Kawasaki Develops Low-NOx Hydrogen-fueled Gas Turbine Combustion Technology
Dec. 21, 2015
Tokyo, December 21, 2015—Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has developed and tested a hydrogen-fueled Dry Low Emission (DLE*) combustion technology that achieves low-NOx combustion without using water or steam, which used to be indispensable with conventional technology. Designed for use with gas turbines that run on 100% hydrogen fuel, this new combustion technology has been confirmed to deliver low-NOx performance in a verification test conducted in Germany.
Hydrogen combustion in gas turbines tends to be unstable due to the fast combustion speed of hydrogen. Combined with high flame temperatures, this results in NOx emissions that are nearly double the amount emitted when combusting natural gas. In order to solve these issues, Kawasaki has studied DLE combustion that minimizes flashback and other instances of unstable combustion by using small hydrogen flames, and also achieves low-NOx combustion. Last fiscal year, Kawasaki also launched a new development project for an industrial gas turbine combustor that uses small hydrogen flames. This project was commissioned by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, which oversees one of the Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Programs that deals with energy carriers, as part of an initiative pursued by the Cabinet Office's Council for Science, Technology and Innovation. Kawasaki recently conducted a hydrogen combustion test (100% hydrogen) using a high-temperature, high-pressure combustion test facility at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. The test showed that the new combustion technology achieves NOx emissions of less than 40 ppm, which is far below the regulation value of 84 ppm (at 15% O2) mandated by the Air Pollution Control Act.
Kawasaki will move forward with research and development with an aim to complete the new combustor by the end of 2017, and also work to incorporate the technology into a gas turbine.
To pave the way toward a future powered by hydrogen energy, Kawasaki is developing a wide variety of products that will play key roles in a hydrogen supply chain. Hydrogen gas turbines will be particularly important in the future society since they will be indispensable in building an environmentally-friendly energy supply system based on hydrogen fuel. Going forward, Kawasaki will continue to develop low-NOx gas turbine combustion technologies, working as one for the good of the planet.
*A system that reduces NOx emissions by minimizing combustion temperature without the use of injected water or steam.