The impact of hydrogen on gas turbine power generation

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


As we aim to reach our societal goal of net zero, it is necessary to decarbonise all heavy industries. The power sector has made great inroads with this aim with a large influx of renewables energy sources. However, renewables induce instabilities on grid due to their reliance on temporal conditions. Gas turbines are used to manage these instabilities on grid due to their ability to operate ancillary services as they are a flexible generating source. Therefore, to decarbonise the power sector, the gas turbine industry must also be decarbonised.

RWE Generation own and operate 9 GT26 gas turbines across the UK. This research project investigates how the hydrogen capability of the GT26 can be extended aiming to reach pure H2 combustion. This investigation will take the form of experimental studies on the phenomena that the GT26 operates on and determines how hydrogen will effect the running regime. This project will give insight as to how the hydrogen capability of the GT26 can be extended, maintaining the economic viability of GT26 sites and contributing to RWE's net zero goals by 2040.

Planned Impact

The proposed Centre will benefit the following groups

1. Students - develop their professional skills, a broad technical and societal knowledge of the sector and a wider appreciation of the role decarbonised fuel systems will play in the UK and internationally. They will develop a strong network of peers who they can draw on in their professional careers. We will continue to offer our training to other Research Council PhD students and cross-fertilise our training with that offered under other CDT programmes, and similar initiatives where that develops mutual benefit. We will further enhance this offering by encouraging industrialists to undertake some of our training as Professional Development ensuring a broadening of the training cohort beyond academe. Students will be very employable due to their knowledge, skills and broad industrial understanding.
2. Industrial partners - Companies identify research priorities that underpin their long-term business goals and can access state of the art facilities within the HEIs involved to support that research. They do not need to pre-define the scope of their work at the outset, so that the Centre can remain responsive to their developing research needs. They may develop new products, services or models and have access to a potential employee cohort, with an advanced skill base. We have already established a track record in our predecessor CDTs, with graduates now acting as research managers and project supervisors within industry
3. Academic partners - accelerating research within the Energy research community in each HEI. We will develop the next generation of researchers and research leaders with a broader perspective than traditional PhD research and create a bedrock of research expertise within each HEI, developing supervisory skills across a broad range of topics and faculties and supporting HEIs' goals of high quality publications leading to research impacts and an informed group of educators within each HEI. .
4. Government and regulators - we will liaise with national and regional regulators and policy makers. We will conduct research directly aligned with the Government's Clean Growth Strategy, Mission Innovation and with the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund's theme Prosper from the Energy Revolution, to help meet emission, energy security and affordability targets and we will seek to inform developing energy policy through new findings and impartial scientific advice. We will help to provide the skills base and future innovators to enable growth in the decarbonised energy sector.
5. Wider society and the publics - developing technologies to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the cost of a transition to a low carbon economy. Need to ascertain the publics' views on the proposed new technologies to ensure we are aligned with their views and that there will be general acceptance of the new technologies. Public engagement will be a two-way conversation where researchers will listen to the views of different publics, acknowledging that there are many publics and not just one uniform group. We will actively engage with public from including schools, our local communities and the 'interested' public, seeking to be honest providers of unbiased technical information in a way that is correct yet accessible.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022996/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2282281 Studentship EP/S022996/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 James Bain