In May, MAN Engines put its first two dual fuel hydrogen-powered engines for workboats into serial operation. These comprise two 12-cylinder MAN D2862 LE448 diesel engines, each with an output of 749 kW (1,019 hp) at 2,100 rpm.

The engines are IMO Tier III-certified and equipped with a selective catalytic reduction exhaust gas aftertreatment system. Both V12 engines have been prepared for dual fuel operation by MAN Engines and supplemented with a hydrogen injection system by development partner CMB.TECH.

The low-emission engine is used on the world’s first hydrogen-powered crew transfer vessel (CTV), the 82'x24' Hydrocat 48 from Windcat Workboats.

“What’s special about our technology is that we use a conventional diesel engine, which doesn’t need to be optimized for hydrogen,” Werner Kübler, head of development at MAN Engines, said in a prepared statement. A proven V12 marine engine is thus used in which hydrogen is introduced into the charge air via an adapter and is added to the combustion cycle. The combustion process is thereby started according to the diesel principle, which requires the injection of approximately 5% of diesel fuel. The diesel fuel common rail injection parameters have been optimized here for dual fuel operation.

The Hydrocat 48 has a 5.5' draft, a service speed of 30 knots, and a 10-tonnes cargo capacity.

“MAN Engines has long-standing experience in the development of fuel-saving and reliable diesel engines, including for work boats. Building on this experience, we were also able to achieve the best consumption values in dual fuel operation, and ensure the same operating behavior as displayed by diesel operation at full load. At the same time, we also reduce CO2 emissions through the use of hydrogen by an average of approximately 50%, and even up to 80% as a peak value,” said Kübler.

A further advantage of using the conventional and sophisticated diesel engine is the accustomed easy handling when it comes to maintenance and service. Moreover, pure diesel operation can continue without interruption if the hydrogen supply is exhausted, for instance. Availability, driving comfort and operational safety are thus always guaranteed at the high level that a traditional diesel engine is known for, MAN officials said.

MAN Engines offers its customers and partners solutions like the “MAN Smart HYBRID Experience” hybrid system or engines for gas/electric drives, to contribute to CO2 reduction and sustainable shipping. Now that the MAN D2862 LE448 dual fuel engines for workboats are ready for series production, a further milestone has been reached to that effect.

“By starting with dual fuel combustion engines, we can make hydrogen technology operational in the industry and kick-start further development of the technology, regulation, supply chain, etc.,” said Willem van der Wel, managing director of Windcat Workboats.