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Wärtsilä gas engines to burn hydrogen

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Wärtsilä is developing the combustion process in its gas engines to enable them to burn 100 percent hydrogen fuel.

Wärtsilä has been studying hydrogen as a fuel for 20 years and has tested its engines with mixtures of up to 60 percent hydrogen and 40 percent natural gas.

This development is part of the company’s strategy to make its engine technology future-proof in line with the global trend to decarbonize the energy and marine markets.

“The world is on a path towards 100 percent decarbonization, and Wärtsilä continues to support this trend with our research and development of future fuels, such as hydrogen. The market for hydrogen-fueled power plants will emerge along with regulations restricting the burning of fossil fuels. We are well positioned to serve the power industry in its transition to 100 percent renewable electricity generation. Wärtsilä’s engines, capable of running on a variety of sustainable fuels, are offering a highly dynamic balancing power for these future generating systems.”

Marco Wiren, president Wärtsilä.

During the energy sector’s transition to carbon neutrality, wind, solar, and battery storage will form an increasing share of power systems. However, renewable fuels will also be needed to allow for long-term storage under constant low wind and solar weather conditions.

These fuels are burned in flexible, fast-start power plants and can be generated locally with limited wind and solar energy, using only water and air as the raw materials.

Underground gas storage is used to store the gas for use during times when decreased renewable supply contributes to the depletion of the battery capacity.

The use of renewable fuels in flexible power plants significantly reduces the required battery storage size, increases the efficiency of the power system, lowers the cost of generating, and provides high security of supply even in extreme and unusual weather conditions.

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