From Diesel Generators to BESS – The Evolution of DEUTZ Power Solutions

“As DEUTZ moves rapidly towards zero emissions, we are developing the system to accommodate existing and future DEUTZ green technologies,”Ben Jenkinson, Australia Power Solutions Business Development Manager.

Earlier this year, as Cyclone Gabrielle tore through parts of New Zealand triggering a national state of emergency, the North Island became desperate for generators to provide much-needed power.

Pete Shaw, Director of Shaw Diesels Ltd, quickly contacted DEUTZ Australia. The business with offices in Auckland and Christchurch has been an authorized DEUTZ dealer since 2002.

“There were major power outages, so we responded as quickly as possible to the call from Pete and sent over a container load of generator units,” says Ben Jenkinson, Australia Power Solutions Business Development Manager for DEUTZ.

“Late last year we also called received a call from a customer in South Australia requesting close to 1 megawatt of electricity to power temporary accommodation for flood victims.”

In situations such as these, reliable and powerful generators are in demand and DEUTZ has a long history of designing and producing dependable power generators to help in a range of situations and industries.

DEUTZ began selling its first generators around the time of WWI and in the years that followed, the company refined its generator technology. By the 1920s, DEUTZ was producing a range of generators – two of the earliest German-made examples in Australia, built in 1928, are at the former State Theatres in Melbourne and Sydney.

Sydney Theatre DEUTZ Engine – Model PMV230, Serial Number 166647-650 

“These engines were running as back-up generators for emergency lighting. Back then, generators were called ‘Lighting Plants’ due to the fact that light bulbs were about the only electric appliance around,” says Ben.

By 1950s, DEUTZ was able to manufacture reliable and durable generators that are still in use till today. For example, the 1954 DEUTZ twin cylinder diesel 3-phase generator, pictured below, was used to power the Australian Gliding Museum paintshop until June 2022.

1954 DEUTZ twin cylinder diesel 3-phase generator previously at the Australian Gliding Museum

As they are today, DEUTZ gensets became known for their work ethic. They were reliable and durable and while those traditional qualities have stayed the same, the technology behind DEUTZ generators hasn’t.

In 2018, DEUTZ Australia began including power solutions for customers with the first generator sold in October that year.

“It was a DPS 110 DG which was sold to provide supplementary power for a dairy farm in Victoria. Shortly after that, we sold another DPS 21 DG as standby power for a financial institution in Tonga,” says Ben.

Since then, the DEUTZ DPS range has continued to evolve with DEUTZ generators now available in the F series, B series and G series. The first two series feature a compact and sturdy design with an internal silencer to reduce noise levels to a minimum. The G series comes with a standard retention basin, ensuring accidental spills or leaks are contained and avoiding potential hazards.

Continuing DEUTZ’s commitment to introduce more environmentally friendly products, Ben and the DEUTZ Australia team have developed DEUTZ Australia’s first Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).  

The energy storage system can be used in homes or commercial settings across industries ranging from renewable energy providers and industrial electricity consumers to offshore drilling companies.

The BESS stores energy generated from renewable sources using battery storage technology. The batteries then discharge that stored energy whenever it’s needed. The standby genset is only used when there is not enough energy generated. The tried and tested technology provides back-up power and ensures a stable power supply.

Ben and his team are in the process of completing the final touches on the Battery Energy Storage System. It is anticipated to be available for market release by Q4 2023.

Looking even further into the sustainable future, a joint pilot project between DEUTZ AG and RheinEnergie AG in Cologne has generated energy using a stationary DEUTZ hydrogen engine. An H2 genset began operating at RheinEnergie’s plant and in combination with a TCG 7.8 H2 hydrogen engine, the generator will deliver up to 170 kilovolt-amperes of electric power during a six-month test phase. The electricity will be fed directly into Cologne’s power grid.

Hydrogen generator project between DEUTZ AG and RheinEnergie AG in Cologne

The genset’s waste heat will also be used with the solution offering enormous potential for the carbon-neutral supply of energy in urban centres.

“As DEUTZ moves rapidly towards zero emissions, we are developing systems to accommodate existing and future DEUTZ green technologies,” says Ben.