Wärtsilä completes world’s first power plant fuel tests with blended hydrogen

The technology company Wärtsilä, in partnership with WEC Energy Group, EPRI, and Burns & McDonnell, has completed testing of hydrogen-blend fuel.

The experiments were conducted utilizing a stock 18 MW Wärtsilä 50SG engine at the 55 MW A.J. Mihm power plant owned by WEC Energy Group in Michigan, USA. The hydrogen and hydrogen blending skid was provided by Certarus.

The Wärtsilä engine continued to power the grid throughout the testing period. This is a world first since it is the biggest internal combustion engine to ever run continuously on a hydrogen fuel combination. All expectations were met by the outcomes. Early in 2023, the complete report with all the details will be released.

Testing start

Wärtsilä started testing carbon-free solutions using hydrogen and ammonia in July 2021. At its engine lab in Vaasa, Finland, Wärtsilä conducted the first engine tests using only hydrogen fuel.

The test findings were quite positive, with one engine demonstrating excellent performance when powered by fuel containing 70% ammonia at a typical marine load range. Another engine was tested successfully in pure hydrogen operation as well.

Wärtsilä anticipates having an engine and plant design for pure hydrogen operation ready by 2025 for the energy market.

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