GE has announced the successful completion of the award negotiation phase for the company’s proposed project “Advanced Mixed Mode Combustor for Hydrogen F-Class Retrofit.” GE will receive $6.6 million in federal funding from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management to accelerate the transition towards a 100% hydrogen combustion future for its F-class gas turbines.  This funding will allow GE to develop and test breakthrough technologies to burn higher levels of hydrogen in its F-class gas turbine fleet, presently the company’s largest installed base with more than 1600 units in the world. GE Gas Power’s project was part of the six selected projects announced by the DOE on May 19 this year, which also includes a GE Research project focused on the study of the operation of hydrogen-fuelled turbine components.

GE’s negotiations were aided by the receipt of letters of support for its proposal from 10 US utility companies with an aggregate 240 GW of total installed generation capacity, and a letter of support from an undisclosed US-based independent, non-profit organisation that conducts research and development related to power generation. Many utilities expressed interest in potentially contributing to technical reviews during the project period, while two other utilities expressed interest in hosting future H2 projects with GE’s next generation H2 combustion technology.

Jeffrey Goldmeer, Emergent Technologies director at GE Gas Power commented: “Our objective is to develop and test a retro-fittable F-Class staged combustor module with fuel capability ranging from 100% natural gas to levels up to 100% hydrogen.”

As part of this programme, the project team will address the challenges associated with highly reactive hydrogen combustion dynamics, starting with the study of micro mixer and axial fuel staging technologies. Both technologies, from the HA-Class combustion system, enable great load flexibility and have excellent premixing and operability over a range of fuels including up to 50% hydrogen. The concepts will be tested at the Center for Advanced Turbomachinery and Energy Research facility at the University of Central Florida and then validated at GE Gas Turbine Technology Laboratory in Greenville, South Carolina.