In A First, Researchers Develop Gas Turbine Powered By Pure Hydrogen


Researchers at the University of Stavanger in Norway have announced that they have developed a method for using pure hydrogen as fuel in a gas turbine.

The researchers at the university have been working on developing a method for using pure hydrogen as fuel in the gas turbine, installed at a micro gas plant of the university, in a bid to produce electricity with zero CO2 emissions.

The University of Stavanger operates a micro gas plant in south-west Norway. The gas turbine at the plant produces both heat and electricity. It also supplies hot water for heating the laboratory buildings in the immediate area, the University said in a release.

In addition, surplus energy is supplied to power provider Lyse’s district heating and electricity grids.

In mid-May 2022, an important milestone was reached when the researchers started running the turbine on 100 percent 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 Professor Mohsen Assadi, who leads the research.

His team, according to the release, has now proven that they can use hydrogen in existing natural gas infrastructure without altering much of the initial composition of the structures.

“The efficiency of running the gas turbine with hydrogen will be somewhat less. The big gain though, is to be able to utilize the infrastructure that already exists. In addition, there are no CO2 emissions associated with this energy production,” said Assadi.

He emphasised that this research is about storage as well as distribution of gas fuel.

“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,” said Assadi.

The research team will now explore the limitations of the gas plant, and find out how they can increase the capacity to produce as much clean energy as possible, the release said.