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Caterpillar to launch 100% hydrogen-powered generation sets

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Leading global manufacturer Caterpillar will launch generator sets that can run on 100 percent hydrogen by the end of 2021. In fact, the Company today announced it will also offer gas turbines that run on up to 25 percent hydrogen.

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This solution particularly operates at up to 1250kW on 50 or 60Hz and running on 100 percent hydrogen. Accordingly, the Cat G3516H gas generator will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2021 in North America and Europe. Caterpillar said commercial deliveries will follow in late 2022.

About the announcement

The Company is also starting to supply commercial units of gas generator sets to operate on natural gas blended with up to 25 percent hydrogen. As a result, they will provide power up to 4.5MW.

Thus, the Cat CG132B, CG170B, G3500H, G3500 with Fast Response, and CG260 gas generators will be available in North America and Europe.

Additionally, Caterpillar will also sell retrofit kits with hydrogen blending capabilities to upgrade some existing Cat turbines. Hence, they will run on 25 percent hydrogen for select generator sets built on these engine platforms.

In a media release, Caterpillar says it has been offering gas turbines that burn hydrogen blends for decades in its “Solar” turbines range. Indeed, currently, “turbines operate by burning fuel and using the resulting pressure to turn a turbine, producing a continuous energy flow. However, turbines are slow to start up.”

Therefore, “backup applications such as data centers normally use reciprocating engines with pistons, as normally seen in diesel or other engine generators.” Due to these reasons, the Company is using its turbine experience to take reciprocating engine fuel to 100 percent hydrogen.

Reception at Caterpillar

In this sense, Joe Creed, Caterpillar group president of energy & transportation, commented on the announcement; “At Caterpillar, we are working alongside our customers to understand their needs, and they are looking for reliable power sources that support their climate-related goals.”

Similarly, Bart Myers, general manager for Caterpillar ample electric power, noted that “the power solutions landscape is transforming.” Particularly, Myers recalled how customers look to maximize the environmental and economic benefits of reducing their carbon intensities.

Thus, Myers noted that the Company is extending its leadership through numerous initiatives. Particularly those “that demonstrate the viability of power solutions that can utilize many types of hydrogen; including fully renewable, to shorten the path to commercial availability.”

Another hydrogen venture

On the other hand, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation and Caterpillar Inc., announced yesterday a collaboration agreement to develop hydrogen demonstration projects. Particularly, these projects will focus on transportation and stationary power applications, including prime power.

Accordingly, the collaboration’s goal is to confirm the feasibility and performance of hydrogen; particularly, for use as a commercially viable alternative to traditional fuels for line-haul rail and marine vessels. The collaboration also seeks to demonstrate hydrogen’s use in prime power.

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