Rolls -Royce announced that its Power Systems business unit has completed a successful test of its mtu Series 4000 L64 engine running on 100% hydrogen fuel. According to the company, the successful test marks an important step towards meeting customer demands for more sustainable energy through the commercial introduction of hydrogen solutions.

Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, particularly for sectors with difficult to abate emissions, in which renewable energy solutions such as wind or solar are less practical.

Rolls-Royce’s mtu gas-powered Series 4000 engines generate power for applications including heat and power plants. The tests were carried out on a 12-cylinder version of the engine, with modifications made to the test engine due to the different combustion behaviour of hydrogen compared to natural gas.

The company said that the engine showed very good characteristics in terms of efficiency, performance, emissions and combustion in the test, and that with green hydrogen, the mtu engines can be operated in a carbon neutral manner in the future.

Tobias Ostermaier, President – Stationary Power Solutions, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, explained:

“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.”

The test marks the latest in a series of moves by Rolls-Royce aimed at introducing hydrogen-based energy solutions. In November, the company, along with airline easyJet, conducted the first-ever run of an aircraft engine powered by hydrogen.

Following the successful test, Rolls-Royce said that has already planned the first installation of mtu engines running on 100% hydrogen as part of the enerport II project in the German port of Duisburg, which aims to be first container terminal to run on hydrogen on a completely climate-neutral basis.

Dr Jörg Stratmann, CEO – Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said:

“We see 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.”

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