(17/01/23)  Rolls-Royce has conducted successful tests of a 12-cylinder gas variant of the mtu Series 4000 L64 engine running on 100% hydrogen fuel.

The tests, carried out by the company’s Power Systems business unit, mark another important step towards the commercial introduction of hydrogen solutions to meet the demand 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,” said Tobias Ostermaier, President – Stationary Power Solutions, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems.

Rolls-Royce testing a 12-cylinder gas variant of the mtu Series 4000 L64 engine running on 100% hydrogen fuel. Click to enlarge.

Rolls-Royce testing a 12-cylinder gas variant of the mtu Series 4000 L64 engine running on 100% hydrogen fuel

The first installation of mtu engines running on 100% hydrogen is 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, ready for operation in 2024.

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 1.5MW).

“We see hydrogen as one of the central elements of the energy transition,” said Dr Jörg Stratmann, CEO – Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “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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