Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engine & Turbocharger (MHIET), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, is making significant strides in the development of hydrogen combustion engines as part of its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality.

With a focus on commercialization, MHIET has successfully created a 6-cylinder hydrogen engine with a 500kW output, integrated it into a generator set, and initiated construction of a hydrogen supply facility at its Sagamihara Plant. This breakthrough technology aims to support distributed power systems and contribute to a carbon-neutral future.

MHIET has achieved successful hydrogen combustion in a single-cylinder engine, paving the way for further development. The knowledge gained from testing a modified version of the GSR series engine at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has been instrumental in the creation of a 6-cylinder hydrogen engine. This engine, capable of running on 100% hydrogen, boasts a substantial output of 500kW, making it suitable for commercial applications.

To facilitate the commercialization process, MHIET will install the hydrogen engine generator set, along with a dedicated hydrogen supply facility, at its Sagamihara Plant. The supply facility will depressurize high-pressure hydrogen gas delivered by hydrogen trailers and provide the necessary hydrogen to the generator set. Construction work on the supply facility has already commenced, with plans for the technical evaluation of the hydrogen engine generator set scheduled to begin in the fiscal year 2024. This evaluation will assess the engine’s performance, including combustion, output, reliability, and the stringent safety measures required for handling hydrogen.

Reciprocating engines, like the one developed by MHIET, offer versatility in fuel usage, making them suitable for various applications. Hydrogen engine generator sets hold great promise as a technology for energy transition, enabling carbon neutrality in distributed power systems. By utilizing hydrogen as a fuel, these engines emit zero CO2 emissions while delivering the required power. MHIET’s aim is to market fully validated hydrogen-fueled engine products worldwide, contributing to the realization of a carbon-neutral society.

Despite the significant progress in hydrogen combustion engine technology, challenges remain. The safe handling of hydrogen is of utmost importance, necessitating strict safety systems and protocols. Additionally, the scalability and cost-effectiveness of hydrogen production and distribution infrastructure pose potential challenges. However, ongoing advancements and increasing support for hydrogen technologies provide a positive outlook for the future.

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