The testing of hydrogen blended fuel carried out by the technology group Wärtsilä in collaboration with WEC Energy Group, EPRI and Burns & McDonnell has been concluded. The tests were made at WEC Energy Group’s 55 MW A.J. Mihm power plant in Michigan, USA using an unmodified 18 MW Wärtsilä 50SG engine. The hydrogen and hydrogen blending skid was provided by Certarus Ltd. The tests were completed in October 2022.
Throughout the testing period, the Wärtsilä engine continued to supply power to the grid. This is the largest internal combustion engine ever to operate continuously on a hydrogen fuel blend, representing therefore a world-first achievement. The results were in line with all expectations. The full report with details will be published early in 2023.
“We’re very pleased to take a leading role exploring the potential of this technology as we focus on providing customers with affordable, reliable and clean energy,” said Gale Klappa, Executive Chairman, WEC Energy Group. “As we bring more renewable energy online, we must ensure that we can keep the lights on when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. The results of this project are a strong indicator that these dispatchable units can run on very low- and no-carbon fuels.”
“While we continue to work on making pure hydrogen fuel a viable option, I believe that this testing project reinforces Wärtsilä’s leading position in the development of technology using sustainable fuels. The results have been outstanding, and no technical modifications whatsoever were needed to be made to the Wärtsilä 50SG engine. This once again provides concrete evidence of the fuel flexibility and versatility of Wärtsilä’s engine technology. Decarbonisation is a central issue for today’s global energy sector, and these tests move us a little closer to reaching it,” commented Kai Janhunen, Vice President, Engine Power Plants, Wärtsilä Energy (as of 1 December 2022).
Wärtsilä is actively carrying out the engine tests with 100 % hydrogen fuel at the company’s engine laboratory in Vaasa, Finland. Results thus far have been encouraging, and the company expects to have an engine and power plant concept for operating with pure hydrogen available by 2025.
Earlier press releases: Wärtsilä in U.S. customer collaboration to test hydrogen blended fuel as a step towards decarbonised power plant operations
Wärtsilä launches major test programme towards carbon-free solutions with hydrogen and ammonia
Wärtsilä about sustainable fuels
Sustainable fuels article series - Introduction (wartsila.com)
Can green hydrogen fuel the future?
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Image1: Wärtsilä and US partners have succeeded with world’s first-of-its-kind power plant fuel tests using blended hydrogen at a power plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. © Burns & McDonnell
Image2: The testing of hydrogen blended fuel carried out by Wärtsilä in collaboration with WEC Energy Group, EPRI, Burns & McDonnell and Certarus has been concluded at WEC’s A.J. Mihm power plant in US. © WEC
Wärtsilä Energy in brief
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers in decarbonisation by developing market-leading technologies. These cover future-fuel enabled balancing power plants, hybrid solutions, energy storage and optimisation technology, including the GEMS energy management platform. Wärtsilä Energy’s lifecycle services are designed to increase efficiency, promote reliability and guarantee operational performance. Our track record comprises 76 GW of power plant capacity and 110 energy storage systems delivered to 180 countries around the world.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in innovative technologies and lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. We emphasise innovation in sustainable technology and services to help our customers continuously improve their environmental and economic performance. Our dedicated and passionate team of 17,000 professionals in more than 200 locations in 68 countries shape the decarbonisation transformation of our industries across the globe. In 2021, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.8 billion. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.