Yanmar starts developing hydrogen-fueled 4-stroke high-speed engine for coastal ships

Japan’s Yanmar Group company, Yanmar Power Technology (YPT), has embarked on the development of a hydrogen-fueled 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, Yanmar Power Technology 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, 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.

Back in 2021, Yanmar Power Technology, together with Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Japan Engine Corporation, formed a consortium of Japanese engine manufacturers to pursue joint development of hydrogen-fueled marine engines for ocean-going and coastal vessels. The trio said it wanted to establish a ‘dominant position’ in hydrogen engine technologies.

Last year, YPT  introduced its maritime hydrogen fuel cell system to decarbonize the maritime industry. Recently, the company made the first delivery of its newly commercialized system.

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