South Korean company Doosan Enerbility Co. is embarking on a groundbreaking project to develop and demonstrate a high-efficiency H-class large hydrogen turbine technology using purely domestic resources.
The company recently signed an agreement with 12 industry-academia-research organizations, including Korea East-West Power, to spearhead the National Project for the Development and Demonstration of 50% Hydrogen Mixture H-Class Large Gas Turbine Combustion Technology.
With support from the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning, under the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, this project aims to harness the potential of hydrogen as an eco-friendly energy source. The participating organizations will focus on developing hydrogen turbine technology and implementing it in the Ulsan combined power plant operated by Korea East-West Power.
By applying hydrogen combustion technology to existing gas turbines that typically use liquefied natural gas (LNG), the conversion to hydrogen turbines becomes possible. The adoption of high-efficiency H-class hydrogen turbines presents significant cost savings, with annual fuel costs estimated to be around 70 billion won ($55 million) lower than those of existing hydrogen turbines, specifically E-class turbines.
An H-class hydrogen turbine is characterized by its utilization of a super heat-resistant alloy capable of withstanding extreme temperatures exceeding 1,500 degrees Celsius. Additionally, when a 50% hydrogen mixture is combusted in a gas turbine, carbon emissions can be reduced by up to 21.4% compared to conventional LNG combustion methods.
Doosan Enerbility, the fifth company globally to develop a power-generation gas turbine, is committed to advancing its hydrogen turbine development initiatives. The company aims to complete the development of a 400-megawatt hydrogen combustion turbine by 2027 while simultaneously working on the development of a 50% hydrogen mixture combustion and full hydrogen combustion burner.
The goals of this ambitious project are multifaceted. First and foremost, the aim is to harness the potential of hydrogen as a sustainable and eco-friendly energy source, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating carbon emissions. The development of high-efficiency hydrogen turbines holds immense promise for achieving greater energy efficiency and reducing fuel costs in power generation.
The impact of this technology could extend beyond South Korea, as the adoption of hydrogen turbines could have far-reaching implications for the global energy landscape. The transition to hydrogen-based power generation can significantly contribute to decarbonization efforts worldwide, addressing the urgent need to combat climate change.
However, the development and deployment of hydrogen turbine technology also present certain challenges. One key hurdle is the establishment of a reliable and cost-effective hydrogen production infrastructure. The scalability and affordability of hydrogen production methods, as well as the establishment of hydrogen transportation and storage systems, will be critical to the widespread adoption of hydrogen turbines.
As Doosan Enerbility spearheads this innovative project, it has the potential to position South Korea as a leader in hydrogen turbine technology and contribute to the country’s broader sustainability and energy transition goals. By investing in domestic resources and expertise, South Korea is paving the way for a future powered by clean and efficient hydrogen energy.