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Wärtsilä reveals pure hydrogen engine test program

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Today, power services and manufacturer company Wärtsilä revealed a pioneering test program for pure hydrogen engines. Accordingly, the company expects this project to enable the future development of fully decarbonized energy systems.

Read more of our news content, here; Apex and Plug Power partner on Largest Green Hydrogen PPA in the US

About the pioneering program

Thus, this program will see the testing of Wärtsilä’s technology on thermal balancing engines using pure hydrogen; particularly, with the expectation that the engine and power plant concept will run on 100% clean hydrogen by 2025.

Indeed, the project is currently being tested in Vaasa, Finland. Hence, it will assess Wärtsilä’s 31 existing gas engine technologies; particularly, to find the optimum parameters for running on hydrogen.

Also, Wärtsilä suggested in a media release that the program will assess the ability to modify existing engines while utilizing hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels. Particularly, when they become widely available, these engines will be crucial to achieving global decarbonization goals. 

Therefore, the internal combustion engine is a critical technology in enabling the growth of renewables today, the Company noted. Mainly in providing the flexibility required to support the intermittent generation of wind and solar.

Benefits and the necessity of going greener with hydrogen – Wärtsilä

Moreover, green hydrogen (a byproduct of renewable energy using electrolysis) and green hydrogen-based fuels will provide long-duration energy storage. Besides, they will work alongside renewable generation and short-duration storage (such as lithium-ion batteries); specifically, to create reliable and fully decarbonized energy systems.

In this sense, Håkan Agnevall, CEO of Wärtsilä, said; In fact, “this is a milestone moment in the worldwide energy transition. Accordingly, global societies will have to invest billions into the infrastructure needed to develop green hydrogen. However, that investment is reliant upon having market-ready engines which can run on the fuel once it is readily available.”

Indeed, according to Wärtsilä’s energy system modeling, over 11,000GW of wind and solar power is required in the G20 alone to create 100% renewable energy systems. Additionally, It will need 933GW of carbon-neutral thermal balancing capacity to enable this amount of renewable energy and stabilize these future power systems.

Lastly, Wärtsilä said that being able to modify engines in the future to utilize carbon-neutral fuels; for instance, such as green hydrogen and green hydrogen-based fuels; means that utilities can invest confidently to enable the 100% renewable systems.  In brief, this is quite important since many of these systems will be heavily required by the middle of the century.

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