Rolls-Royce is testing a sustainable power supply based on hydrogen fuel cells at the Friedrichshafen plant, in order to assume a pioneering role in fuel cell applications.

Rolls-Royce: hydrogen fuel cells for zero-carbon future
Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

A 250-kilowatt demonstrator is in the process of being set up at the Friedrichshafen plant of Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems division to test future zero-carbon energy systems.

The Friedrichshafen plant has the complex hydrogen infrastructure installed and the container all set up.

Rolls-Royce, engineering company focused on world-class power and propulsion systems, claims that fuel cell systems will be an essential part of its sustainable MTU (motor and turbine union) solutions portfolio.

Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We firmly believe that fuel cell technology is set to make a huge contribution to a successful energy turnaround. That’s why Rolls-Royce sees it as its mission to assume a pioneering role in fuel cell applications. Fuel cells will form an elementary part of our product portfolio for sustainable solutions.”

Fuel cells have very high efficiency levels when generating electricity from hydrogen and oxygen. When run on pure hydrogen, they give off zero emissions – only water vapor.

“The greatest benefit is when they are run on regeneratively produced hydrogen because this enables polluting and climate-damaging gas emissions to be fully eliminated. This gives fuel cells a huge potential to become a major technology for decarbonizing propulsion and electrical power supply systems,” added Peter Riegger, vice president Rolls-Royce PowerLab.

The demonstrator will be used for test purposes and to show interested parties which applications the system is suitable for. The system consists of fuel cell modules, batteries, fire protection, air conditioning and safety systems, cooling, gas supply and automation.

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