydrogen is already planned for the enerPort II project in the German inland port of Duisburg.

Duisport is working with several partners to build a hydrogen-based supply network for the new terminal, which is expected to be ready for operation in 2024.

The intention is for most of the electricity need for the port itself will be generated on site from hydrogen via two combined heat and power plants with mtu Series 4000 hydrogen engines as well as three mtu fuel cell systems.

Dr Jörg Stratmann, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said the company viewed hydrogen “as one of the central elements of the energy transition. It can be used for both storage of excess energy and as a fuel, not only for engines but fuel cells and cogeneration plants to generate climate-neutral electricity and heat.

“In times of low demand and high renewable energy generation from wind or solar, for example, the excess energy can be channelled through an electrolyser to convert water to hydrogen, which can later be used as fuel in any number of applications.”


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