Installed on the site of the paper packaging giant Smurfit Kappa at Saillat-sur-Vienne in France, the HYFLEXPOWER project involves the production, storage and re-electrification of 100% renewable hydrogen. The hydrogen is produced by a 1 MW electrolyzer on-site, and then stored in an almost one-ton tank and used to power a Siemens Energy SGT-400 industrial gas turbine.
The HYFLEXPOWER project demonstrates that hydrogen can be used as a flexible energy storage medium, and that it is also possible to convert an existing gas-fired power turbine to operate using renewable hydrogen.
In 2022, an initial series of tests enabled the industrial gas turbine to operate with a 30% hydrogen content, mixed with natural gas. Now the power-to-hydrogen-to-power demonstrator has proven that state-of-the-art turbines with dry low emissions technology can be fueled with up to 100% hydrogen as well as with natural gas and any blends in between.
The HYFLEXPOWER consortium includes Siemens Energy, ENGIE via its subsidiary ENGIE Solutions, Centrax, Arttic, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and four European universities. Building on the promise of the HYFLEXPOWER demonstrator, it is planned to expand the consortium to include additional members.
As the consortium lead, Siemens Energy supplied the electrolyzer for hydrogen production and developed the hydrogen gas turbine. ENGIE built the hydrogen production, storage and supply for the demonstrator. Centrax was responsible for the package upgrade to ensure safe operation with hydrogen fuel. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Universities of Lund (Sweden), Duisburg-Essen (Germany), and University College London (UK) contributed to the hydrogen turbine technology development. Arttic supported the operational project management, while NTUA in Athens (Greece) carried out economic, environmental, and social analysis of the concept.
“The knowledge and experience gained from the HYFLEXPOWER project where we installed the first gas turbine to run on 100% hydrogen will help us to continue develop our entire gas turbine fleet for a hydrogen-based future,” said Karim Amin, Member of the Executive Board of Siemens Energy. “The interaction between electrolysis, storage, and hydrogen conversion at one site has been impressively demonstrated, and now it’s a matter of scaling the results.”
HYFLEXPOWER has received substantial funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.