Hydrogen-fuelled gas turbine success at paper packaging site

The Hyflexpower consortium has successfully operated a gas turbine with 100% renewable hydrogen on the site of a paper packaging company in France, paving the way for a green hydrogen market.

The Hyflexpower project uses renewable hydrogen to power an industrial gas turbine (Image credit: Engie Solutions/Arnaud Baguet – Focal Studio)

The Hyflexpower project, at the Smurfit Kappa factory in Saillat-sur-Vienne, involves production, storage and re-electrification of 100% renewable hydrogen. The hydrogen is produced by a 1MW electrolyser onsite and then stored in a tank holding almost one tonne. It is used to power a Siemens Energy SGT-400 industrial gas turbine.

One of the project’s goals is to demonstrate that it is possible to convert an existing gas-fired power turbine to operate using renewable hydrogen and to show that hydrogen can be used as a flexible energy-storage medium. Turbines with dry low-emissions technology can be fuelled with up to 100% hydrogen as well as with natural gas, and any blends in between.

The plan is to expand the consortium to include additional members to scale up and commercialise the technology. As well as electricity production, the team will extend the turbine operation to industrial heat production and additional operational modes. 

As the consortium lead, Siemens Energy supplied the electrolyser for hydrogen production and developed the hydrogen gas turbine. Engie built the hydrogen production, storage and supply for the demonstrator. Centrax was responsible for the package upgrade to ensure safe operation with hydrogen fuel.

The German Aerospace Centre and the universities in Lund, Sweden, Duisburg-Essen, Germany, and University College London, in the UK, contributed to the hydrogen turbine technology development. Consultancy Arttic supported the operational project management, while NTUA, based in Greece, carried out economic, environmental and social analysis of the concept.

Karim Amin, member of Siemens Energy’s executive board, said the experience “will help us to continue developing our entire gas turbine fleet for a hydrogen-based future”.

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