Tests to run CHP plant partly on hydrogen begin in Vienna
The Donaustadt combined heat and power station in Austria. Image by Wien Energie GmbH.
Austrian energy company Wien Energie GmbH, along with a group of partners, has initiated testing to blend hydrogen and natural gas for power generation at a large-scale combined heat and power (CHP) station in Vienna.
As part of the tests, different amounts of hydrogen will be fed into the gas turbine on several days from mid-July to mid-September. Starting at 5%, the project partners will increase the hydrogen content in a gas turbine at the Donaustadt power plant to up to 15%. In a follow-up project, an increase in the hydrogen blend to around 30% is planned.
The turbine was upgraded for the operational tests in the summer of 2022.
If the test is successful, the system should be certified for continuous operation. Wien Energie noted that even by adding only 15% of green hydrogen in the Donaustadt power plant, around 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions would be avoided every year.
This test is the first of its kind in the world at a commercially used gas and steam turbine plant in this power class, according to the Vienna-based energy company.
With the tests, the companies involved in the project seek to gain insights into the conversion of combined heat and power plants to run on green gases. The partners expect to collect data on the efficiency and emissions of hydrogen co-combustion. The findings will be highly relevant for the further development of hydrogen-ready gas turbine components and power plant infrastructures. The results from the tests will be evaluated by early 2024.
The importance of the trial goes far beyond the project partners as the gas turbine model utilised in the Donaustadt power plant is used in more than 115 systems in Europe alone.
Wien Energie is partnering on the trial with Vienna-based utility Verbund AG (VIE:VER), German regional utility RheinEnergie and Siemens Energy AG (ETR:ENR).
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