The Anonymous Widower

Rolls-Royce Successfully Tests mtu Engines With Pure Hydrogen

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

These are the two bullet points.

  • mtu gensets and cogeneration units to be further developed for 100% hydrogen use
  • First use in the new CO2-neutral container terminal in the German inland port of Duisburg

This is the first paragraph.

Rolls-Royce (LSE: RR., ADR: RYCEY) today announces that it has conducted successful tests of a 12-cylinder gas variant of the mtu Series 4000 L64 engine running on 100% hydrogen fuel. The tests, carried out by the Power Systems business unit, showed very good characteristics in terms of efficiency, performance, emissions and combustion. These tests mark another important step towards the commercial introduction of hydrogen solutions to meet the demand of customers for more sustainable energy.

Note.

  1. Rolls-Royce mtu have converted and tested a natural gas version of the Series 4000 L64 engine.
  2. The Class 43 power cars used in the iconic InterCity 125 train and powered by mtu V16 4000 R41R engines.

Are the two engines related? If so, can Rolls-Royce mtu build a hydrogen engine that could power an InterCity 125?

It was a rapid development.

Andrea Prospero, an engineer at Rolls-Royce responsible for the development of the hydrogen engine, is quoted as saying.

We are very pleased with the rapid progress. The very low engine emissions are well below the strict EU limits, no exhaust gas aftertreatment is required.

Due to the different combustion behaviour of hydrogen compared to natural gas, some engine components including fuel injection, turbocharging, piston design and control, were modified in the test engine. However, by using proven technologies within the Power Systems’ portfolio, such as mtu turbochargers, injection valves, and engine electronics and control, the development of the engine to use hydrogen was advanced quickly and efficiently.

Diesel and natural gas internal combustion engine manufacturers like Cummins, Rolls-Royce mtu and several other companies, have a long history of research, that they have the knowledge to convert diesel or natural gas engines to hydrogen.

So far only Cummins, JCB and Rolls-Royce mtu have disclosed a multi-fuel line of engines.

First Deployment For CO2-Neutral Power Supply At Duisport

There is a section in the press release called First Deployment For CO2-Neutral Power Supply At Duisport, where this is said.

Duisport, one of the world’s largest inland ports, is working with several partners to build a hydrogen-based supply network for its new terminal, ready for operation in 2024. In the future, most of the electricity required by the port itself will be generated directly on site from hydrogen in a CO2-neutral manner. This will be achieved by two combined heat and power plants with mtu Series 4000 hydrogen engines (with a total installed capacity of 2MW) as well as three mtu fuel cell systems (with a total installed capacity 1.5MW).

As part of its sustainability program, Rolls-Royce is realigning the product portfolio of Power Systems towards more sustainable fuels and new technologies that can further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There is also this Rolls-Royce graphic, which shows the energy sources.

It would appear batteries,  combined heap and power (CHP), grid electricity, hydrogen electrolyser, hydrogen storage and renewable electricity are being brought together to create a climate-neutral energy system.

Is this a world-first, where hydrogen engines and fuel cell systems will be working together?

January 20, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World’s First Net Zero Transatlantic Flight To Fly From London in 2023, Powered By The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

These are the three main bullet points.

  • World first as Virgin Atlantic wins UK government funding to operate historic London – New York flight
  • Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Imperial College London, University of Sheffield, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and ICF also form part of an iconic British-led consortium 
  • Heralds future of low carbon aviation, with the wider sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry potentially creating thousands of UK jobs while supporting delivery of net zero aviation emissions by 2050 

Note.

  1. The flight will take place next year.
  2. The aircraft will be one of Virgin Atlantic’s flagship Boeing 787s, which are powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.
  3. When fully replacing kerosene, SAF can slash lifecycle carbon emissions by more than 70% compared to conventional fossil jet fuel.
  4. This flight is expected to be fuelled by SAF made primarily from waste oils and fats, such as used cooking oil.
  5. SAF could create a UK industry with an annual turnover of £2.4bn by 2040, and which supports up to 5,200 UK jobs by 2035.

The flight could be made net zero, if it used 100 % SAF and offset any carbon dioxide produced.

What Is Sustainable Aviation Fuel?

It is also known as Aviation biofuel, which has a comprehensive Wikipedia entry, which has this first paragraph.

An aviation biofuel or bio-jet fuel or bio-aviation fuel (BAF) is a biofuel used to power aircraft and is said to be a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The International Air Transport Association (IATA) considers it a key element to reducing the carbon footprint within the environmental impact of aviation. Aviation biofuel could help decarbonize medium- and long-haul air travel generating most emissions, and could extend the life of older aircraft types by lowering their carbon footprint.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) can be made in a variety of ways, which are described in the Wikipedia entry.

Could A Plane Run On Kerosene One Flight And SAF The Next?

I suspect that the practicalities of airline operation and schedules and the production and distribution of aviation fuel, will mean that if an airliner can run on both kerosene and SAF would be a great advantage.

This is a paragraph from the press release.

It comes hot off the heels of the world’s first sustainable fuel military transporter flight using 100% SAF, completed by the RAF last month using the iconic Voyager aircraft.

Note.

  1. The Voyager is an RAF military transport/tanker aircraft based on the Airbus 330 and fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 772B-B-60 engines.
  2. Rolls-Royce Trent engines power both the Dreamliner and the Voyager.
  3. I’m sure that for operational reasons, the RAF would mandate a dual fuel capability.

This press release on the RAF web site, which is entitled Royal Air Force Completes World-First Sustainable Fuel Military Transporter Flight, gives more details of the RAF flight.

December 21, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce And Gulfstream Give Wings To Sustainable Business Aviation

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

These are the first two paragraphs of the press release.

Rolls-Royce and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. are leading the way towards sustainable business aviation by conducting the first original equipment manufacturer test flight of an ultralong-range business jet powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The test took place on the BR725-powered Gulfstream G650 twin-jet over Gulfstream’s headquarters in Savannah, Georgia.

Demonstrating that current Rolls-Royce engines for business jet and large civil applications can operate with 100% SAF as a full “drop-in” option, this test lays the groundwork for moving this type of fuel towards certification. At present, SAF is only certified for blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel and can be used on all current Rolls-Royce engines.

Note.

  1. The BR725 is described in this Wikipedia entry.
  2. The Gulfstream G650 is described in this Wikipedia entry.
  3. All current Rolls-Royce engines can run with blends of up to 50 % SAF and conventional jet fuel.

The BR725 or other engines in the family have other applications.

I can certainly see, the owners of business jets being very interested in operating a sustainable business jet.

But would the USAF be interested in running a seventy-year-old bomber on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel?

The Fuel Used In The Test

This paragraph of the press release describes the fuel.

The SAF that was used in the test consists of two components: HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids), produced from waste fat and waste plant oils by low-carbon fuel specialist World Energy in Paramount, California, and (SAK) Synthesised Aromatic Kerosene made from waste plant-based sugars by Wisconsin-based Virent Inc. This innovative and fully sustainable fuel in development eliminates the need for the addition of further petroleum-based components and enables a 100% drop-in SAF that can be used in existing jet engines and infrastructure without any modifications. This sustainable fuel has the potential to reduce net CO2 lifecycle emissions by about 80% compared to conventional jet fuel, with the possibility of further reductions in future.

That sounds impressive.

A Sustainable Airliner

The Boeing 717 is a hundred seat airliner, with about a hundred still in service. They appear to have a good safety record.

One of the operators is Hawaiian Airlines and might be the sort of airline, that would like to decarbonise their flights.

So might we see some airlines using the Boeing 717 on SAF to attract passengers?

I wouldn’t rule it out and after certifying the engine on the Gulfstream, certification on another type wouldn’t be the most demanding of certifications.

I also think, it is quite likely, that an aircraft manufacturer could use engines in the BR 725 family to create a hundred seat sustainable airliner.

 

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce And easyJet Set New World First

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

These three paragraphs explain what the two companies have done and are planning to do.

Rolls-Royce and easyJet today confirmed they have set a new aviation milestone with the world’s first run of a modern aero engine on hydrogen.

The ground test was conducted on an early concept demonstrator using green hydrogen created by wind and tidal power. It marks a major step towards proving that hydrogen could be a zero carbon aviation fuel of the future and is a key proof point in the decarbonisation strategies of both Rolls-Royce and easyJet.

Both companies have set out to prove that hydrogen can safely and efficiently deliver power for civil aero engines and are already planning a second set of tests, with a longer-term ambition to carry out flight tests.

The test today was carried out at Boscombe Down and are shown in this picture from Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce AE2100 Hydrogen Demonstrator engine preparing for test at RAF Boscombe Down

Note that the green hydrogen produced using Orcadian winds and tides.

We live in desperate times and I predict that a hydrogen-fuelled and Rolls-Royce-powered easyJet plane, will fly sooner than anybody thinks.

As with athletes, engineers love to be first!

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Rolls-Royce And SOWITEC Cooperate On Power-To-X Projects

The title of this post, is the same of that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

The press release starts with these two bullet points.

  • Target: up to 500 MW electrolysis capacity for power-to-X projects
  • Production of green hydrogen and e-fuels for shipping, aviation, mining, agriculture, data centers

In Rolls-Royce Makes Duisburg Container Terminal Climate Neutral With MTU Hydrogen Technology, I wrote how Rolls-Royce were building a carbon-neutral energy supply for the port.

This Rolls-Royce graphic illustrates the project.

It looks like SOWITEC would be the sort of company to install the decentralised renewables for this project.

Rolls-Royce seem to be collecting the technology to build complex projects like the power supply for the Duisburg Container Terminal, either by acquisition or negotiating friendly links.

But I do think, that Rolls-Royce possibly need two items for a complete portfolio.

A factory with a large capacity to build electrolysers. The press release says they need 500 MW by 2028 or nearly 100 MW per year.

Some form of GWh-sized energy storage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rolls-Royce do a deal with an energy storage company.

 

October 5, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce Releases mtu Rail Engines For Sustainable Fuels

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

The press release starts with these bullet points.

  • mtu Series 1300, 1500 and 1800 engines already released; Series 1600 and 4000 to follow shortly
  • Up to 90% CO2 savings by operating existing engines with Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO/renewable diesel)
  • Locally emission-free operation possible in combination with mtu Hybrid PowerPack
  • Field tests with DB Cargo and RDC Autozug Sylt

Note.

  1. Hitachi Class 800, 802, 805 and Class 810 trains appear to use Series 1600 engines.
  2. CAF Class 195, 196 and Class 197 trains appear to use Series 1800 engines.
  3. Class 43 power cars, as used in InterCity 125 trains appear to use Series 4000 engines.

It would appear that many of the UK’s new diesel trains and the remaining Class 43 power-cars can be converted to run on HVO.

This paragraph from the press release gives more details.

Rolls-Royce is taking a significant step towards even more climate-friendly rail transport with the release of mtu rail engines for use with sustainable fuels. With synthetic diesel fuels of the EN15940 standard, CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to 100 percent compared to fossil diesel. Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO or renewable diesel), which is already commercially available today, reduces CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent. If the fuels are produced with the help of renewable energy and green hydrogen – through what is termed a Power-to-X process – existing rail vehicles can be operated in a completely CO2-neutral manner. The mtu Series 1800 engines which are used in mtu PowerPacks, as well as Series 1300 and 1500 for locomotives and multi-purpose vehicles, are already approved for use with synthetic fuels such as HVO. Series 1600 and versions of Series 4000 engines will follow in the near future. The release of engines for climate-friendly fuels requires a series of tests and trials and Rolls-Royce has found strong partners for this activity. DB Cargo and RDC Autozug Sylt have already tested or are currently testing mtu Series 4000 engines with HVO in their locomotives.

Rolls-Royce mtu seem to have covered all issues.

This is a very significant statement in the paragraph.

If the fuels are produced with the help of renewable energy and green hydrogen – through what is termed a Power-to-X process – existing rail vehicles can be operated in a completely CO2-neutral manner.

This must be the most affordable way to make your diesel trains zero carbon.

Conclusion

Rolls-Royce and Cummins seem to be doing a thoroughly professional job in decarbonising the diesel engines they have made in recent years.

It now needs someone to take small diesel engines down the conversion route, just as Rolls-Royce mtu and Cummins are cleaning up their large engines.

September 24, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Third Route To Zero-Carbon Transport

The two most common routes to zero-carbon transport are.

  • Battery-electric vehicles
  • Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles

Note that most hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles also have a battery.

But I believe there’s a third route and that is the use of hydrogen in an internal combustion engine.

Earlier today, I wrote Rolls-Royce And AVK Provide Over 3.5 Gigawatts Of Emergency Power Capacity In The UK, which is based on a Rolls-Royce press release, with the same title.

This is an extract.

And this is said about the use of hydrogen.

Rolls-Royce is also currently developing its mtu gas engine portfolio for power generation so that the engines can run on hydrogen fuel in future, enabling a Net Zero energy supply. The company is also launching complete mtu hydrogen fuel cell solutions, that emit nothing but water vapor from 2025. This will enable CO2-free generation of emergency power for data centers and many other critical applications.

I certainly think, that they are going in the right direction.

Rolls-Royce mtu have a lot to lose, if their diesel engines that power trains, heavy equipment, ships and emergency power generators are replaced by other companies zero-carbon solutions.

  • Large investments will need to be made in hydrogen electrolyser and fuel cell production.
  • Some traditional factories making diesel engines will be closed and could this mean redundancies?
  • A lot of retraining of staff at both manufacturer and customer will need to be made.

But a traditional internal combustion engine, that runs on hydrogen or even both hydrogen and diesel makes the transition to hydrogen a lot less painful.

Other companies going this route include Cummins, Deutz and JCB.

Conversion Of Existing Diesel Engines To Hydrogen

Surely, if an equivalence hydrogen engine exists for all of their diesel engines, a company like Cummins or Rolls-Royce mtu can produce a sound engineering route to decarbonise some of their existing applications.

A classic application would be converting London’s Routemaster buses to hydrogen, which I wrote about in Could London’s New Routemaster Buses Be Converted To Hydrogen Power?

This was my conclusion in that post.

I believe from my knowledge of Cummins and the way they work, that they will come up with a hydrogen-based solution, that will replace the Cummins diesel in these buses with a zero-carbon engine.

If Cummins don’t then someone else will.

Whoever solves the problem of converting London’s new Routemasters to hydrogen will have one of the best adverts for their product, there has ever been.

After converting London’s thousand Routemasters, the engineers could move on to anything powered by a Cummins engine.

As this is a world-wide problem, I believe that the manufacturers of cars, buses, trucks and many other vehicles will offer zero-carbon solutions for their products, as it will be necessary for survival.

If you have just bought a new diesel BMW and your government says that in two years time, diesel will no longer be available, you’re up the creek without a paddle. But if BMW can convert it to hydrogen for a small fraction of the cost of a new electric equivalent, you have a more available way out.

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce And AVK Provide Over 3.5 Gigawatts Of Emergency Power Capacity In The UK

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

The press release starts with these two bullet points.

  • UK’s largest technology companies rely on emergency power solutions from AVK and Rolls-Royce
  • Focus on Net Zero solutions with sustainable fuels and fuel cells

And then this summary of the business in the UK.

Rolls-Royce has delivered 200 mtu emergency generators to AVK, UK’s leading provider of critical power solutions, in just three years. AVK has already installed and commissioned the majority across Europe, and in total has already provided more than 3.5 gigawatts of power to data centers, the financial, telecommunications and healthcare industries in the UK and Ireland.

AVK is now the largest supplier of emergency power solutions to data centers and the financial sector in the UK, and since signing the exclusive agreement with the Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, has been using only mtu brand emergency gensets.

The next two paragraphs describe the business in more detail.

These are some points from these paragraphs.

  • Data is now the ‘fourth utility’ required by all.
  • The European colocation data center market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.1 percent from 2021 to 2028.
  • The most important European markets for data centers are Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, and Paris, where demand is highest.
  • AVK provides, installs and maintains systems over their entire service life.
  • Emergency power systems based on  mtu diesel systems ranging from 825 to 4,000 KVA are tailored to customer needs.
  • AVK has been using mtu engines for emergency power systems for over 20 years.

Rolls-Royce And AVK seem to have developed a nice little earner.

Net Zero Emergency Power Solutions

The last section talks about net-zero solutions for generators and emergency power.

This is set about sustainable fuels.

Sustainability already plays a major role for data center operators. As a result, interest in alternative fuels has grown and AVK is increasingly providing support and guidance on switching from using diesel to HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). mtu Powergen engines from Rolls-Royce can be used unchanged for sustainable EN15940 fuels, such as HVO; no engine hardware or software modifications are required with the same performance. Using HVO can significantly reduce CO2, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions.

And this is said about the use of hydrogen.

Rolls-Royce is also currently developing its mtu gas engine portfolio for power generation so that the engines can run on hydrogen fuel in future, enabling a Net Zero energy supply. The company is also launching complete mtu hydrogen fuel cell solutions, that emit nothing but water vapor from 2025. This will enable CO2-free generation of emergency power for data centers and many other critical applications.

I certainly think, that they are going in the right direction.

  • Data center operators are said to want sustainability.
  • Other users of emergency power will probably want the same.
  • A full range of solutions is offered.

Hopefully, it will bring more sales, as the market size increases.

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

American Airlines Orders 60 Overture Supersonic Jets

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The revival of supersonic passenger travel, thought to be long dead with the demise of Concorde nearly two decades ago, could be about to take wing as American Airlines has put in an order for 60 aircraft capable of flying at 1.7 times the speed of sound.

The aircraft has changed a bit since I wrote about it in United Airlines Eyes A Supersonic Future With Deal To Buy Boom’s Overture Jets, which was posted in June 2021.

  • It now has four engines instead of three.
  • Speed has now been disclosed as Mach 1.7, which is slower than Concorde’s Mach 2.04.

Boom envisages its first commercial flights in 2029.

 

August 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce To Play Key Role In US Department Of Defense Nuclear Microreactor Program

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This paragraph outlines the program.

Rolls-Royce has been an industry leader in developing reliable sources of energy to help the Department of Defense and other customers be resilient using various energy sources. We pioneer cutting-edge technologies that deliver clean, safe and competitive solutions. We are excited to be part of the winning BWXT team along with Northrop Grumman, Aerojet Rocketdyne and Torch Technologies, and expand our capabilities in nuclear power generation.

There is also a link to this web press release on the BWXT web site, which is entitled BWXT to Build First Advanced Microreactor in United States.

This is the first paragraph.

BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) will build the first advanced nuclear microreactor in the United States under a contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO). The Project Pele full-scale transportable microreactor prototype will be completed and delivered in 2024 for testing at the Idaho National Laboratory.

These three paragraphs outline the design.

The high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) will operate at a power level between 1 and 5 MWe and will be transportable in commercially available shipping containers. It will be powered by TRISO fuel, a specific design of high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel that can withstand extreme heat and has very low environmental risks.

The transportable reactor core and associated control system is designed to maintain safety under all conditions, including transitional conditions throughout transport. The fuel has been tested and verified to temperatures far exceeding the operating conditions of the reactor.

The transportable design consists of multiple modules that contain the microreactor’s components in 20-foot long, ISO-compliant CONEX shipping containers. The reactor is designed to be safely and rapidly moved by road, rail, sea or air. The entire reactor system is designed to be assembled on-site and operational within 72 hours. Shut down, cool down, disconnection and removal for transport is designed to occur in less than seven days.

Note.

  1. This Wikipedia entry describes the HTGR.
  2. One of the advantages of the HTGR is that it can be built in relatively small unit sizes.
  3. These reactors can also produce heat as well as electricity.
  4. Some designs of HTGR use both nuclear and gas-turbine technology.

The last paragraph of the specification, sounds to be particularly challenging.

There is also an Anglo-Dutch design from the Universities of Manchester and Delft, which is called a U-battery.

  • Their flyer is particularly informative.
  • Two of their supporters are BWXT and Rolls-Royce.

Do the two projects share technology?

 

August 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | Leave a comment