Researchers Run the First Gas Turbine Propelled by Pure Hydrogen
Researchers from the University of Stavanger operate heat and electricity-producing micro gas plant in South-West Norway using the first-ever gas turbines. The gas turbine also supplies hot water for heating the laboratory buildings in the surrounding area. The excess power is supplied to energy provider Lyse's district heating and electricity grids, with all the energy produced by the gas turbine being efficiently used.
The researchers have been working to come up with a method for using hydrogen to run the gas turbines, with the main aim being to generate electricity with zero emissions. The researchers reached a record-setting milestone in mid-May 2022 as they started powering the turbine on 100% hydrogen.
"We have set a world record in hydrogen combustion in micro gas turbines. No one has been able to produce at this level before," said lead researcher Professor Mohsen Assadi.
Dr Assadi is the lead researcher, working with his doctoral fellow Reyhaneh Banihabib and expert engineers Magnus Wersland and Bjarte Hetlelid from NORCE research institute. The team has proven they can use hydrogen in existing natural gas infrastructure.
"First, a certain effort is required to ensure that existing gas infrastructure can handle hydrogen instead of natural gas. Second, this is about technology for energy conversion, that is, the turbine technology itself. That is what we have focused on. We have contributed to technological adaptations of the fuel system and combustion chamber technology," added Assadi.
His team of researchers will now investigate the gas plant's limitations and develop ways of increasing the capacity to produce as much clean energy as possible.
The micro gas turbine plant is a partnership between the university and the German research centre DLR (German Aerospace Center). DLR has provided the combustion chambers used in the test.