Climate change is one of today’s most important environmental and social concerns. In order to achieve the Paris Agreement's goals, decarbonization of the power generation sector is essential.
Hydrogen-fired gas turbines allow for CO2-free dispatchable power generation. CO2-free hydrogen can be either produced via electrolysis using renewable power (green hydrogen) or from natural gas applying dedicated CCS technology (blue hydrogen). The capability to store energy in hydrogen for medium to longterm, can also be used to alleviate variations in renewable power generation.
Compared to natural gas the main challenge of hydrogen combustion is its increased reactivity resulting in a decrease of engine performance for conventional premix combustion systems. Equipped with unique sequential combustion technology, Ansaldo Energia’s GT36 and GT26 gas turbines overcome this drawback allowing the utilization of the full range of hydrogen in a low NOx premix system.
Already today the GT36 H-class gas turbine combustor can be operated with a volumetric hydrogen content in natural gas of 0 to 50%. Recent full-scale high-pressure tests showed the feasibility of operating up to 70% hydrogen without power or efficiency derating and the possibility to burn up to 100%.
To further develop this fuel flexibility capability, Ansaldo Energia and Equinor joined forces and signed a collaboration agreement. The purpose of this collaboration is to advance the hydrogen combustion technology with fullscale, full pressure combustor validation tests.
To this regard the main goals are the optimization for ultralow NOx emissions, operational flexibility and minimization of engine derating at very high hydrogen contents.