Caterpillar C13D engine to feature in hydrogen project

Cat C13D engine Cat C13D engine (Photo: Caterpillar)

Caterpillar has announced the start of a three-year programme intended to demonstrate an advanced hybrid hydrogen solution based on the new Cat C13D engine platform.

With a scheduled start in Q1 2024, Caterpillar will develop a transient-capable system for off-highway applications. The project will demonstrate how control systems and electric-hybrid components can help hydrogen-fuel engines meet or exceed the power density and transient performance of traditional diesel engines.

Caterpillar will serve as the prime contractor on the project, providing engine research and development, as well as system integration. As the project progresses other industry and academic collaborators will be brought into the programme to provide specialist expertise.

The initiative will be delivered at Caterpillar facilities in Chillicothe, Illinois (near Peoria) and San Antonio, Texas.

The project is supported and partially funded by the US Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technology Office, through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

It is one of 45 projects across 18 states and Washington DC receiving funding to advance research, development, demonstration and deployment in several areas critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.

“Every off-highway application has its own unique duty cycles, lifecycle demands and performance expectations, and this complexity is driving the development of a wide range of power solutions for the energy transition,” said Steve Ferguson, senior vice president Caterpillar Industrial Power Systems. “One size does not fit all, which is why we’ve engineered flexibility into the C13D engine to serve as our platform of the future.”

The hydrogen-hybrid demonstration project will leverage the fuel flexibility of the new 13-litre Cat C13D engine platform.

First shown at the Conexpo/CON AGG trade show in Las Vegas in March this year, diesel variants of the C13D deliver power outputs of between 456 and 690 hp (340 to 515 kW), with up to 3,200 Nm of peak torque. This is a 20% increase in power and a 25% increase in torque over the previous generation of Cat diesel engines in the same class.

The inline six-cylinder C13D supports renewable liquid fuels, including 100% HVO, B100 distilled biodiesel and B100 standard biodiesel. In addition to using hydrogen, the engine has been developed to support future use of spark-ignited natural gas as fuel.

The C13D will be available for OEM pilots in 2025, with production starting in 2026. The engine can be used across a range of off-highway applications, including agricultural tractors, harvesters, self-propelled sprayers and wood chippers, plus rock crushers, screeners, grinders and trenchers. In addition it can be used in material-handling equipment and large industrial pumps.

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