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Hydrogen Engine Center Unveils One-Cylinder Hydrogen Combustion Engine; First Application in Combined Heat and Power

Hydrogen Engine Center (HEC) has completed the initial design and engineering of its compact, single-cylinder internal combustion engine. The new engine is entering operational testing, and is designed to run interchangeably on hydrogen, propane, natural gas, ethanol or gasoline.

This engine complements the Company’s existing family of 2, 3, 6 and 8-cylinder Oxx Power alternative fuel internal combustion engines.

The 0.8-liter, one-cylinder engine expands the potential market for HEC’s engines and power generation products. This market includes applications such as powering industrial compressors, chemical and substance mixers and industrial conveyers.

HEC will initially supply this engine to  UK-based ITM Power, pursuant to a previously announced teaming agreement. Under the HEC/ITM Power agreement, HEC engines are being integrated with ITM Power electrolyzers, to become a stand-alone power generation solution for industrial and residential customers.

In addition to industrial applications, the one-cylinder Oxx Power engine generator-set system will be able to provide all of the heating and hot water demands for homes. The system is designed to allow for “fuel by wire,” using lower cost, off-peak electricity or locally produced renewable energy to generate hydrogen which then fuels the HEC engines and generator sets. The first of these engines are to be delivered to ITM this spring.


Mark A

Is it a secret as to what it looks like, or how it theoretically runs, with power, consumption numbers? I guess so. How will it provide all the heating and hot water needs of homes? Until I see something more, this is just a "smoke" story.


In effect, it runs on fossil fuels or fuels produced by or from fossil fuels... how novel!

Electrolize water to run a generator to produce electricity. That's efficient?

I know... how about we just use the electricity?


Honda has had a CHP system available in Japan for years. With their expertise in small engines, they have produced one about the size of a trash oompacter that is very quiet and provides hot water and electricity to homes.

Max Reid

An engine that runs on Hydrogen, Methane (Nat-gas), Propane, Octane is GREAT.

As Oil becomes expensive, people will start moving to other fuels. Already Nat-gas is a big candidate and Propane is like a bridge.

Electrolyzing Water is not a good solution, but electricity + heat combined to get Hydrogen is great and lot of waste heat from nuclear and thermal power plants can be used as a source.


The idea is a local energy "time shifter" where you generate H2 from surplus energy, store it and then use it to generate power and heat when you need it.

You could either put these near power sources (wind, nuke, whatever) and deliver the H2 to end users (how?), OR you put them near/in houses and bring the power to them - off peak.
In that case, you get to use the heat from the engine to heat your house when you generate power.

The notion of timeshifting power is critical - there is lots of wind energy, but it is so unpredictable that you can only use a small proportion ( 10-20% of the grid ) when you could generate much more power ( certainly here in Ireland ).
If you could store the excess wind energy, efficiently, you would be able to utilise far more wind energy and save gas and fossil fuels for other purposes.

tom deplume

Using hydrogen as an energy storage medium then burning the H2 in an engine is incredibly inefficient. Less than 10% of the source electricity will be regenerated back into electricity at the desired time. If the idea is to store off peak power for heating puposes then use an electrode in a big tank of water.
OTOH using an engine instead of a fussy fuel cell does get around many problems.

Cheryl Ho

Since DME has an advantage of decomposition at lower temperature than methane and LPG, R&D for hydrogen source for fuel cell has been carried out. DME has a potential of feedstock for chemicals. DME to olefins is under development in Japan.

If you would like to know more on the latest DME developments, join us at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information:

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