Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could produce driving power and energy and stay climate-neutral at the same time? And do that right across the globe – from the remotest corners of the earth to the megacities?
mtu fuel cell solutions of the future are set to turn that vision into reality. Fuel cells produce clean electrical power. Fuel cells can run on green hydrogen. Fuel cells emit steam and a little bit of heat – nothing more. That's why we're looking forward to a CO2-free future.
Spot on: mtu fuel cell solutions
Electrical power from hydrogen and oxygen – how fuel cells are used in power generation
The Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems is developing complete and fully integrated mtu fuel cell solutions for the reliable generation of continuous and prime power in the MW range. And because they can be deployed as flexibly as a diesel engine, complete fuel cell solutions are set to play a prominent role in the energy revolution. When they run on green hydrogen, fuel cells are capable of CO2-free and therefore climate-neutral production of electrical power. Operators in particular of data centers, which are highly energy-intensive because all the world's internet traffic passes through them, have a vested interest in reducing their CO2 footprint and thereby their impact on the world climate. And fuel cell generators – which can be deployed for emergency power – enable them to do so. In principle, we are also working on fuel cell systems for peak and continuous power supply. Their use in airports and hospitals is likewise planned. Fuel cells can also play a major role in microgrids, thereby promoting the set-up of autonomous, C02-neutral power grids all around the world.
mtu fuel cells and CO2-free mobility
In the future, mtu fuel cells are also to be used to power ships and heavy-duty off-highway vehicles. Using hydrogen and oxygen, the fuel cell produces electricity to power electric motors. Fuel cells that do so using green hydrogen are not only entirely carbon-free but highly flexible too. That is owing to another huge advantage of the fuel cell system: its scalability. On a ship, for example, the amount of power being generated can be adapted to its power requirement at any one time, thereby saving fuel. When a lot of power is required, all fuel cells are used. When the power demand is average, fewer fuel cells are switched in. And although this technology is not yet available as standard, the way ahead to achieving that goal is clear.
How fuel cells work
In fuel cells, hydrogen reacts with oxygen to form water, giving off electrical energy and heat in the process. A single fuel cell consists of an anode, electrolyte and a cathode. On the anode side, a catalyst splits hydrogen into hydrogen protons (H+) and electrons (e-). The protons migrate through the electrolyte to the cathode where they combine with the electrons and ambient oxygen to form water. To achieve more power, several cells are usually connected to form a stack.