University of Melbourne, together with University of New South Wales (UNSW), announced a $8.6 million research project investigating the performance and value of efficient, heavy duty, reciprocating engines running on renewable hydrogen. The research will be partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The three-and-a-half year project will involve close collaboration with leading industry partners Energy Power Systems Australia, Meridian Energy Australia, Continental and MAN.
Professor Michael Brear is the Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne and said the project will focus on the use of renewable hydrogen to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from power generation and transportation.
“This project is a great opportunity for the universities and our industry partners to demonstrate how advanced engines can play an important role in affordable systems that generate, transport or use renewable hydrogen,” Professor Brear said.
The project will make use of University of Melbourne’s and UNSW’s state-of-the-art experimental and numerical research facilities.
Fundamental studies of hydrogen injection and combustion will be used to develop advanced tools for the design and optimisation of highly efficient, hydrogen fuelled engines.
Two generations of spark and compression ignition engines will then be developed, with the aim of building the most efficient, hydrogen fuelled engines to date. The team will analyse how these engines can play an important part in clean and investible energy systems.
“Hydrogen can be made, transported and used in many different ways.” Professor Brear said.
“This new funding will help us to demonstrate how hydrogen can be used cost-effectively, reliably and cleanly. That is the guiding aim of our work.”
Meridian Energy Australia Chief Executive Officer Ed McManus said his team is excited to be able to contribute to this important project.
“The ability to create and store renewable energy in the form of hydrogen, and then recreate electricity at times of peak demand, has the potential to play an important role in the electricity system of the future,” Mr McManus said.
As the long-standing Caterpillar Engine Business for Australia, Energy Power Systems Australia has extensive experience in decentralised energy.
“We are excited to be a part of this project, aiming to capture and store energy as hydrogen to be consumed and delivered back to the network to improve the delivered cost and quality of clean electricity,” said Energy Power Systems Australia Chief Executive Officer Phil Canning.