Rolls-Royce Developing Way to Use Vehicle Fuel Cells for Stationary Power Generation

(Technology group Rolls-Royce and Lab1886 have taken the first step in cooperation on the use of vehicle fuel cells for stationary power generation. Credit: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce and Lab1886, an innovation lab within the Mercedes-Benz group, have taken the first step in cooperation on the use of vehicle fuel cells for stationary power generation. A pilot project has now been agreed between the Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, which produces solutions under the MTU brand name, and Lab1886. Over the coming months, Rolls-Royce will develop an integrated MTU solution for sustainable off-grid generation of continuous and emergency power using vehicle fuel cells, focused on safety-critical applications such as data centers.

MTU generator sets from Rolls-Royce are already in service at numerous data centers worldwide, providing emergency power when needed to safeguard global internet traffic. To date, these generator sets have been diesel-engine based, but, according to Rolls-Royce, fuel cells could be a valid alternative. The pilot project will begin early next year and will include the construction of an emergency power plant for Rolls-Royce’s data center in Friedrichshafen. The plant will be based on fuel cell modules built by Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH. Mercedes-Benz has experience in hydrogen-powered electric vehicles through its work on many generations of vehicles, while Rolls-Royce has experience with fuel cell systems using other technologies.

Alongside fuel cell technology, Rolls-Royce is researching the manufacture of hydrogen and other synthetic fuels using renewable energy sources – also for use in fuel cells.

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