The future of internal combustion engines

In their earlier blogs, Royal IHC shared the company’s vision towards the innovative and complex drive systems that are required for the maritime energy transition.

Fuel cells are seen as the prime mover for the future, but what will happen with the internal combustion engines?

In the latest blog, IHC’s Benny Mestemaker explained what he thinks the role of internal combustion engines will be in the future.

According to Mestemaker, fuel cells were mentioned as the prime mover for the future and yet, many may wonder if internal combustion engines still have a role in future drive systems?

For him, the answer is “yes”. “At IHC, we think that internal combustion engines will continue to have a role to play in the maritime energy transition,” Mestemaker said.

He added that in the short term, internal combustion engines will still power all larger ocean-going vessels.

At the moment, only some vessels with very specific operational profiles and work areas may be fully powered by batteries or hydrogen-fuelled fuel cells.

Ocean-going vessels require more energy-dense hydrocarbon fuels and/or ammonia, and the maritime solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) required for these fuels are still in development.

This is the gap in which the internal combustion engine can show its potential until SOFCs – or other more efficient prime movers – become available.

To read the whole blog, please visit Royal IHC website.

Photo: Royal IHC

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