Hydrogen fuel cells in Friedrichshafen
Another new technology – the hydrogen fuel cell – is currently making in-roads at the Friedrichshafen plant of Rolls-Royce's Power Systems division where a 250 kW demonstrator is in the process of being set up to test future zero-carbon energy systems and present these to customers. “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 apioneering role in fuel cell applications,” said Andreas Schell, CEO ofv Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “Fuel cells shall form an elementary part of our product portfolio for sustainable solutions.”
Why fuel cells? 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 – as well as being low-noise, low-maintenance, and vibration-free. “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 Dr. 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. These include standby power, prime power, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and black start capability, allowing the system to be started from scratch without a mains connection. The system consists of fuel cell modules, batteries, fire protection, air conditioning and safety systems, cooling, gas supply and automation.