The HYFLEXPOWER consortium has achieved a significant milestone by successfully operating a gas turbine using 100% renewable hydrogen. This achievement marks a pivotal moment in the field of renewable energy and energy storage.
Situated at the Smurfit Kappa facility in Saillat-sur-Vienne, France, the HYFLEXPOWER project involves the entire process of producing, storing, and re-electrifying 100% renewable hydrogen. This renewable hydrogen is generated on-site using a 1 MW electrolyzer, subsequently stored in a substantial tank weighing nearly one ton, and finally utilized to power an industrial gas turbine from Siemens Energy, specifically the SGT-400.
The successful operation of the HYFLEXPOWER project demonstrates the versatility of hydrogen as an energy storage medium. Notably, it signifies the feasibility of converting an existing gas-fired power turbine to run on renewable hydrogen.
In 2022, the project conducted tests with the industrial gas turbine running on a mixture of 30% hydrogen and natural gas. Building on this foundation, the power-to-hydrogen-to-power demonstrator has now validated that cutting-edge turbines equipped with dry low, emissions technology can be fueled with up to 100% hydrogen, in addition to natural gas and various hydrogen-natural gas blends.
The HYFLEXPOWER consortium comprises critical players, including Siemens Energy, ENGIE (via its subsidiary ENGIE Solutions), Centrax, Arttic, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and four European universities. Following the promising results of the HYFLEXPOWER demonstrator, plans are in place to expand the consortium by incorporating new members.
In its role as the consortium lead, Siemens Energy supplied the electrolyzer for hydrogen production and developed the hydrogen gas turbine. ENGIE took charge of creating the infrastructure for hydrogen production, storage, and supply within the demonstrator. Centrax was responsible for upgrading the gas turbine package to ensure its safe operation with hydrogen fuel. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the universities of Lund (Sweden), Duisburg-Essen (Germany), and University College London (UK) contributed to the advancement of hydrogen turbine technology. Arttic provided operational project management support, while NTUA in Athens (Greece) conducted economic, environmental, and social analyses of the concept.
Karim Amin, Member of the Executive Board of Siemens Energy, emphasized the value of the HYFLEXPOWER project, which has successfully introduced the first gas turbine capable of running on 100% hydrogen. The knowledge and experience gained from this endeavor will play a pivotal role in advancing the entire gas turbine fleet towards a hydrogen-based future. The project’s achievement in efficiently integrating electrolysis, storage, and hydrogen conversion on a single site showcases the potential of scaling these results.
HYFLEXPOWER received substantial funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, further underscoring its significance in the field of renewable energy and sustainable technology.