Ansaldo Energia, Equinor collaborating on high-pressure testing of hydrogen in gas turbines

Italian turbine manufacturer Ansaldo Energia and Norwegian energy firm Equinor will collaborate on testing hydrogen-fueled generation.

The agreement teams Ansaldo and Equinor on full-scale, full-pressure combustor validation tests. The research is intended to advance hydrogen combustion technology.

“To this regard the main goals are the optimization for ultralow NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions, operational flexibility and minimization of engine derating at very high hydrogen contents,” reads the press release from Ansaldo.

Ansaldo’s GT36 (pictured) and GT26 natural gas-fired turbines already allow utilization of hydrogen fuel in a low NOx premix system. The GT36 H-class gas turbine combustor can operate with hydrogen mixes of up to 50 percent, according to the company.

Recent high-pressure testing by Ansaldo showed the turbines would operate with up to 70 percent hydrogen without power or efficiency derating, according to the release.

Equinor works on oil, gas, wind and solar projects in more than 30 nations. It will help fund the hydrogen testing projects.

Ansaldo Energia is a power plant construction, turbine and services firm with operations in Italy, China, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and the United States. It has more than 4,500 employees.

Some industry experts have predicted that hydrogen could replace natural gas in turbines by 2050. In addition to Ansaldo, other companies doing research in this area include GE, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Siemens and MAN Energy Solutions.

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All of those companies will have representatives speaking on power generation issues at POWERGEN International. The conference will be November 19-21 in New Orleans.

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