Rolls-Royce sets up infrastructure for production and use of green hydrogen
Posted on April 17, 2023
- Rolls-Royce plans to operate electrolyzers and expand test benches for hydrogen use
- Essential step for hydrogen ecosystem
- Baden-Württemberg Environment Ministry supports "H2Infrastructure" research project
- Rolls-Royce presents new hydrogen technologies at Hannover Messe
Rolls-Royce (LSE: RR., ADR: RYCEY) plans to produce green hydrogen at its business unit Power Systems’ headquarters in Friedrichshafen within the next few years and use it to test its mtu hydrogen engines and fuel cell systems on its test benches. Norbert Markert, head of the H2Infrastructure project at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, explained: “Our new facilities will cover a large part of the hydrogen value chain - from infrastructure to production, distribution and use. The project presents some challenges in terms of engineering, safety and regulatory approvals. Our customers will benefit from our experience”. The project is being supported by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Energy Management with 4.25 million euros.
Baden-Württemberg’s Energy Minister Thekla Walker said on the occasion of the handover of the subsidies at the beginning of April 2023: “We now need a rapid ramp-up of the hydrogen industry. To achieve this, we must also provide greater support for the construction of infrastructure such as hydrogen pipelines or electrolysers in our projects, because hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are of central importance when it comes to noticeably reducing the economy’s greenhouse gas emissions in the future.”
The “H2Infrastructure” funding project covers the production of green hydrogen by means of innovative PEM electrolysis, including the necessary infrastructure and the construction of test benches that are specifically designed and adapted for the development of sustainable hydrogen-based solutions. Rolls-Royce plans to successively expand hydrogen production capacities of up to 10 megawatts in the long term in order to be able to provide sufficient green hydrogen for development processes in hydrogen propulsion technology.
Why is Rolls-Royce focusing on hydrogen?
Dr. Daniel Chatterjee, Director Sustainability, Technology Strategy & Regulatory Affairs at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, declared: “We see hydrogen as one of the central elements of the energy transition. It can be used to store renewable energy and as a fuel for engines, fuel cells and combined heat and power plants to generate climate-neutral electricity and heat and is the basis for so-called e-fuels.”
Rolls-Royce develops its own hydrogen electrolyzer
Rolls-Royce is developing its own standardized mtu electrolyzers with outputs of up to four megawatts, which can be scaled to more than 100 megawatts. To this end, the company has acquired a stake in Hoeller Electrolyzer, a specialist that develops and manufactures the electrolysis stack. This is the core component of the electrolyzer. Daniel Chatterjee said: "The common goal of Rolls-Royce and Hoeller Electrolyzer is to develop a solution to produce hydrogen with green energy at low cost and on a large scale. This also creates the opportunity to store and use solar and wind power, thus making an important contribution to the energy transition.”
The entire hydrogen ecosystem on view
Rolls-Royce is looking at the entire hydrogen ecosystem: In addition to working on solutions for scalable green hydrogen production, the company is also developing energy and propulsion systems that use hydrogen as a fuel, either directly or in a processed form as e-fuels. These include hydrogen engines for power and heat supply and fuel cell systems for emergency power supply.
About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
- Rolls-Royce develops and delivers complex power and propulsion solutions for safety-critical applications in the air, at sea and on land. Our products and service packages enable our customers to connect people, societies, cultures and economies together; they meet the growing need for power generation across multiple industries; and enable governments to equip their armed forces with the power required to protect their citizens.
- Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers. To meet customer demand for more sustainable solutions, we are committed to making our products compatible with net zero carbon emissions.
- Annual underlying revenue was £12.69bn in 2022 and underlying operating profit was £652m.
- Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is a publicly traded company (LSE: RR., ADR: RYCEY, LEI: 213800EC7997ZBLZJH69)
- Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs more than 9,500 people. The product portfolio includes mtu-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry as well as diesel and gas systems and battery containers for missioncritical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids and is intensively engaged in the development of climate-neutral solutions.