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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    University of Melbourne


    Melbourne, Victoria

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    1 August 2018

    End date

    19 March 2023

  • Project Partners
    University of New South Wales, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, Energy Power Systems Australia Pty Ltd, Continental Automotive Systems Inc, Energy Australia


This project will demonstrate the performance and the value of highly efficient, reciprocating engines operating on renewable hydrogen. These engines are intended to be the most efficient, hydrogen fuelled engines ever developed, with supporting research enabling this goal. We will then analyse how these engines are an important part of different, economically optimal, integrated systems that generate, transport or use renewable hydrogen.

How the project works

A number of experimental facilities and modelling tools will be used to develop and implement high efficiency, hydrogen fuelled engines. Fundamental experiments will be conducted to assess hydrogen combustion at engine-relevant conditions. Shared, high performance computational resources will be used to develop new, predictive tools that are informed by the fundamental experiments. Several world-class, experimental engine setups will provide data to confirm the highly efficient operation of innovative, hydrogen fuelled reciprocating engines. A suite of techno-economic modelling tools will be employed to determine the optimal economic benefit of these engines.

Area of innovation

The project will commence with fundamental studies of hydrogen injection and combustion and the development of the first predictive tools for use in the design and optimisation of advanced hydrogen fuelled, reciprocating engines. Some of the chief innovations include new models for the oxidation of renewable hydrogen in advanced engines, predictive simulations of directly-injected hydrogen, demonstration of hydrogen fuelled engines with efficiencies exceeding 45% and an analysis detailing the role of hydrogen fuelled engines in the renewable hydrogen economy.


The project will demonstrate the most efficient, hydrogen fuelled, medium to heavy duty, spark (SI) and compression (CI) ignition engines to date. The project will show how the use of these reciprocating engines can enhance economic performance in several key areas including hydrogen production via integrated generation of hydrogen, electricity and electricity market services from hybrid wind/electrolyser/engine systems, sea transport powered by direct hydrogen fuelling or cryogenic boil-off, on- and off-road, heavy duty vehicles that feature hydrogen fuelled reciprocating engines and advanced stationary power generation that features hydrogen fuelled reciprocating engines.

Last updated 10 June 2022


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