Rolls-Royce has reached another milestone towards a CO2-neutral energy supply. The technology company has conducted successful tests of a 12-cylinder gas variant of the mtu Series 4000 L64 engine running on 100% hydrogen fuel.
The test of the engine, carried out by the Power Systems business unit, showed very good characteristics in terms of efficiency, performance, emissions, and combustion. The tests mark another important step towards the commercial introduction of hydrogen solutions to meet the demand of customers for more sustainable energy.
“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,” explained Tobias Ostermaier, President – of Stationary Power Solutions, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems.
The first installation of mtu engines running on 100% hydrogen is already planned for the enerPort II lighthouse project in the German inland port of Duisburg, as part of the development of a climate-neutral energy supply for a new container terminal. Duisport, one of the world’s largest inland ports, is working with several partners to build a hydrogen-based supply network for its new terminal.
Due to the different combustion behavior of hydrogen compared to natural gas, some engine components, including fuel injection, turbocharging, piston design, and control, were modified in the test engine. However, by using proven technologies within the Power Systems’ portfolio, such as mtu turbochargers, injection valves, and engine electronics and control, the development of the engine to use hydrogen was advanced quickly and efficiently.
In the future, most of the electricity required by the port itself will be generated directly on-site from hydrogen in a CO2-neutral manner. This will be achieved by two combined heat and power plants with mtu Series 4000 hydrogen engines (with a total installed capacity of 2MW) as well as three mtu fuel cell systems (with a total installed capacity of 1.5MW).