World first: Wärtsilä 100% H2-ready engine power plant

Wärtsilä hydrogen-ready engine power plant The hydrogen-ready engine power plant can run on natural gas and 25 vol% hydrogen blends and can be converted to run on 100% hydrogen. (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Technology group Wärtsilä has launched what it said is the world’s first large-scale 100% hydrogen-ready engine power plant to enable the net-zero power systems of tomorrow.

With deployment of renewables worldwide set to reportedly double by the end of this decade, flexible, future-proof power generation solutions, like engine power plants, are needed to balance fluctuating renewable energy sources, the company noted. Wärtsilä said it is addressing this need through its new hydrogen-ready engine power plant, which can be converted to run on 100% hydrogen.

According to the company, the engine power plant can run on natural gas and 25 vol% hydrogen blends. It synchronizes with the grid within 30 seconds from start command, ensures energy security through fuel flexibility and offers optimal load following capabilities and high part load efficiency.

The H2-ready power plant is based on the Wärtsilä 31 engine platform. The first products brought to the market will be the 100% hydrogen-ready natural gas 31SG-H2 engine and the 31H2 pure hydrogen engine. The 31SG-H2 hydrogen-ready engine runs on natural gas and with hydrogen blends of up to 25% volume before conversion. When larger volumes of hydrogen are available, it can be converted to run on 100% hydrogen using Wärtsilä’s engine conversion package. The 31H2 is a fuel-flexible pure hydrogen power plant capable of running on hydrogen or natural gas. Its fuel-flexible technology allows use of natural gas blends or natural gas-only operation.

Wärtsilä said its 100% hydrogen-ready engine power plant concept has completed more than 1 million running hours, with over 1,000-MW installed capacity globally. The engine power plant has been certified by TÜV SÜD, demonstrating a commitment to quality and safety. TÜV SÜD’s H2-Readiness certification consists of three stages with three corresponding certificates. The engine power plant’s design has achieved the first stage with a Concept Certificate.

Anders Lindberg, President, Wärtsilä Energy, sees the hydrogen-ready engine as a major milestone for both the company and the energy transition.

“We will not meet global climate goals or fully decarbonize our power systems without flexible, zero-carbon power generation, which can quickly ramp up and down to support intermittent wind and solar,” he said, adding, “We must be realistic that natural gas will play a part in our power systems for years to come. Our fuel-flexible engines can use natural gas today to provide flexibility and balancing, enabling renewable power to thrive. They can then be converted to run on hydrogen when it becomes readily available – future proofing the journey to net zero.”

The 100% hydrogen-ready engine is expected to be available for orders in 2025, and available for delivery from 2026.

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