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MAHLE bags order for hydrogen engine components from DEUTZ

MAHLE's hydrogen engine components on the test bench. Source: MAHLE

Auto components firm MAHLE has recently received a series order from engine manufacturer DEUTZ for the development and supply of components for hydrogen engines. The power cell units consisting of the piston, the piston ring pack and the piston pin will be used in H2 engines meant for stationary applications from the end of 2024. 

Further applications in the off-highway sector including agricultural and construction machinery are also planned, the company claims. These new engines can be operated in a climate-neutral manner using hydrogen produced from renewable sources since no CO2 is produced when the hydrogen is burned, it adds. 

MAHLE has already been working on engine systems for hydrogen and is a prime contributor for the DEUTZ project. 

RELATED: Cellcentric, MAHLE to cooperate on supply of components for H2 fuel cell systems

"We see hydrogen as an important building block for sustainable mobility, especially in the commercial vehicle sector. This project with DEUTZ is a milestone with a lighthouse effect because it shows that there are other technological levers besides electrification to achieve climate-neutrality," said Arnd Franz, Chairman of the MAHLE Management Board and CEO.

Dr. Sebastian C. Schulte, Chairman of the Management Board of DEUTZ, commented, "To keep the world moving, we need different technology options. What a climate-neutral excavator or combine harvester will look like remains to be seen". 

"For engines that are constantly in use and move large loads, several options are possible. One of them is the hydrogen engine. Our successful pilot projects demonstrate the potential in the commercial vehicle sector. With MAHLE, we now have a strong partner to help us enter series production of our hydrogen engines at the end of 2024," he added. 

For use in the hydrogen engine, MAHLE claims to have adapted and further developed the aluminum piston and piston ring pack from diesel technology. In hydrogen combustion, a key challenge is to find the optimum between the gas mixture that is forced into the crankcase during the combustion process and the oil consumption. 

RELATED: MAHLE, Midtronics partner to jointly develop devices for EV battery service

The Stuttgart-based firm has already verified the reliability of the hydrogen components in a wide variety of engine classes. "To achieve the climate protection goals, we must exploit the potential of all available powertrain technologies," said Franz. 

It is to be noted that in March 2021, MAHLE opened a new test center for hydrogen applications at its Stuttgart location. The company says it is committed to technological diversity as part of its corporate strategy. 

In addition to e-mobility and H2 fuel cell, MAHLE considers the climate-neutral green combustion engine, which runs on non-fossil fuels such as hydrogen, to be one of the future technologies for a sustainable powertrain mix.

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