Rolls-Royce says it is further developing its mtu gas engine portfolio for power generation and cogeneration to run on hydrogen as a fuel and, thus, enable a climate-neutral energy supply.
Generation sets powered by mtu Series 500 and Series 4000 gas engines can, today, be operated with a gas blending of 10% hydrogen, but, beginning in 2022, operation with a hydrogen content of 25% will be possible, the company said.
Perry Kuiper, President Sustainable Power Solutions at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said intensive tests on test benches and pilot installations at customer sites in 2022 will lead to Rolls-Royce continuously marketing new mtu Series 500 and Series 4000 gas engines beginning in 2023 for use with up to 100% hydrogen, and, on a design to order basis, conversion kits to allow already installed gas engines in the field to run on 100% hydrogen.
Andreas Görtz, Vice President Power Generation at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “The decarbonisation of power generation requires reliable, flexible, but also climate-neutral, power plants to supplement the fluctuating generation from wind and sun. We assume that natural gas will initially be the primary fuel in the development of the hydrogen ecosystem, but we see hydrogen as technically and economically possible. That is why we continue to develop our gas engines for use with green hydrogen – whether as a 10 or 25% admixture or for 100%.”
Rolls-Royce says fuel cells powered by 100% green hydrogen can also play an important role in future energy supply in combination with renewable energies.
At its Friedrichshafen headquarters, Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems division has installed a 250 kW fuel cell demonstrator, which will be used to test and present future CO2-free energy systems to customers. The entire hydrogen ecosystem, including the infrastructure for supply, conversion, test benches and future production, is also being mapped in the company’s own plants, thus building up expertise, it said.
Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems division, through its climate protection program, “Net Zero at Power Systems”, has set itself the target of saving 35% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared with a 2019 baseline using new technologies.
This near-term target plays an important role in the Rolls-Royce Group’s ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest, it said.
In addition to new technologies, a key element in achieving these targets is the certification of key mtu engine products to run on sustainable EN 15940 fuels such as e-diesel and second-generation biofuels as early as 2023, the company added.