Debut of stationary hydrogen engines?


March 7, 2022

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Debut of stationary hydrogen engines?

MAN - engine operated with up to 25 percent hydrogen

engine operated with up to 25 percent hydrogen © MAN

The whole world is talking about the imminent end of combustion engines, on possible bans on oil and diesel combustion engines. But what about hydrogen motors, especially for stationary applications? In the German-speaking domain, companies such as 2G and Innio are particularly active in this sector. Globally, companies like Wärtsilä and MAN are also pushing for this technology route.

Gas engines have long been used in stationary applications. Up to now, however, most systems used as combined heat and power (CHP) units have been operated with natural gas or biogas. Hydrogen use exists only in isolated cases.


In March 2021, Innio Jenbacher reported that initial tests had been successful, which is why the joint testing with HanseWerk Natur will be continued. After the Austrian engine building company had first successfully tested a 12-cylinder engine in Jenbach, it retrofitted the 16-cylinder gas engine of the northern German heating supplier. The 1-MW engine that runs a CHP unit in Hamburg-Othmarschen supplies the 30 residential buildings, sports center, daycare center and leisure park Othmarschen Park there with 13,000 MWh per year of local heating.

Dennis Binder, project manager at HanseWerk Natur, explained, “Our CHP unit ran during the test with different mixing ratios of natural gas and H2. Operation with 100 percent hydrogen, in compliance with the highest safety requirements, was also successful.” The technical business manager Thomas Baade added, “We demonstrated how a CHP system can be operated with green hydrogen and can be used for climate-friendly heat and power supply. The costs to convert or retrofit existing units to run on hydrogen are manageable.” Baade admitted, however, that “the fuel costs are currently still too high for economic operation of such a unit.”

According to Innio Jenbacher, the Austrian company now has five series that can be operated with a high hydrogen content of up to 100 percent. According to Dr. Klaus Payrhuber, starting January 2022, the Jenbach-based company will offer all customers buying an engine from them an H2-ready option. However, Payrhuber also thinks it will probably take until 2030 before the performance details of H2 engines match those of natural gas engines. […]

… Read this article to the end in the latest H2-International

Author: Sven Geitmann

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