Power & PropulsionHydrogenDevelopment of Yanmar Hydrogen-Fueled 4-Stroke Engine Underway for Zero Emission Vessels

Development of Yanmar Hydrogen-Fueled 4-Stroke Engine Underway for Zero Emission Vessels

Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd. , a subsidiary of Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd., has embarked on the development of a hydrogen-fuelled 4-stroke high-speed engine for power generation for coastal vessels in Japan as part of the Nippon Foundation’s zero emission ship demonstration experiment. The engine utilizes hydrogen as a fuel, emitting no CO2 during combustion.

In parallel with the hydrogen engine development, YPT will also work on the creation of a hydrogen engine-compatible hybrid electric propulsion vessel, combining hydrogen engine generators with batteries. This innovative vessel design incorporates a container unit-type hydrogen power generation system on its upper deck. Uyeno TransTech Co., Ltd., a shipping company in the Uyeno Group, will be responsible for the vessel’s development and construction.

To support the transition towards zero emissions in maritime operations, YPT aims to develop a pilot ignition engine that utilizes a small amount of pilot biofuel and hydrogen co-combustion, as well as a spark ignition hydrogen-only engine. The company plans to commence onshore verification tests in 2024 using a 6-cylinder hydrogen engine with pilot ignition, with the goal of conducting verification operations by 2026. Concurrently, YPT will conduct onshore verification tests using the spark ignition hydrogen-only engine. By approximately 2030, they aim to achieve zero emissions for coastal vessels by promoting the adoption of hydrogen energy-based propulsion systems.

The Zero-Emission Ship Project

The “Zero-Emission Ship Project,” led by the Nippon Foundation, prioritizes the development of hydrogen-fueled ships to achieve carbon neutrality in the coastal shipping sector by 2050. Through this initiative, YPT aims to pioneer the development of hydrogen-powered vessels and conduct demonstration experiments.

Consortium members

As of June 2023, the consortium for this project includes:

  1. Yanmar Power Technology Co., Ltd. (representative)
  2. Uyeno TransTech Co., Ltd.,
  3. Kyoto University,
  4. Fukuoka Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.,
  5. Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., and
  6. Mirai Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

Responsibilities: 4. Detailed vessel design and construction, 5. Basic planning, 6. Design and construction of hydrogen engine container generation units.

Rendering of hydrogen fuel engine electric propulsion ship. (Ship color to be decided.)

YPT’s endeavor aligns with the organization’s commitment to advancing sustainable marine operations and showcases their dedication to developing cutting-edge technologies for the future of the maritime industry.

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