Consortium to develop “world’s first” integrated power-to-X-to-power hydrogen gas turbine

Published on May 31, 2020

With the HYFLEXPOWER project, a new consortium has formed to develop the world’s first industrial-scale power-to-X-to-power demonstrator with an advanced hydrogen turbine located at Smurfit Kappa PRF’s site in Saillat-sur-Vienne, France.

The project is formed of Engine Solutions, Siemens Gas and Power, Centrax, Arttic, German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and four European universities, and is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Framework Program for Research and Innovation.

Together, the group hopes to prove that hydrogen can be produced and stored from renewable electricity and then added with up to 100% to the natural gas currently used with combined heat and power plants.

Within the HYFLEXPOWER project it will be demonstrated that renewable hydrogen can serve as a flexible means of storing energy which can then be used to power a high-power industrial turbine.

The stakeholders involved in the project are developing new technologies which can be used across the whole power-to-X-to-power cycle. The installed demonstrator will be used to store excess renewable electricity in the form of green hydrogen. During periods of high demand this stored green hydrogen will then be used to generate electrical energy to be fed into the grid.

The companies selected to play in part in the power-to-X-to-power project each have a different role to play. Each stakeholder’s role is as follows:

  • ENGIE Solutions will build the hydrogen production and storage chain facility, up to the natural gas/hydrogen mix prior to injection into the turbine
  • Siemens Energy will supply the electrolyser for hydrogen production and develop the hydrogen gas turbine
  • Centrax will upgrade the package for H2 operation and install the new turbine
  • German Aerospace Centre (DLR) together with the University College London, University of Duisburg-Essen and Lund University will support hydrogen turbine technology development
  • National Technical University of Athens will perform economic, environmental and social assessments of the concept
  • Arttic will support the operational project management and the project’s communication activities.

With a budget of €15.2m, the project hopes to last four years which will be split into four different phases – one phase for each of the four years. Each phase is as follows:

  • May 2020: Contracts finalised and start of engineering development.
  • 2021: Installation of the hydrogen production, storage, and supply facility at the pilot demonstration site.
  • 2022: Installation of the gas turbine for natural gas/hydrogen mixtures and initial demonstration of advanced pilot plant concept.
  • 2023: Pilot demonstration with up to 100% hydrogen for carbon-free energy production from stored excess renewable energy.

“With the HYFLEXPOWER project, ENGIE Solutions is once again demonstrating its intent to support manufacturers and regions as they seek to optimize and green their energy use. Developing renewable hydrogen for industrial purposes is a perfect example. This demonstrator is the future,” says Pierre Hardouin, CEO of ENGIE Solutions for Industries.

“Siemens Gas and Power wants to be the driving force behind the decarbonisation of energy systems worldwide,” said Karim Amin, CEO of the Generation Division of Siemens Gas and Power.

“Our goal is to make our gas turbines usable for 100 percent hydrogen. With that, gas turbines can be the “technology of choice” for our customers to ensure a secure energy supply in a completely decarbonised world in the future,” Amin added.

Source: Press release