The FLEX4H2 - Flexibility for Hydrogen - project funded by the EU and Switzerland has started work. The goal is to develop a combustion system for hydrogen.
The project is led by the Italian-Swiss energy technology company Ansaldo Energie. The necessary funding comes from both the EU's Horizon Europe research and innovation framework program and the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. FLEX4H2 has a total budget of around €8.7 million and is scheduled to run for a total of four years, until December 2026.
Fuel blending up to 100% H2
The main objective of the project is to design, develop and validate a fuel-flexible combustion system that can run on any hydrogen concentration up to 100% H2. Crucially, this goal will be pursued under the most severe combustion conditions, i.e., class H operating temperatures. These are required for the highest cycle efficiency. Nevertheless, the emission targets are to be met without the use of diluents.
The combustor design will be based on Ansaldo Energia's Constant Pressure Sequential Combustion (CPSC) technology and will be progressively demonstrated under full gas turbine operating conditions.
2 million t of CO2 savings potential per turbine plant.
"Decarbonization of gas turbine plants is a fundamental part of the energy transition. A single engine equipped with the novel FLEX4H2 combustion system has the potential to avoid up to 2,000,000 t of CO2 emissions per year, while providing enough clean energy to power up to 500,000 homes," explained Federico Bonzani, Director Product and Technology at Ansaldo Energia.
The new, improved combustor design can be fully retrofitted into existing gas turbines, providing significant opportunities for upgrading existing plants. In addition, FLEX4H2 will demonstrate credible pathways for widespread use of the project results and (thereby) lay the foundation for a solid contribution to the EU Green Deal to decarbonize the power sector by 2030 and beyond.
FLEX4H2 is part of the efforts around the European climate targets under the European Green Deal presented at the end of 2019.
The FLEX4H2 consortium includes nine partners from six European countries: Ansaldo Energia (IT), ARTTIC Innovation (DE), Centre Européenne de Recherche et de Formation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique - CERFACS (FR), German Aerospace Center - DLR (DE), Edison (IT), ETN Global (BE), Sintef Energi (NO), Ansaldo Energia Switzerland (CH), Zurich University of Applied Sciences - ZHAW (CH).