MAN Energy Solutions is teaming up with industry leaders and research institutes to chart a course for the future of marine transportation.
The project, aptly named “HydroPoLEn,” is supported and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and it sets out to revolutionize ship propulsion systems through the development of hydrogen-fueled medium-speed marine engines. The impact of this endeavor could be transformative, promising cleaner and more sustainable maritime transportation.
At its core, HydroPoLEn seeks to tackle multiple facets of hydrogen propulsion in the maritime sector. This encompasses a wide range of innovations, including the development of critical technologies such as injection, ignition, and advanced tribology systems. Notably, the project also aims to create a groundbreaking concept for integrating the power unit and fuel storage within a single system.
The challenges HydroPoLEn aims to address are multifaceted. They include perfecting the combustion process, optimizing engine efficiency, enhancing safety standards, and developing the necessary steps for seamlessly integrating this innovative technology into ships. The ultimate goal is to significantly boost the efficiency, performance, and durability of hydrogen-fueled marine engines. By doing so, HydroPoLEn paves the way for a cleaner and more sustainable future in the maritime sector.
Hydrogen stands at the center of MAN Energy Solutions’ strategy for carbon-free fuels, playing a pivotal role in the development of fuels like hydrogen and ammonia, along with synthetic carbon-neutral options like methane and methanol. As part of this strategy, MAN Energy Solutions offers electrolyzers for hydrogen production through its subsidiary, H-TEC SYSTEMS. Moreover, the company provides various products and key technologies for carbon capture and storage, blue-hydrogen production, as well as the synthesis of methanol, synthetic methane, and ammonia.
Alexander Knafl, Head of Four-Stroke R&D at MAN Energy Solutions, emphasizes the company’s commitment to hydrogen technology. “After the release of our 25% hydrogen engines in 2021, a pure-hydrogen engine is the next logical step for us,” he notes.
Christian Kunkel, Head of Combustion Development, Four-Stroke R&D at MAN Energy Solutions, highlights the environmental advantages of hydrogen and ammonia as carbon-free fuels. Their combustion generates zero CO2 emissions, making them environmentally friendly choices. Hydrogen production methods include green hydrogen, produced from renewable energy and electrolysis, and blue hydrogen, derived from natural gas with carbon capture and storage. Kunkel believes that green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy, will eventually become the most cost-effective option for hydrogen production.
HydroPoLEn draws on the collective expertise and resources of industry leaders and research institutes. Key contributors include Carnival Maritime GmbH from the cruise sector, MAN Energy Solutions SE specializing in marine propulsion, research institutes WTZ Roßlau GmbH and NMA TUM, focusing on pioneering green energy solutions, and Tenneco Inc., a vital component supplier.
As HydroPoLEn embarks on this ambitious journey, it has the potential to change the face of maritime transportation, ushering in a new era of clean and sustainable propulsion for ships. MAN Energy Solutions’ pioneering work in hydrogen-fueled marine engines is a significant step towards a cleaner, more environmentally responsible maritime sector.