Rolls Royce focuses on methanol, fuel cell and hybrid for boats


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Rolls Royce MTU marine solutions
Rolls Royce MTU marine solutions

In a landscape increasingly set toward environmental sustainability, Rolls Royce is also presenting its pioneering program, launching its mtu sustainable marine solutions in Hamburg at the 30thSMM (the International Maritime Industry Summit) in Hamburg.

Rolls Royce focuses on methanol, fuel cell and hybrid for boats

More than willing to commit to the methanol pathway as the marine fuel of the future, Denise Kurtulus (Rolls Royce’s vice president Global Marine), indicated how Rolls Royce intends to be a pioneer in this field, while in parallel new solutions from the ‘British’ were presented.

Indeed, Rolls Royce has introduced, in line with its intention to support an alignment toward carbon neutrality, its Susteinable Marine Solutions for the propulsion, automation, and service sectors. Methanol engines, fuel cell concepts, hybrid systems, and more were thus the new products launched by Rolls Royce, including MTU NautIQ marine automation products. But what are we actually talking about?

Rolls Royce – MTU Hybrid Propulsion Pack

Rolls Royce will introduce, starting in 2023, its Hybrid Propulsion Pack for the MTU 2000 and 4000 series, a system designed to intelligently combine diesel engines with battery electric propulsion modules, gearboxes, control and monitoring systems, and other electronic components. All to provide speed, comfort, efficiency, and navigation without local emissions, as needed. Flexible solution this, adaptable to yachts, ferries, and various other means that fall within the necessary specifications. In fact, the MTU Hybrid Propulsion Pack will be offered in a power range of 1,119 kW to 4,300 kW for diesel engines and between 165 kW and 743 kW for electric motors.

Rolls Royce – Methanol propulsion and engines.

Another big step for Rolls Royce, methanol engines. E-methanol is a fuel that is considered carbon-neutral. This is because of its production derived from renewable energy. It can potentially work for all types of marine thrusters, regardless of whether they are recreational, commercial, or industrial hulls.

The energy density of this fuel is particularly high compared to other sustainable alternatives. Plus it is liquid, and this is a significant advantage in terms of storage and replenishment, not only because of the temperatures at which it works, but also because it is analogous to systems already in use. Because of these advantages, Rolls Royce Power System has therefore initiated methanol engine development based on the 4000 Mtu Series, scheduled for 2026.

Rolls Royce – Fuel Cell Systems.

The development of hydrogen-fueled fuel cell systems is also proceeding in parallel, a solution that would appear to produce no harmful emissions, either in terms of CO2 or nitrogen oxides or pariculates. The only emission in this regard is the CO2 emitted by the necessary methanol reformer, but in such terms that it is not particularly significant. Added to this are reduced noise emissions, as well as lower vibration. Combine this with high yield efficiency and these systems are undoubtedly attractive to the shipping industry. Although some questions still need to be answered, as in the cases of infrastructure to be upgraded, or bunkering, the development of fuel cells for this type of application is progressing, and Rolls Royce Power System expects them to be on the market starting in 2028.



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