Testing and certification organisation TÜV SÜD has developed a guideline for defining the ‘H2-Readiness’ of power plants and is offering an independent certification to original equipment manufacturers and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) companies. Such a certification has the effect of increasing investment security.
The first company worldwide to receive this certification for its ‘H2-Ready’ power plant concept is Siemens Energy, whose experts collaborated in formulating the certification guidelines.
Natural gas-fired combined cycle power plants (CCPP) currently being built or planned are expected to run partially or fully on hydrogen fuel, so utilities that plan to purchase this type of power plant will expect a statement of the plant's ability to use hydrogen as a fuel. Some new combined or single cycle gas-fired power plants are already being advertised as H2-Ready but until now there has not been a clear definition of what this term means.
“Our guideline enables OEMs, plant operators, and insurers to use a standard transparent framework”, commented Reiner Block, CEO of the Industry Service Division at TÜV SÜD. “The certification covers a complete power plant with the relevant subsystems.” The certification does not however certify existing power plants; rather, it provides a roadmap that describes how plants can be converted over time to co-fire hydrogen or even burn pure hydrogen.”
“That is why the certification of a CCPP comprises three stages: first, a concept certificate for the conceptual design (including boundary conditions) during the bidding phase; second, a project certificate for the final plant design and its specifications; and third, a transition certificate for the conversion of an existing CCPP to burn hydrogen –including a review of the retrofit measures and their impact on safety and performance.
Karim Amin, executive vp at Siemens Energy commented: “If we design CCPPs today for future operation with hydrogen, they don’t just serve as a bridging technology to a CO2-free future, they’ll also make an important contribution to a reliable and affordable power supply in the long term.”