Kawasaki Heavy Industries, LTD. (KHI) has research and development projects for a future hydrogen society. These projects comprise the complete hydrogen cycle, including the production of hydrogen gas, the refinement and liquefaction for transportation and storage, and finally the utilization in a gas turbine for electricity and heat supply. Within the development of the hydrogen gas turbine, the key technology is stable and low NOx hydrogen combustion, namely the Dry Low NOx (DLN) hydrogen combustion.
KHI, Aachen University of Applied Science, and B&B-AGEMA have investigated the possibility of low NOx micro-mix hydrogen combustion and its application to an industrial gas turbine combustor. From 2014 to 2018, KHI developed a DLN hydrogen combustor for a 2MW class industrial gas turbine with the micro-mix technology. Thereby, the ignition performance, the flame stability for equivalent rotational speed, and higher load conditions were investigated. NOx emission values were kept about half of the Air Pollution Control Law in Japan: 84ppm (O2-15%). Hereby, the elementary combustor development was completed.
From May 2020, KHI started the engine demonstration operation by using an M1A-17 gas turbine with a co-generation system located in the hydrogen-fueled power generation plant in Kobe City, Japan. During the first engine demonstration tests, adjustments of engine starting and load control with fuel staging were investigated. On 21st May, the electrical power output reached 1,635 kW, which corresponds to 100% load (ambient temperature 20 °C), and thereby NOx emissions of 65 ppm (O2-15, 60 RH%) were verified. Here, for the first time, a DLN hydrogen-fueled gas turbine successfully generated power and heat.