Hydrogen Fired Power Generation
As a key enabler and an integral part of the energy transition, INNIO is preparing for a climate-neutral, greener and more secure energy future. Right now, more than 8,500 INNIO Jenbacher gas engines are operating globally on renewable gases such as biogas, landfill gas and biomethane.
And, with more than 50 years of experience and expertise in the conversion of alternative fuels into electricity, INNIO is getting ready for hydrogen—an energy carrier that can complement renewable resources, store energy for months and replace fossil fuels.
Once framework conditions are met, the majority of the installed base of Jenbacher natural gas engines can be converted to run on hydrogen.
Over the next few years, INNIO is optimistically working towards hydrogen-ready product offerings.
That’s because we see it as our responsibility to show our customers that installed gas engines can be converted for use with a very different fuel.
How It Works
An integrated energy system combining the electricity, heating and gas networks is the key to a greener energy future. By using power-to-gas (P2G) technology, green hydrogen is converted from surplus renewable energy produced mainly from the sun and wind. Unlike electricity, it can be stored long term in tanks or in large quantities in underground caverns—similar to natural gas—over months or seasons.
Initially, green hydrogen produced with P2G technology will be expensive, and the volume produced will be limited. During this transitional stage—as research continues on green hydrogen technologies—blue hydrogen produced from natural gas with Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) can play a role and enable the transition.
A small amount of hydrogen can be fed into the existing natural gas network, with larger amounts of hydrogen transported in a separate infrastructure. Hydrogen as a fuel could be used locally across all sectors including industry, transportation, and combined heat and power (CHP) generation.
A Company with a Vision
Over the last 30 years more than 200 MW of INNIO’s gas engines have been installed for syngas applications with up to 60% (vol) hydrogen content. The first Jenbacher pilot engine running on 100% hydrogen was in 2001 at a demonstration plant in Büsum, northern Germany. Nearly two decades later, after a number of additional demonstration projects, INNIO and HanseWerke Natur are demonstrating a flagship project using variable hydrogen/natural gas mixes or 100% hydrogen on a 1 MW J416 gas engine. In addition, a test engine is being commissioned to demonstrate the first J612 running on 100% hydrogen at the Large Engine Competence Center (LEC) in Graz.
In another project, INNIO is working with the LEC and research partners on a plant that would demonstrate sustainable, CO2-free and highly flexible electrical energy generation based on hydrogen. This is required by countries and regions that will quickly transition to 100% renewable electricity production and need dispatchable and reliable renewable backup power. As part of this project, a feasibility study is being developed to use electrolysis to convert electricity from renewable sources into hydrogen, store it temporarily, and then reconvert it back into electricity.
Features and Benefits
Boosting reliability and affordability for 100% renewable energy.
Green hydrogen can be reconverted by flexible gas engine power plants into dispatchable renewable power. Like natural gas, it is ideally suited for CHP applications and can provide heating and cooling while achieving a fuel utilization rate of 90% and saving primary energy of more than 30%. Gas engines running on hydrogen are a mature technology, do not require high hydrogen purity, are available at very competitive CAPEX and OPEX, and provide necessary operating flexibility while achieving very low emissions.
Storing energy for added flexibility.
Surplus electricity from renewable sources can be stored as green hydrogen that can deliver large amounts of terawatt-hours (TWh). Other green hydrogen-based fuels such as green methanol or green ammonia also could emerge as future applications for gas engines.
Taking advantage of existing infrastructure.
Once hydrogen is available on a large scale, Jenbacher gas engines used for peaking and CHP applications can be converted from natural gas to hydrogen operation. Investing in Jenbacher natural gas engine power plants today is a hydrogen-ready decision.
Supporting an eco-friendly world.
Hydrogen gas engine power plants are CO2 neutral and can achieve more than 80% lower NOx emissions compared to natural gas. This solution will put the world on the path to a greener future.