Rolls commissions hydrogen engine test bed

By Jack Burke11 July 2022

Company aims to be climate-neutral by 2050

Rolls-Royce has commissioned its first in-house test stand for mtu hydrogen engines at its Augsburg site.

“This marks another milestone on the road to climate-neutral products for energy supply,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems division. “Over the past year and a half, the company has invested around €10 million at Rolls-Royce Solutions in Augsburg in test bench modernization, hydrogen infrastructure and other measures as part of its ‘Net Zero at Power Systems’ climate protection program.”

Rolls-Royce announced in 2021, as part of its Net Zero at Power Systems sustainability program, that it would realign its product portfolio so that by 2030, sustainable fuels and new mtu technologies can achieve greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 35% compared to 2019. The company said it is now already successfully operating an mtu fuel cell system, has released its power generation gensets for sustainable fuels such as hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO), and is developing electrolyzers to produce green hydrogen. The mtu gas engine portfolio is being prepared for hydrogen as a fuel, enabling a climate-neutral energy supply, the company said.

“To reduce CO2 emissions in electricity supply, renewable, often decentralized, energy sources are needed to generate electrical energy on a much larger scale than today,” said Dr. Otto Preiss, Rolls-Royce Power Systems chief technology officer and COO. “In conjunction with these renewable sources, we see hydrogen as an essential energy carrier of the future. That is why we are doing everything we can to gradually bring our mtu gensets and CHP units based on the Series 500 and 4000 gas engines to market for operation with a hydrogen blending of 25% by volume (H2) and more and for operation with up to 100% by volume.”

Rolls-Royce has commissioned its first in-house test bench for mtu hydrogen engines at its Augsburg site. Fom left to right: Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, Dr. Wolfgang Hübschle, Economic Officer of the City of Augsburg, Dr. Otto Preiss, chief technology officer and COO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems and Tobias Schnell, managing director of Rolls-Royce Solutions Augsburg GmbH. (Image: Rolls-Royce)

With interim targets for 2030, the company aims to be climate-neutral worldwide by 2050, and in Germany as early as 2045.

“The environmental protection measures now implemented at Rolls-Royce Solutions in Augsburg will benefit both the company and the city of Augsburg,” said Tobias Schnell, managing director of Rolls-Royce Solutions Augsburg GmbH. “These included, for example, feeding residual industrial electricity into the public grid or using waste heat from the test stands to air-condition buildings. At the Augsburg site, (bio-)gas engines and, in the future, hydrogen engines are developed and tested, and gas engine-based systems are built and maintained, which are used, for example, in combined heat and power plants to generate electricity and heat.”

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