CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Hydrogen Turbines

Turbulent Flame Propagation Characteristics of High Hydrogen Content Fuels

Performer: Georgia Tech Research Corporation

Project No: FE0004555

Program Background and Project Benefits

Turbines convert heat energy to mechanical energy by expanding a hot, compressed working fluid through a series of airfoils. Combustion turbines compress air, mix and combust it with a fuel (natural gas, coal-derived synthesis gas [syngas], or hydrogen), and then expand the combustion gases through the airfoils. Expansion turbines expand a working fluid like steam or supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) that has been heated in a heat exchanger by an external heat source. These two types of turbines are used in conjunction to form a combined cycle— with heat from the combustion gases used as the heat source for the working fluid— improving efficiency and reducing emissions. If oxygen is used for combustion in place of air, then the combustion gases consist mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, and the CO2 can be easily separated and sent to storage or used for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Alternatively, the CO2/steam combustion gases can be expanded directly in an oxy-fuel turbine. Turbines are the backbone of power generation in the US, and the diverse power cycles containing turbines provide a variety of electricity generation options for fossil derived fuels. The efficiency of combustion turbines has steadily increased as advanced technologies have provided manufacturers with the ability to produce highly advanced turbines that operate at very high temperatures. The Advanced Turbines program is developing technologies in four key areas that will accelerate turbine performance, efficiency, and cost effectiveness beyond current state-of-the-art and provide tangible benefits to the public in the form of lower cost of electricity (COE), reduced emissions of criteria pollutants, and carbon capture options. The Key Technology areas for the Advanced Hydrogen Turbines Program are: (1) Hydrogen Turbines, (2) Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles, (3) Oxy-Fueled Turbines, and (4) Advanced Steam Turbines.

Hydrogen turbine technology research is being conducted with the goal of producing reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly electric power in response to the Nation's increasing energy challenges. NETL is leading the research, development, and demonstration of technologies to achieve power production from high hydrogen content (HHC) fuels derived from coal that is clean, efficient, and cost-effective; minimize carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions; and help maintain the Nation's leadership in the export of gas turbine equipment. These goals are being met by developing the most advanced technology in the areas of materials, cooling, heat transfer, manufacturing, aerodynamics, and machine design. Success in these areas will allow machines to be designed that have higher efficiencies and power output with lower emissions and lower cost.

Georgia Tech will use both experimental and modeling efforts to improve the state-of-the-art understanding of turbulent flame propagation characteristics of high hydrogen content (HHC) fuels. This effort builds on previous efforts using optical flame emission to measure global turbulent consumption speeds of hydrogen/carbon monoxide fuels. This project will extend these efforts to more reactants—to include mixtures with carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen—to simulate gasified fuel blends and systems with EGR. Data collected will be used to further the development of physics-based mixture-dependent models of turbulent burning rates. This research specifically addresses three of the combustion topic areas of great importance for HHC systems: (1) turbulent burning velocities, (2) flash-back, and (3) exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) impacts. The results of this effort will also enable advances in several other combustion topic areas; e.g., predicting combustion dynamics (which requires flame shape predictions) and improving large eddy simulation capabilities by providing turbulent burning rate sub-models for HHC fuels.

Project Details