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Ansaldo Thomassen together with five Dutch partners have been awarded a subsidy by the Dutch Government for the project: “High Hydrogen Gas Turbine Retrofit to Eliminate Carbon Emissions”. The subsidy, valued at €500k, is awarded as part of the Dutch hydrogen program within the Top Sector Energy area of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The Dutch hydrogen program focuses on future carbon-free hydrogen value chains in line with European Commission 2050 Energy Strategy Directives.

The major objective of the High Hydrogen Retrofit Project is to develop a cost-effective ultra-low emissions (sub 9ppm NOx and CO) combustion system retrofit for existing installed gas turbines in the output range of 1MW to 300MW. Fuel flexibility and stable operation from 100% natural gas to 100% hydrogen and any mixture thereof, is a key requirement. This is a key challenge as extreme changes in fuel reactivity switching from natural gas to hydrogen can result in dramatic shifting of heat release within the combustor, which can be physically destructive if not well controlled.

At the center of this innovative high-technology project is the patented and novel aerodynamic trapped vortex FlameSheet™ combustion technology platform, owned by Genoa Italy-based Ansaldo Energia. The FlameSheet™ combustion system is operating commercially in multiple 60hz F-Class gas turbine power plants with sub-9ppm NOx emissions including with the use of a hydrogen- blended fuel mix.

The prime focus of this award from the Dutch government is a full-scale atmospheric verification in 2020, which will ultimately lead to a first engine demonstrator by 2023.