German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions has partnered with industry leaders and research institutes to develop concepts for hydrogen-fueled medium-speed engines in the maritime sector. The project, called HydroPoLEn, is supported and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The partnership includes Carnival Maritime, MAN Energy Solutions, research institutes specializing in green energy solutions, and a key-component supplier. The goal of the project is to transform propulsion systems in shipping and develop key technologies for hydrogen-fueled engines. This includes developing a concept for integrating power units and fuel storage as a single system.
The HydroPoLEn project will address challenges related to the combustion process, engine efficiency, safety, and the integration of the technology in ships. The aim is to enhance the efficiency, performance, and durability of hydrogen-fueled engines, paving the way for sustainable propulsion in the maritime sector. MAN Energy Solutions sees hydrogen as a key component in their strategy and believes it is the base for carbon-free fuels like hydrogen itself, ammonia, methane, and methanol. The company already has products and technologies for carbon capture storage and plans to release a pure-hydrogen engine in the future.
MAN Energy Solutions has filed 37 patent applications and completed 71,000 research and development man hours for an ammonia-powered marine engine. These applications cover not only the engine itself but also safety systems necessary for ammonia operations. The company believes that hydrogen and ammonia are the two most promising carbon-free fuels, with the advantage of producing no CO2 emissions when combusted. They anticipate that green hydrogen will be the cheapest way to produce hydrogen in the long run, but a mix of green and blue hydrogen will be necessary in the meantime.