Mitsibishi Hitachi Power Systems has announced that a large-scale gas turbine it is developing has successfully passed a firing test using a 30 per cent hydrogen fuel mix.

MHPS said that the test results confirmed that by using its proprietary burner, which was specially developed to burn hydrogen, stable combustion can be attained even when hydrogen is mixed with natural gas.

“Using a 30 per cent hydrogen mixture, a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 10 per cent was achieved, compared to natural-gas-fired power generation,” the company said.

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) aimed at developing technologies for realizing a ‘hydrogen society’.

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 per cent.

MHPS said with a hydrogen mix of 30 per cent, stable combustion was demonstrated while satisfying operable threshold values in relation to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and combustion oscillation.

The stable hydrogen-mixed firing technology applied in the large-scale gas turbine uses MHPS’s proprietary dry low-NOx (DLN) combustor developed for this project as an improved 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. Other than the combustor, the equipment currently in place can be used without modification, thereby curbing the potential costs of converting a natural-gas-fired power plant to a hydrogen plant.

In Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Cabinet Office re driving efforts to develop hydrogen as one of the nation’s core energies.MHPS tests gas turbine using hydrogen fuel mix

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.

However, MHPS says that with successful testing towards the use of hydrogen fuel in a large-scale gas turbine for large-scale thermal power plants, expectations are focusing on the new technology making a major contribution to easing the burden on the global environment during power generation.

Following the successful test, MHPS said it will accelerate the development of hydrogen-fueled gas turbines and encourage hydrogen use by thermal power plant operators.

This will happen alongside Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group’s work in developing carbon capture and storage technology. MHPS said: “By linking these technologies, the group is poised to lead the development of an international supply chain spanning hydrogen supply, transport and storage, thereby contributing to realization of a hydrogen society.”

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