23 Feb 2023
Essen/ Waidhaus
GRTgaz Deutschland, Open Grid Europe (OGE) and Solar® Turbines

Press release

Gas transmission: Hydrogen successfully tested in compressor prime mover

  • Demonstration/ Test: Fuel gas containing up to 25 percent hydrogen was successfully tested on a low emissions Titan 130 SoLoNOx gas turbine driving a gas compressor
  • Location: Compressor station on the MEGAL gas pipeline system in Waidhaus (Bavaria)
  • Project partners: GRTgaz Deutschland, Open Grid Europe (OGE) and Solar® Turbines

GRTgaz Deutschland, OGE and Solar Turbines have successfully tested a low emissions Titan 130 SoLoNOx Solar gas turbine as a prime mover on a natural gas compressor using hydrogen blending rates of up to 25 percent. These gas turbines are usually powered by natural gas taken from the pipeline system.

For this project, the transmission system operators, GRTgaz Deutschland and OGE, have teamed up with Solar Turbines, an American gas turbine manufacturer and wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. The tests took place at the MEGAL compressor station in Waidhaus (Bavaria). MEGAL is owned by Open Grid Europe (51 percent) and GRTgaz Deutschland (49 percent).

Nicolas Delaporte, Managing Director of GRTgaz Deutschland said, "This test is a good example of working collaboratively across national borders to tackle and solve important issues in the energy industry. In the spirit of international partnership, I am convinced that we will continue to write MEGAL’s success story."

Hydrogen mixing plant at the MEGAL compressor station in Waidhaus (Bavaria)

Preparations for the project started two years ago when a mobile blending plant the size of a 40-foot ISO shipping container and a temporary hydrogen supply, were set up for the tests. The entire configuration was acceptance tested by an independent expert in accordance with the rules and regulations applicable to public energy supply and approved for operation. For these tests, it was crucial not to compromise the safety and availability of the compressor station.

Using only green hydrogen, the gas turbine was extensively tested with various H2 blending rates under different loads. Emissions and turbine performance were measured, demonstrating the turbine’s ability to operate with the same available power while meeting the required emission levels. The demonstration, which lasted for more than six weeks, operated on the H2 blend for more than 200 hours. The ability of the gas turbine to safely start on the fuel blend was also demonstrated.

Dr. Thomas Hüwener, a member of OGE’s board of management, put the results into context, "The project shows the desire and ability to expand and realize the hydrogen economy. But to do this, we now need the right legal and regulatory framework to accelerate Germany’s hydrogen economy supported by a strong financing model.