Rolls-Royce Launches New Innovative Hydrogen Engine Project

Rolls-Royce has launched the Phoenix (Performance Hydrogen Engine for Industrial and X) project, a collaborative initiative involving 5 companies and research institutes that marks a ground-breaking shift towards sustainable energy solutions. The Phoenix project has the goal of developing the technologies required for a highly efficient, first-of-its-kind hydrogen combustion engine to power combined heat and power (CHP) systems.

The group of companies involved aim to generate the same electrical and thermal energy as currently available through natural gas CHP units in the higher power range of up to 2.5MW. When this is fuelled by green hydrogen, this energy plant will be able to run in a completely carbon neutral manner. The partners in the project are: Rolls-Royce as coordinator, the Institute for sustainable mobile propulsion systems at the Technical University of Munich, MAHLE Konzern; Fuchs Lubricants Germany GmbH, the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and Robert Bosch AG.

“We are convinced that combustion engines will remain an essential part of the provision of a reliable energy supply during the energy transition,” said Dr Jörg Stratmann, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “We are making them climate-friendly with sustainable fuels. That’s why we at Rolls-Royce are investing in the development of next generation hydrogen engines. The consortium in the Phoenix project, with its combined expertise, is a guarantee of the success in tackling this major technical challenge.”

The revolutionary project is expected to run for 3 years, during which the consortium will focus on creating a mature technology concept suitable for a complete prototype engine. This goal aligns with the German government’s power plant strategy, which includes the growth of renewable energy sources. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection with a total of almost 5 million euros.

As soon as the availability of green hydrogen is ensured on a large scale, the technology of highly efficient hydrogen cogeneration plants promoted in the Phoenix project will be ready for use.” explained Tobias Ostermaier, President of Stationary Power Solutions within Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems division.

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