The Anonymous Widower

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 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 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

Rolls-Royce Chief Warren East Spies Rebound For Air Travel

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

It is a must-read article.

This is the first paragraph.

Warren East, the outgoing chief executive of Rolls-Royce, has sounded a bullish note on aviation’s recovery from Covid-19, reporting increased demand from the jet-engine maker’s airline customers and expressing his belief that China will gradually open up to international travel.

Certainly, with all the chaos at the Channel this weekend, people are starting to travel again.

Support For The Military

This is a paragraph in the article.

Tom Bell, head of Rolls-Royce Defence, said the company was in talks with the US and UK militaries about supplying “deployable” reactors for military bases.

I’m sure that a reactor would have advantages to a large diesel or gas-turbine generator to power a military base.

  • Military bases need a lot of power.
  • It would not need refuelling every day.
  • It could be connected to an electrolyser, to generate hydrogen for vehicles.
  • It would be a lot quieter.
  • I wonder, if it could be transported in a large transport aircraft.

But I feel, it might have other applications.

  • It could provide power support after a large earthquake or natural disaster.
  • It could provide power in remote or difficult locations.
  • If the only power station for a remote community had a catastrophic failure, a deployable reactor could be brought in.
  • It could provide power for a large construction site, which would help to decarbonise the construction.
  • Power would be zero-carbon at point of generation.

The reactors might even be rail-transportable, so they could be moved to where they are needed safely and quickly.

But I don’t think they would necessarily be the same size as the Rolls-Royce SMRs, which are 470 MW.

A Scalable Reactor

This is a paragraph in the article.

Rolls also has a contract with the UK Space Agency to develop a “micro reactor” for space vehicles and satellites, Bell added. “These are really exciting opportunities for us to not only perpetuate our business undersea, at sea, on land, in the air, but also to go to space,” he said. East noted the advantage of nuclear reactors in space: “You can’t have air-breathing engines on the moon.”

Note.

  1. East is Warren East, who is the outgoing Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce.
  2. Nuclear power sources have been used in space before, usually by using an isotope, that gives out heat, as it decays.
  3. How small is micro?
  4. The US deployed a 1.75 MW nuclear power plant in Antarctica under the Army Nuclear Power Program. That reactor also provided heating and hot water. It is worth reading the Wikipedia entry, especially the section about the MM-1 reactor.

It does seem that Rolls-Royce are designing a reactor that can be scaled in size, to cover a whole spectrum of applications.

 

 

July 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

easyJet And Rolls-Royce Pioneer Hydrogen Energy Combustion Technology In H2ZERO Partnership

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

These three opening paragraphs outline the project.

easyJet and Rolls-Royce today announced a ground-breaking new partnership, H2ZERO, that will pioneer the development of hydrogen combustion engine technology capable of powering a range of aircraft, including those in the narrow-body market segment.

Both companies have committed to working together on a series of engine tests on the ground, starting later this year and have a shared ambition to take the technology into the air. The objective of the partnership is to demonstrate that hydrogen has the potential to power a range of aircraft from the mid-2030s onwards.

While Rolls-Royce will bring its expertise in engine development and combustion systems, easyJet will contribute its operational knowledge and experience to H2ZERO and will also directly invest in the test programme.

This to my mind is good news.

This paragraph gives details of some of the planned work.

Through H2ZERO, the companies will support an early concept ground test of a Rolls-Royce AE 2100 engine in the UK later this year. This will be followed by a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine – a range of location options are being assessed for this including the Rolls-Royce test facility in Mississippi, USA. The programme will build on initial hydrogen combustion and fuel system rig tests that Rolls-Royce is undertaking with both Cranfield and Loughborough universities.

Note.

  1. The Rolls-Royce AE 2100 engine, powers the Lockheed Super Hercules amongst others.
  2. Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 powers various business jets.

easyJet and Rolls-Royce certainly have ambitions, and as there is little about the route they are taking to decarbonise, I would assume, that the main purpose of the study, is to find the optimal route.

I have just found this paper on the German Aerospace Centre web site, which is entitled Assessment Of Hydrogen Fuel Tank Integration At
Aircraft Level.

It uses as a baseline aircraft, the Airbus A320neo, of which easyJet have a few!

I suspect that using some of the techniques outlined in this paper, Rolls-Royce could decarbonise an Airbus A320neo.

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

Boris Baldrick’s Cunning Plan

This written statement to Parliament on the UK Government web site, is entitled Transport Update: Transpennine Route Upgrade.

It has been published by Grant Shapps and this is the sub-title.

Additional funding has been made available for the Transpennine route upgrade.

This is the complete statement.

Today 19 July 2022, the government has made available £959 million of additional funding to continue to progress the delivery of the ambitious Transpennine route upgrade.

This funding is a significant milestone and another step towards upgrading the key east-west rail artery across the north of England, to further this government’s levelling up and decarbonisation objectives.

In addition to progressing the design of aspects of the upgrade, this funding will enable further on-the-ground delivery of electrification and journey time improvement works, mostly west of Leeds.

One of the first tangible benefits will be enabling electric trains to run between Manchester and Stalybridge by the middle of the decade. We are also developing scope that will enable the Transpennine route upgrade to become the first phase of Northern Powerhouse Rail, including plans to unlock freight flows and take thousands of lorries off our roads.

We are also more than trebling the investment in the Transpennine route upgrade from £2.9 billion to between £9.0 billion and £11.5 billion.

This additional investment will enable the roll out of digital signalling technology, electrification of the full route and the provision of additional tracks for commercial and freight services, giving rail users more reliable, more punctual, more comfortable and greener rail journeys.

I have some thoughts.

It’s Not A Wish List, But A Reality

The last paragraph reads like a wish list.

This additional investment will enable the roll out of digital signalling technology, electrification of the full route and the provision of additional tracks for commercial and freight services, giving rail users more reliable, more punctual, more comfortable and greener rail journeys.

But it’s not a wish list, it’s what is to be done.

Where Will The Government Get Between Nine and Eleven-And-A-Half Billion Pounds?

It’s not the sort of small change that you have in a sock draw.

This document on the UK government web site, is entitled PM Opening Remarks At Press Conference With German Chancellor Olaf Scholz: 8 April 2022, where this is these three paragraphs.

We will also agree on the importance of weaning ourselves off dependence on Russian gas and oil, and ensuring that our energy security cannot be threatened by a rogue state.

This is not easy for any of us, and I applaud the seismic decisions taken by Olaf’s government to move Germany away from Russian hydrocarbons.

Today we have agreed to maximise the potential of the North Sea and collaborate on energy security and on renewables, where Germany and the UK lead the way in new technology.

So did Boris and Olaf sign the world’s first Green Alliance based on zero-carbon energy?

  • They may not have signed an Alliance, but they have agreed on common actions.
  • Over the last year or so, German money and technology has started to be more visible in our offshore wind farms.
  • BP have been backed by German utility; enBW in some of their huge wind farms.
  • Siemens Gamesa are providing a lot of wind turbines.
  • Will German shipyards build the floats for floating wind farms?
  • An interconnector between the Isle of Grain and Wilhelmshaven is planned.
  • Rolls-Royce and its German subsidiary MTU are charging into battle against climate change.
  • The Germans have taken a liking to ITM Power’s electrolysers to produce hydrogen.

I can see the North Sea or the German Ocean becoming Europe’s power station, with by 2030, a large amount of the energy not needed by the UK, being exported to the Continent, either as electricity or hydrogen.

The Germans could become our magische Geldbäume.

But unlike gas and oil, wind power in the North Sea won’t run out, as it’s renewable.

In How Britannia With Help From Her Friends Can Rule The Waves And The Wind, this was my conclusion.

Boris’s vision of the UK becoming a Saudi Arabia of wind is no fantasy of a man with massive dreams.

Standard floating wind turbines, with the possibility of also harvesting wave power could be assembled in ports along the coasts, towed into position and then connected up.

Several GW of wind-power capacity could probably be added each year to what would become the largest zero-carbon power station in the world.

By harvesting the power of the winds and waves in the seas around the British Isles it is an engineering and mathematical possibility, that could have been developed by any of those great visionary Victorian engineers like Armstrong, Bazalgette, Brunel and Reynolds, if they had had access to our modern technology.

Up Yours! Putin!

This energy and the money it provides will finance our infrastructure and our tax cuts.

 

July 19, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rolls-Royce Secures Funding To Build Direct Air Capture Demonstrator

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

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

Rolls-Royce has secured £3m from the UK Government to build a demonstrator Direct Air Capture (DAC) system, which could play a vital role in keeping global temperature rises to below 1.5C by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The demonstrator funding comes from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and helps deliver on the UK Government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. It follows initial Phase 1 funding of £250,000 awarded in 2021, that allowed Rolls-Royce to design the demonstrator in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

These two paragraphs, give a few clues to the technology.

Jess Poole, Direct Air Capture Lead for Rolls-Royce, said: “Every credible climate change model requires us to decarbonise today’s emissions, as well as removing CO2 already in the atmosphere via carbon negative technologies such as DAC. Our system combines our expertise in moving large quantities of air efficiently and integrating complex systems, which have been gained from designing world-leading jet engines, with novel DAC technology developed by CSIRO.

“Together the system works like a giant lung, sucking in air, absorbing the CO2, and releasing what is not wanted. We use a water-based liquid to wash around 50% of the CO2 from the captured air. Our technology is distinctive because very little water is used, and the liquid is recycled at low temperatures, making it energy efficient. Other technologies consume a lot of water and require substantial amounts of energy to generate heat for the separation of the CO2.

I was unaware of CSIRO, but that is not surprising, as they are Australian. They are introduced like this in their Wikipedia entry.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is an Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research.

CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

Their motto is “We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate.”

There’s certainly been several brilliant ideas and projects from the country in the last few years.

Is this another?

Another Problem With Carbon Dioxide

When I’m in an optimistic mood, I feel that scientists and engineers may develop so many ideas for the use of carbon dioxide, that we may need to burn natural gas in power stations, so we have the carbon dioxide for industrial or agricultural uses.

I know of one tomato grower, who uses a gas-powered combined heat and power boiler to heat his greenhouses. The carbon dioxide is fed to the tomatoes and any spare electricity is sold to the grid.

Direct Air Capture (DAC) systems might be needed to provide a carbon dioxide feedstock for some processes. Suppose in the tomato example, the grower is heating his greenhouses with an energy source, that doesn’t generate carbon dioxide, he might want to obtain his carbon dioxide from the air.

July 12, 2022 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rolls-Royce To Develop mtu Hydrogen Electrolyser And Invest In Hoeller Electrolyser

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

These are the three main points in the press release.

  • Holdings in start-up companies in northern Germany secure Rolls-Royce Power Systems access to key green hydrogen production technology.
  • Electrolysis systems for several megawatts of power.
  • First demonstrator in 2023 using a Hoeller stack.

This is the introductory paragraph to the deal.

Rolls-Royce is entering the hydrogen production market and acquiring a 54% majority stake in electrolysis stack specialist Hoeller Electrolyzer, whose innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from its Power Systems division. Hoeller Electrolyzer, based in Wismar, Germany, is an early-stage technology company that is developing highly efficient polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) stacks, under the brand name Prometheus, for the cost-effective production of hydrogen.

This page on the Hoeller Electrolysis web site gives details of Prometheus.

  • Hoeller are planning small, medium and large electrolyser modules, the largest of which is rated at 1.4 MW.
  • Load changes of between 0 and 100 % within seconds.
  • Cold start capability.
  • It will produce 635 Kg/day.
  • They are talking of a cost of 4€/Kg.

It all sounds good to me.

This paragraph is from the press release.

Founded in 2016, Hoeller Electrolyzer has positioned itself, with Prometheus, as one of the few highly specialized expert players in the field of high-efficiency PEM electrolysis stacks. Its founder, Stefan Höller, has more than a quarter of a century’s experience of developing electrolysis technology and has already registered 14 patents connected with Prometheus. Particularly high efficiency is promised by special surface technologies for the bipolar plates which significantly reduce the use of expensive precious metals platinum and iridium as catalysts, as well as increased output pressure.

I know a small amount about electrolysis and feel that Rolls-Royce may have got themselves a high-class deal.

Rolls-Royce’s large German presence in companies like mtu, will also help to smooth any doubts about the deal.

This paragraph indicates a shared belief.

Rolls-Royce and Hoeller Electrolyzer are united by a shared belief in the opportunity of zero-carbon energy – both for power supply and the propulsion of heavy vehicles. With decades of experience and systems expertise, Rolls-Royce is going to develop a complete electrolyzer system and has a global sales and service network, which opens up the potential for significant worldwide sales.

But perhaps, this is the most significant paragraph of the press release.

Armin Fürderer, who heads up the Net Zero Solutions business unit of Power Systems, said: “We’re going to launch electrolyzers with several megawatts of power right from the start. A total output of over 100 megawatts is conceivable by combining several electrolyzers.”

A quick search of the Internet, indicates that 100 MW is the size of the world’s largest electrolysers.

Applications

I can see applications for these large electrolysers.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems

This is a sentence from the press release.

Hoeller Electrolyzer, whose innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from its Power Systems division.

The Rolls-Royce Power Systems web site, has this mission statement.

The Power Systems Business Unit of Rolls-Royce is focused on creating sustainable, climate neutral solutions for drive, propulsion and power generation.

In Rolls-Royce Makes Duisburg Container Terminal Climate Neutral With MTU Hydrogen Technology, I describe one of Rolls-Royce Power Systems projects.

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

This is the first sentence.

Rolls-Royce will ensure a climate-neutral energy supply at the container terminal currently under construction at the Port of Duisburg, Germany.

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.

Note.

  1. The system uses a large hydrogen electrolyser.
  2. I suspect the hydrogen will be generated by off-peak electricity and local renewables.
  3. Hydrogen will probably power the container handling machines, ships, trucks, vehicles and other equipment in the port.

Hydrogen appears to be used as a means of storing energy and also for providing motive power.

I would suspect, the ultimate aim is that the port will not emit any carbon dioxide.

Other ports like Felixstowe and Holyhead seem to be going the hydrogen route.

Refuelling Hydrogen Buses and Charging Electric Buses

If you look at the Duisburg system, I can imagine a similar smaller system being used to refuel hydrogen buses and charge electric ones.

  • The hydrogen electrolyser would be sized to create enough hydrogen for a day or so’s work.
  • Hydrogen would be generated by off-peak electricity and local renewables.
  • If an operator bought more buses, I’m certain that the architecture of the electrolyser would allow expansion.
  • Hydrogen fuel cells would boost the electricity supply, when lots of buses needed to be charged.
  • Any spare hydrogen could be sold to those who have hydrogen-powered vehicles.
  • Any spare electricity could be sold back to the grid.

It should be noted that manufacturers like Wrightbus have developed a range of hydrogen and electric buses that use the same components. So will we see more mixed fleets of buses, where the best bus is assigned to each route?

I have used buses as an example, but the concept would apply to fleets of cars, trucks and vans.

Green Hydrogen

Large efficient electrolysers will surely be the key to producing large quantities of green hydrogen in the future.

It appears that about 55 MWh is needed to produce a tonne of green hydrogen using existing electrolysers.

The Hoeller electrolyser appears to be about 53 MWh, so it is more efficient.

Green Hydrogen From An Onshore Wind Farm

If you look at the average size of an onshore wind farm in the UK, a quick estimate gives a figure of 62 MW. I shouldn’t expect the figure for much of the world is very different, where you ignore the gigafarms, as these will distort the numbers.

An appropriately-sized electrolyser could be added to onshore wind farms to provide a local source of hydrogen for transport, an industrial process or a domestic gas supply for a new housing estate.

A single 5 MW wind turbine with a capacity factor of around 30 % would produce around 680 Kg of green hydrogen per day.

Green Hydrogen From An Offshore Wind Farm

There are basic methods to do this.

Put the electrolyser onshore or put the electrolyser offshore and pipe the hydrogen to the shore.

I think we will see some innovative configurations.

In ScotWind N3 Offshore Wind Farm, I described how Magnora ASA are developing the ScotWind N3 wind farm.

The floating turbines surround a concrete floater, which in the future could contain an electrolyser and tankage for hydrogen.

The ScotWind N3 wind farm is designed to be a wind farm rated at 500 MW.

I can see an electrolyser on the floater, of an optimal size to make sure all electricity is used.

Pink Hydrogen

Pink hydrogen, is zero-carbon hydrogen produced using nuclear-generated electricity.

There are industrial processes, like the making of zero-carbon chemicals, concrete and steel, that will require large quantities of zero-carbon green or pink hydrogen.

Rolls-Royce are developing the Rolls-Royce SMR, which will be a 470 MW small modular nuclear reactor.

One of these placed near to a steel works and coupled to one or more 100 MW electrolysers could provide enough zero-carbon electricity and hydrogen to produce large quantities of zero-carbon green steel.

Manufacturing

Rolls-Royce and their subsidiaries like mtu, seem to be extensive users of advanced manufacturing techniques and I would expect that they can improve Hoeller’s manufacturing.

Research And Development

The press release says this about the founder of Hoeller.

Its founder, Stefan Höller, has more than a quarter of a century’s experience of developing electrolysis technology and has already registered 14 patents connected with Prometheus.

If Rolls-Royce can develop and support Stefan Höller and his team, development could easily go to a higher level.

Conclusion

I think that Rolls-Royce have taken over a company, that will in the end, will design excellent efficient electrolysers.

 

 

 

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment