Rolls-Royce Power Lab focuses on hydrogen for boats – H2-mobile

This laboratory dedicated to the development of future technologies is a creation of the Rolls-Royce Power Systems subsidiary. It targets the decarbonisation of drive and energy production systems, in particular through the use of hydrogen.

Hydrogen and synthetic fuels

Regarding traction, the Power Lab is committed to making engines for the marine sector more virtuous. Rolls-Royce offers powerful blocks, already including models fueled with liquid natural gas, which are fitted in large fishing boats, drilling units, as well as medium-sized liners. With its Power Lab, the manufacturer will follow 2 main tracks that complement each other, and even, sometimes, merge: hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

" We made it our mission to capitalize on the trends we see in our markets by creating the new drive and energy solutions that our customers are looking for and that support a climate neutral future. “, Explains the CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, Andreas Schell.

More freedom

On paper, the creation of the laboratory means greater technological freedom for engineers to research and develop with customers and partners new solutions for the supply of green energy to large systems. Rolls-Royce hopes to expand into new markets in the end.

The Power-to-X architecture is at the heart of the Power Lab's work. By giving conventional renewable energies (wind and solar) the means to absorb all the resulting electricity production, it leads to the creation of synthetic methane equivalent to CNG and hydrogen. The laboratory intends to play a major role in the production and distribution of these new fuels. And this, by developing more effective means to achieve the development of these products.

H2 battery

Such a direction naturally led Rolls-Royce to take an interest in hydrogen fuel cells for marine propulsion and power generation. As part of its Power Systems business, Rolls-Royce is already cooperating with Daimler Truck AG on the development of systems based on hydrogen fuel cells. A legacy of Tognum AG, now Power Systems, which relied on various structures from Daimler Chrysler. A 50-50 joint venture between the 2 groups is even part of the history of this subsidiary of the British-born manufacturer.

" In terms of overall efficiency, the fuel cell is the undisputed leader, and in addition, it generates very low and even zero emissions ", Emphasizes Philippe Gorse, whose team is responsible for the conceptual work on PACs in the Power Lab. The partnership between Daimler and Rolls-Royce continues with the common desire to produce a demonstrator at a German site of the latter, in Friedrichshafen.

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