Rolls-Royce has, through its Power Systems business, set up a new organisational unit ‘Power Lab’ to focus on innovative and net-zero carbon drive and energy solutions.
The new arm will concentrate on the development of cutting-edge technologies for the marine and infrastructure sectors, with a strong emphasis on fuel cell systems and the production and deployment of synthetic fuels.
Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We’ve made it our mission to leverage the trends we’re seeing in our markets by creating the new drive and energy solutions our customers are looking for which support a climate-neutral future. Therefore, it is essential that the development of our product portfolio is centered on new technologies that enable this future.
“The Power Lab is an important milestone on the path we’re taking.”
Through its Power Systems business, Rolls-Royce is also cooperating with Daimler Truck AG on developing carbon-neutral fuel cell systems for supplying emergency power to mission-critical applications such as data centers and for covering peak loads.
Since the end of last year, the partnership has been looking at taking fuel cell modules used in automobile production to create a demonstrator that will contribute to the power requirement of Rolls-Royce facilities in Friedrichshafen. This will support a further partnership’s aim of using fuel cell modules in development for driving commercial vehicles for other applications such as stationary power plants.
Dr Arne Schneemann, responsible for pre-development in the Power Lab team, said: “Synthetic fuels can support the net-zero carbon operation of both today’s existing drive and energy systems and those of the future, in addition to enabling the storage of renewables-based energies. We believe in this technology and are keen to endorse its development in collaborations and research projects.”
Partnerships and technological openness key to winning new markets
Power Lab is headed by Dr Peter Riegger, who previously led the Research & Technology division.
Riegger, said the willingness to embrace new technologies will ensure the success of companies in future.
“Our research engineers now have more technological freedom to develop new ideas and refine them in cooperation with customers and partners.” In this respect, long-term partnerships nurturing the development of technologies and capabilities will play a crucial role in enabling new markets to be captured.”
Dr Daniel Chatterjee who oversees technology management and regulatory affairs in the Power Lab, reiterates: We’re placing the emphasis on improved efficiencies, alternative fuels, electrification, digitalization and integrated system solutions with the aim of continually enhancing the eco-friendliness of our drive and energy systems and bringing them closer to their CO2 neutrality.”