Rolls-Royce and Lab1886, a lab within the Mercedes-Benz group, have joined forces to examine the use of vehicle fuel cells for stationary power generation.
A pilot project, which will begin next year, has been agreed between the Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, which develops solutions under the MTU brand name, and Lab1886.
Over the coming months, Rolls-Royce will develop an integrated MTU solution for sustainable off-gird generation of continuous and emergency power using vehicle fuel cells, focused on safety-critical applications such as data centres.
The pilot project will also include the construction of an emergency power plant for Rolls-Royce’s data centre in Friedrichshafen. The plant will be based of fuel cell modules built by Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH.
“As a supplier of integration solutions, the decarbonisation of our drive, propulsion and power generation systems is a key strategic aim,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
“In pursuing it, we’re open to all technologies. Hence fuel cells are set to become a key technology for us.”
Alongside fuel cell technology, Rolls-Royce is also researching the manufacture of hydrogen and other synthetic fuels using renewable energy sources – also for use in fuel cells.
“Used in this combination, fuel cells promise to make an ever-bigger contribution to the energy turnaround,” said Martin Teigeler, R&D Chief of Power Systems.
“And we’re delighted to have Lab1886 as our partner, because their technological mindset fits ours perfectly. We’re confident that Mercedes-Benz fuel cell modules have the potential to open up new application possibilities in stationary power generation as well, and that’s our market.”