Kawasaki Gas Turbine Europe GmbH has won the Innovation Award of the German gas industry in the category "Efficient Application Technology".
In the future, in addition to hydrogen, the combustion of other gases such as natural gas, biogas, syngases or gas mixtures will also be possible. The increased fuel flexibility will make micro-mix burner technology (MMX) even more attractive and competitive in the future. Kawasaki Gas Turbine Europe and its scientific partners have successfully met a major challenge. The gas turbine combustors, which can run on hydrogen and up to 50 percent methane, represent an important contribution to CO2-free power supply and to making our future energy supply more flexible.
Development of innovative hydrogen combustion systems for industrial gas turbines
In combination with the use of renewable energy sources, hydrogen represents an alternative gas turbine fuel in future low-emission power generation. Due to the large difference in the physical properties of hydrogen compared to other fuels such as natural gas, already established dry-low emission (DLE) gas turbine combustion systems cannot be directly used for hydrogen combustion. Therefore, the development of DLE hydrogen combustion technologies is a key challenge for the future of hydrogen-fueled gas turbines.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) has taken up this challenge and developed and tested three different hydrogen combustion systems based on the GPB17 gas turbine unit over the past decade.
The diffusion combustor is characterized by its highly flexible mode of operation. It can be operated with 100% hydrogen as well as with 100% natural gas. In addition, any gas mixtures of hydrogen and natural gas can be set. To achieve low NOx emissions, water is additionally injected into the combustion chamber.
The first gas turbine with a diffusion combustor was installed as part of the research project "Development of smart community technology by Utilization of Hydrogen CGS (Co-Generation System)" in Kobe/Japan. This research project was supported by the Japanese organization NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization). The successful commissioning of the world's first demonstration plant with a hydrogen gas turbine took place in Kobe on April 19, 2018.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., in cooperation with the FH Aachen, B&B-AGEMA and the Institute for Steam- and Gas Turbines at the RWTH Aachen has developed and successfully tested a DLE hydrogen combustion system for burning 100% hydrogen. The innovative combustion system achieves significantly lower NOx emissions than conventional combustion systems over the entire load range. In addition, there is inherent safety against flash-back.
The current MMX technology has been developed and optimized for the combustion of pure hydrogen only. In the future, combustion of other gases such as natural gas, biogas, syngas or gas mixtures will also be possible. The increased fuel flexibility will make MMX technology even more attractive and competitive in the future.
The Kawasaki Gas Turbine Europe Innovation Award Project video