Japan: Power Generation Mitsubishi Tests Large-Scale Gas Turbine Fuelled by Hydrogen Mix

Editor: Alexander Stark

Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) announced the successful firing test of a large-scale gas turbine fuelled by a 30 % hydrogen fuel mix.

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Actual-pressure combustion testing facilities that carried out the hydrogen-mixed firing test
Actual-pressure combustion testing facilities that carried out the hydrogen-mixed firing test
(Source: Business Wire)

Yokohama/Japan — The burner, which has been developed to burn hydrogen attains stable combustion even when hydrogen is mixed with natural gas, the Japanese company announced. Using a 30 % hydrogen mixture, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 10 % was achieved, compared to natural-gas-fired power generation.

The hydrogen-mixed firing test was carried out at MHPS’s Takasago Works, using actual-pressure combustion testing facilities, as part of a project of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (Nedo).

The firing test conditions called for a turbine inlet temperature of 1,600℃, equivalent to 700 MW of output, using the premix combustor of the natural-gas-fired J-Series gas turbines, which provides power generation efficiency above 63 %. With a hydrogen mix of 30 %, stable combustion was demonstrated while satisfying operable threshold values pertaining to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, combustion oscillation, etc., announced the engineering company.

The hydrogen-mixed firing technology applied in the large-scale gas turbine uses the developer’s proprietary dry low-NOx (DLN) combustor developed for this project as a modified version of the company’s natural-gas-fired combustors. The combustion method is premixing, a field in which MHPS has experience through its use of DLN combustors. The combustor’s fuel nozzle creates a rotational airflow that enables the formation of a more uniform premixed gas, leading to low NOx. The equipment currently in place can be used without modification, thereby reducing the potential costs of converting a natural-gas-fired power plant to a hydrogen plant.

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In Japan, efforts are underway to develop hydrogen as one of the nation’s core energies. Research and development of gas turbines fueled by hydrogen currently focuses on small and medium-size gas turbines for small-scale thermal power plants suited to distributed power generation or area cogeneration.

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Following this successful test, MHPS will accelerate the development of hydrogen-fueled gas turbines and encourage hydrogen use by thermal power plant operators. It marks a first step toward realizing a CO2-free hydrogen society, a key strategy set last December at the second meeting of Japan’s Ministerial Council on Renewable Energy, Hydrogen and Related Issues.

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