Showcasing a future energy system with hydrogen turbinesThe next decades are expected to be among the most transformative the energy sector has ever seen when the world is moving away from fossil fuels. As part of this transformation we are expanding our own gas turbine test facility in the town of Finspång, Sweden, to become a model of the future energy system.
Together with international partners within the research project Zero Emission Hydrogen Turbine Center (ZEHTC) we are building a demonstration plant to showcase a flexible and sustainable energy system connecting gas turbines with hydrogen, renewable energy and energy storage. This will provide valuable insights to be able to accelerate into a decarbonized energy future.
Enlit Episode ZEHTC – Test bed for the future sustainable energy system
“If it’s one infrastructure that’s available worldwide it’s gas turbines. If we can adapt how we use gas turbines we can create a large impact fast.”
Get a virtual tour of the ZEHTC and listen to the panel of energy experts discussing the new sustainable and flexible energy system using the ZEHTC as a stepping stone.
Brought to you in cooperation with Enlit Europe as part of their New Energy Landscape Series, Season 2.
The Zero Emission Hydrogen Turbine Center at a glance
The project ideaWatch our video to learn more
The demonstrator plant will provide valuable insights to be able to accelerate into a decarbonized energy future. It will be put into full operation in 2021.
How does it work?The test center opens up multiple possibilities: Excess energy from gas turbine tests and electricity from solar panels will be used to produce hydrogen in an electrolyzer. The energy can then be stored either as compressed hydrogen or in batteries.
This way a closed loop plant is created, producing its own hydrogen for our continued research and development to optimize the use of hydrogen in gas turbines. All this also while supporting our goal to be able to run our gas turbines on 100% hydrogen by 2030.
Click on the labels to learn more about the components of the solution
Battery storage is used to increase the operation flexibility of our energy system and to show different possibilities of storing energy; either as compressed hydrogen and/or as electricity in batteries.
- 75 kW / 76 kWh
- enables island operation of the system (decoupled from external electricity grid)
The main fuel used at the gas turbine testing facility has been natural gas. In 2020 biogas was added in the strive to reduce the environmental impact and to demonstrate fossil free gas turbine operation.
The more green fuels like biogas, and/or hydrogen, are blended into the mix, the less CO₂ is emitted into the air.
During the delivery tests, the gas turbines generate a huge peak of electricity. A big portion of this electricity is fed into the national electrical grid.
However, the grid cannot handle all of the generated electricity. Part of this excess power will, as part of the Zero Emission Hydrogen Turbine Center, be directed to an electrolyzer to produce hydrogen that can be added as carbon-free gas turbine fuel at the next gas turbine test.
The electrolyzer produces green hydrogen from solar energy – and from the excess power of the gas turbine delivery tests. We can then compress the hydrogen and store it to feed it back into the plant as gas turbine fuel when we need it for the next test.
- PEM Electrolyzer 225 kW: 47 Nm3/h hydrogen production capacity @nominal operation, which would give about 100 kg per day in full time operation
- Diaphragm compressor 15,5 kW: compress the hydrogen from 30 bar to the storage pressure of 200 bar
Siemens Energy in Finspång, Sweden, has three active test riggs in operation for performing complete mechanical running tests (MRT) on gas turbines SGT-600, -700, -750 and SGT-800.
The fuel used is natural gas, and since 2020 also biogas. In 2021 hydrogen will be added to the mix. This fuel shift is in line with the target for the test facility to be CO₂ neutral by 2030.
Gas turbine operation @ 15%vol hydrogen:
- One hour of full load test operation consumes 150 kg hydrogen and saves 360 kg fuel gas and about 1 ton C0₂ emissions *
*Assumptions: Typical medium size gas turbine (30-35 MWel) fuel consumption – SGT-700
The future of gas turbinesSo, what is the role of gas turbines in a sustainable energy system?
Gas turbines have proven to be very effective in balancing intermittent renewable energy production due to their flexibility and short ramp-up times. According to the International Energy Agency, gas turbines will play an important role in providing flexibility in the electrical grid in a Sustainable Development Scenario.
H₂ capabilities of our medium-sized gas turbines
As of today, the gas turbines we're testing in our new Zero Emission Hydrogen Turbine Center are ready to burn up to 75% of hydrogen in the fuel mix. And step by step we aim to reach 100% by 2030.
A sustainable energy systemGas turbines with hydrogen as fuel have great potential to provide more stability in future energy systems that involve increasing shares from renewable sources without increasing carbon emissions.
As power from solar and wind is highly volatile and does not always match the energy demand, hydrogen – produced from these green energy sources – can be used as an energy storage solution. The subsequent combustion of hydrogen results in zero carbon emissions.
Gas turbines provide in themselves renewable power when running on hydrogen, or any other fossil-free fuel like e-fuels (i.e. e-methanol, e-diesel, e-methane) or bio-fuels (i.e. bio-methanol, ethanol, or bio-diesel).