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