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Hydrogen Capable Natural Gas Turbines

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"The JAC model essentially has the same compressor flow path and turbine shape as the J-series, but it features an optimized cooling structure for the blades and vanes and a “64% combined cycle efficiency,” which makes it well-suited to an eventual conversion to 100% hydrogen"

"When the M501JAC units come online at IPP in 2025, they will be “commercially guaranteed” to be able to combust a mix of 30% hydrogen and 70% natural gas starting in 2025, Browning said."

"What I can tell you is that the pricing for our JAC gas turbine capable of hydrogen combustion is very similar to the pricing of a natural gas–only turbine, and the reason is, at COD, it’s actually the same turbine."

https://www.powermag.com/mhps-secures-first-order-for-hydrogen-capable-j-series-gas-turbines/

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(edited)

With regard to site location:

"Last May, Browning noted, MHPS announced an initiative with Magnum Development, the owner of a large and geographically rare underground salt dome in Utah, to develop the massive Advanced Clean Energy Storage (ACES) project, which is strategically located near the new IPP facility."

 

Edited by BradleyPNW
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I tried to find the H2 storage capacity of the salt domes and failed miserably. The only number I found was "enough to store the energy used by 150,000 households for a year" in this "geologically rare" salt dome. Well, folks, that's not going to scale well. By comparison, California has massive underground storage for CH4 already in place and operating. Take the additional efficiency hit to convert the H2 to CH4, and then just inject it into the existing NG infrastructure at effectively zero incremental capital cost for storage, transport, and retrieval. Yes, there is new capital cost for the H2==>CH4 converters, but no need to develop. pay for, and deploy fancy new turbines or H2 storage and transport infrastructure.

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I think these turbines are good evidence that natural gas was in fact a bridge fuel. So is the fact natural gas is such a good compliment to solar and wind generation. 

Natural gas gave us inexpensive American energy and then gave us a portfolio of technologies that will be used in the future. I really love natural gas. I think it's doomed in ten to twenty years, but the USA got really lucky with NG. 

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Just now, Dan Clemmensen said:

I tried to find the H2 storage capacity of the salt domes and failed miserably. The only number I found was "enough to store the energy used by 150,000 households for a year" in this "geologically rare" salt dome. Well, folks, that's not going to scale well. By comparison, California has massive underground storage for CH4 already in place and operating. Take the additional efficiency hit to convert the H2 to CH4, and then just inject it into the existing NG infrastructure at effectively zero incremental capital cost for storage, transport, and retrieval. Yes, there is new capital cost for the H2==>CH4 converters, but no need to develop. pay for, and deploy fancy new turbines or H2 storage and transport infrastructure.

You can burn H2 with CH4 in the same turbine. We can create all the salt caverns we could ever need. 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/salt-cavern

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3 minutes ago, BradleyPNW said:

You can burn H2 with CH4 in the same turbine. We can create all the salt caverns we could ever need. 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/salt-cavern

If you develop and deploy these new turbines, then you can burn H2 in them, initially up to a mix of 30% H2 to 70% CH4. You can create salt caverns in geologically-appropriate places. If you mix more than about 10% H2 into the existing CH4 infrastructure, things get messy, so you will need to expend capital to upgrade or replace it in order to move that H2 from wherever you generate it into storage and from to wherever the storage is to wherever the turbines are. I would need to buy a great many H2==>CH4 convertors and "waste" a great deal of free solar and wind electricity in the efficiency loss before I would spend as much as you will on an H2 infrastructure, and the H2==>CH4 system can be deployed purely incrementally.

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Solar prices will be lowest in the US Sun Belt. The lowest of the low prices in the Sun Belt will be New Mexico and the southwest. We have access to salt caverns in west Texas. We also have the Rio Grande and Pecos rivers. We also have pipelines with associated easements that can be used for HVDC traveling out of that area thanks to the O&G industry. 

Everything will electrify but winters are colder and darker in the USA so we'll need to compensate, especially at night. Therefore, there's both capability and incentive to develop hydrogen electrolysis/storage/turbine generation near your New Mexico solar farms. Oh, and cheap land, forgot that part. Solar is land intensive relative to other power sources so cheap land is important. 

There are also policy considerations. California wants clean energy. Once you start building hydrogen at scale you might as well build it at SCALE. 

3-s2.0-B9780128034408000063-f06-06-9780128034408.jpg

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Another important consideration, natural gas will be forced to compete against solar + electrification. That makes it more difficult to pay for maintaining natural gas pipelines and residential hookups. 

Even if gas is less expensive in a model you still need to get banks to finance it. Banks will ask, "what about California?" The NG companies looking for financing will say, "we're hydrogen-proofing our operations." Then the hydrogen renting the extra back room in your house winds up stealing your wife. 

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(edited)

I think the CH4 process is the better candidate since the infrastructure is there everywhere in the US and more of it is being built. From an engineering perspective, anything hydrogen is more problematic.

I expect that using NG infrastructure from the SW solar generation into the TX/Oklahoma NG transport system is going to be cheaper and allow more gradual transition than building HVDC cable into the more densely populated MW and NE. Reaching the NE would be a matter of finding a cheap (low population density) path through the south to the ocean and taking it up to the NE that way. I don't see the HDC cables ever crossing the Mississippi. It will have to be transformed to AC at the Illinois border to make the rest of the way to the MW and NE.

There are direct conversions to electrogas that produce methanol CH4 and CO Ethanol ethylene and CO depending on catalyst or cell structure. The electrolysis of H2 is not a necessary step so far as I remember. On copper catalyst you have 33% CH3, 25% ethylene 6% ethanol, 20% H2, and a bit of formic acid and CO. (ref below, there are more specific catalysts now)

E.g. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja505791r

The product stream looks richer than going through the hydrogen electrolysis path. Particularly ethylene produced so close to the TX petrochemical complex.

This one, like most others, uses H2 from electrolysis of water.

Or this one on nitrogen doped graphene

https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13869

 

Edited by 0R0

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4 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

Yes, there is new capital cost for the H2==>CH4 converters, but no need to develop. pay for, and deploy fancy new turbines or H2 storage and transport infrastructure.

The costs are reasonable. 

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11 hours ago, BradleyPNW said:

I think these turbines are good evidence that natural gas was in fact a bridge fuel. So is the fact natural gas is such a good compliment to solar and wind generation. 

Natural gas gave us inexpensive American energy and then gave us a portfolio of technologies that will be used in the future. I really love natural gas. I think it's doomed in ten to twenty years, but the USA got really lucky with NG. 

I really see no need for hydrogen at all, but we will see how it works out. I also see no need for sequestering CO2. Maybe you could briefly remind me why hydrogen is better in your opinion. 

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(edited)

8 hours ago, ronwagn said:

I really see no need for hydrogen at all, but we will see how it works out. I also see no need for sequestering CO2. Maybe you could briefly remind me why hydrogen is better in your opinion. 

As a storage medium it doesn't make sense to me when we're capable of synthesizing hydrocarbons from air + water at decent efficiencies. Then you escape the issues of power density and storage. I suppose it's easier for the masses to understand "water into hydrogen" instead of "reverse water gas shift" so everybody hops on the bandwagon.

Edited by KeyboardWarrior
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1 hour ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

As a storage medium it doesn't make sense to me when we're capable of synthesizing hydrocarbons from air + water at decent efficiencies. Then you escape the issues of power density and storage. I suppose it's easier for the masses to understand "water into hydrogen" instead of "reverse water gas shift" so everybody hops on the bandwagon.

We need some sort of massive long-term storage if  we want to take advantage of seasonal demand and supply cycles, and we need some sort of massive long-distance transport if we want to take advantage of different supply and demand locations. Pretty much any gas or non-viscous liquid can be made to work but the one with the best tradeoff currently is CH4. H2 would require major infrastructure changes, and higher hydrocarbons are progressively less efficient in the electricity==>hydrocarbon==>transport==>storage==>transport==>electricity round-trip cycle. So I vote for green CH4. As far as the existing infrastructure is concerned, each electricity==>CH4 convertor looks like another gas well, except that the well will never be shut in.

Existing electricity==>CH4 is actually electricity==>H2==>CH4, so it may make sense to also just use electricity==>H2 and then transport the H2 for large consumers of H2 feedstock.

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2 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

We need some sort of massive long-term storage if  we want to take advantage of seasonal demand and supply cycles, and we need some sort of massive long-distance transport if we want to take advantage of different supply and demand locations. Pretty much any gas or non-viscous liquid can be made to work but the one with the best tradeoff currently is CH4. H2 would require major infrastructure changes, and higher hydrocarbons are progressively less efficient in the electricity==>hydrocarbon==>transport==>storage==>transport==>electricity round-trip cycle. So I vote for green CH4. As far as the existing infrastructure is concerned, each electricity==>CH4 convertor looks like another gas well, except that the well will never be shut in.

Existing electricity==>CH4 is actually electricity==>H2==>CH4, so it may make sense to also just use electricity==>H2 and then transport the H2 for large consumers of H2 feedstock.

Agreed. Higher hydrocarbons shouldn't be used for storage, but are useful for maintaining the vehicle fleet. Electric tractors and semis don't seem practical at all to me. 

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6 minutes ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

Agreed. Higher hydrocarbons shouldn't be used for storage, but are useful for maintaining the vehicle fleet. Electric tractors and semis don't seem practical at all to me. 

Maybe Semis. Not sure about tractors. Swapping out the batteries is practical for tractors because the tractor and one or more swappable batteries would belong to the same owner.  Swappable batteries for semis works within a single fleet.  Consumers and individual Semi owner/operators cannot readily use swappable batteries because they would never be sure of the battery's history. Whether or not this makes economic sense will depend on the cost of fuel versus cost of batteries., and it will take a big pair of (crystal) balls to make those predictions.

One big use of higher hydrocarbons will be jet fuel. Aircraft need both high energy/mass and high energy/volume.  But you can make jet fuel from CH4 on site at each airport.

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13 hours ago, ronwagn said:

I really see no need for hydrogen at all, but we will see how it works out. I also see no need for sequestering CO2. Maybe you could briefly remind me why hydrogen is better in your opinion. 

I don't think hydrogen is better I think it is the end result of a confluence of currents. 

1) Solar prices cheaper than natural gas. 
2) Political demand for zero emissions.
3) Residential electrification. 
4) Rise of underground/underwater HVDC.
5) Rise of offshore wind.
6) Storage for northern hemisphere winters.
7) Turbines work on both natural gas and hydrogen. 
😎 Bank willingness to finance fossil fuels.

As solar prices fall it places pressure on the ability of natural gas companies to maintain their distribution infrastructure. At the same time, retail consumers will electrify to take advantage of low electricity prices and improved technologies such as induction cooking and heat pump space/water heating. We won't see very much home insulation retrofitting but we will see a lot of mini-split heat pump retrofitting. The combo of those things results in retail NG disconnects. 

California is creating zero emission demand. Cities are placing moratoriums on new NG hookups. 

HVDC will allow better distribution of electricity across the North American continent. Cheaper. Less visible. Easier to import power from offshore wind, which might wind up cheaper than onshore wind. 

Building large storage for natural gas and hydrogen is easy in salt. The USA has the right geology located beneath our best solar geography. But you aren't going to store a lot of natural gas if you don't have pipelines to transport it and large customers like California ban it. 

If you can distribute offshore wind generated in New England to induction cooktops in Los Angeles at low loss thanks to HVDC you can transport hydrogen turbine power in New Mexico to Toronto in the winter. 

Banks are getting gun shy about financing fossil fuels. Coal bit them in the butt. Shale oil bit them in the butt. When banks see solar prices dropping (or forecasts of solar prices falling) and California refusing GHGs they'll ask natural gas companies about their plans. Financing will start to dry up. Banks will finance hydrogen projects instead. Really, it will be banks that push natural gas right off the cliff. NG companies will go down kicking and screaming like coal but banks are tired of getting burned. 

 

salt-map.gif

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3 hours ago, BradleyPNW said:

 NG companies will go down kicking and screaming like coal but banks are tired of getting burned. 

You are way over simplifying the financing process.  Banks do not take risk at all, they are proxies for bond buyers (who take all the risk).. There are still many billions of bonds being purchased issued by coal producers today.  Going to be 100 years before anyone considering not financing an NG related company with stable operating metrics. 

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(edited)

5 hours ago, Dan Clemmensen said:

Maybe Semis. Not sure about tractors. Swapping out the batteries is practical for tractors because the tractor and one or more swappable batteries would belong to the same owner.  Swappable batteries for semis works within a single fleet.  Consumers and individual Semi owner/operators cannot readily use swappable batteries because they would never be sure of the battery's history. Whether or not this makes economic sense will depend on the cost of fuel versus cost of batteries., and it will take a big pair of (crystal) balls to make those predictions.

One big use of higher hydrocarbons will be jet fuel. Aircraft need both high energy/mass and high energy/volume.  But you can make jet fuel from CH4 on site at each airport.

I operate a 130 hp loader tractor on a daily basis, and I can tell you that changing batteries every 3-4 hours would be a massive inconvenience. Unless you can guarantee an entire day of operation. 

Edited by KeyboardWarrior
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On 5/18/2020 at 3:39 AM, BradleyPNW said:

I think these turbines are good evidence that natural gas was in fact a bridge fuel. So is the fact natural gas is such a good compliment to solar and wind generation. 

Bradley - you must be reading a different article to the one you linked. These turbines have yet to be installed. Once installed they will use natural gas. Later they may use hydrogen. First hydrogen has to be produced in commercial quantities at prices low enough to compete with gas, the supply of which is already expanding in leaps and bounds. How the production of hydrogen, from renewable energy? can be made to compete commercially with the extraction of naturally occurring CH4 is beyond me and beyond any non-activist who has looked at the issue. In any case it is in the distant future, if it ever happens at all. The people installing the turbines appear to be having a bet each way, which is up to them, but I don't think it's evidence of anything.

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And if they put H2 in NG lines, anyone with sense will know that H2 leaks out quickly.  Which means all that "stored" H2 goes up into the atmosphere instead of being burned.  So, expenses on "storage" miraculously go massively up and the utopian dreams of an H2 future hit reality.  An "article" will be "published" where they will be "SHOCKED" to find this "new problem".  They will then start bitching that the lines leak, requiring massive $$$ to "fix" them for H2.  Then someone like you and me will point out that there really is no such thing as a leakproof H2 valve, pressure regulator, flow regulator.  They all leak, the only question is: amount. 

--> That friends is how H2 will actually work in the real world. 

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2 hours ago, markslawson said:

Bradley - you must be reading a different article to the one you linked. These turbines have yet to be installed. Once installed they will use natural gas. Later they may use hydrogen. First hydrogen has to be produced in commercial quantities at prices low enough to compete with gas, the supply of which is already expanding in leaps and bounds. How the production of hydrogen, from renewable energy? can be made to compete commercially with the extraction of naturally occurring CH4 is beyond me and beyond any non-activist who has looked at the issue. In any case it is in the distant future, if it ever happens at all. The people installing the turbines appear to be having a bet each way, which is up to them, but I don't think it's evidence of anything.

How do you understand the concept of a bridge fuel? 

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2 hours ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

And if they put H2 in NG lines, anyone with sense will know that H2 leaks out quickly.  Which means all that "stored" H2 goes up into the atmosphere instead of being burned.  So, expenses on "storage" miraculously go massively up and the utopian dreams of an H2 future hit reality.  An "article" will be "published" where they will be "SHOCKED" to find this "new problem".  They will then start bitching that the lines leak, requiring massive $$$ to "fix" them for H2.  Then someone like you and me will point out that there really is no such thing as a leakproof H2 valve, pressure regulator, flow regulator.  They all leak, the only question is: amount. 

--> That friends is how H2 will actually work in the real world. 

Who pays to keep NG lines in good working order when NG starts competing with inexpensive solar/offshore wind transported through HVDC? Banks aren't going to finance it. 

Once you have a HVDC network you can locate your turbines anywhere you want. No need to pipe gas. I think they will probably locate the hydrogen turbines over salt formations like they did in the article. Absent pipelines, they'll import inexpensive solar from New Mexico, harvest H2 from the Rio Grande with electrolysis, then store it in engineered salt caverns in Texas. During winter and night, those Texas hydrogen turbines will transport electricity through HVDC to Toronto. 

Banks won't finance NG pipelines but they will finance HVDC and hydrogen turbines located near water resources and over the right geology for storage. 

Edited by BradleyPNW
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On 5/17/2020 at 12:39 PM, Dan Clemmensen said:

I tried to find the H2 storage capacity of the salt domes and failed miserably. The only number I found was "enough to store the energy used by 150,000 households for a year" in this "geologically rare" salt dome. Well, folks, that's not going to scale well. By comparison, California has massive underground storage for CH4 already in place and operating. Take the additional efficiency hit to convert the H2 to CH4, and then just inject it into the existing NG infrastructure at effectively zero incremental capital cost for storage, transport, and retrieval. Yes, there is new capital cost for the H2==>CH4 converters, but no need to develop. pay for, and deploy fancy new turbines or H2 storage and transport infrastructure.

Try the Freiberg Technische institute.. largest salt storage for hydrogen is Fannett Texas built by Liquide which holds about 160 GWH and went into service after this paper was done.https://www.sintef.no/globalassets/project/novel/pdf/0-1_fraunhoferise_hebling_public.pdf Seee pages 28-30.  for additional searches use hydrogen and Christopher Hebling. Also these papers https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352152X16301712 and https://asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/POWER/proceedings-abstract/POWER2018/51395/V001T06A004/277431  I can send you a copy of this paper if you want.

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45 minutes ago, BradleyPNW said:

Who pays to keep NG lines in good working order when NG starts competing with inexpensive solar/offshore wind transported through HVDC? Banks aren't going to finance it. 

Once you have a HVDC network you can locate your turbines anywhere you want. No need to pipe gas. I think they will probably locate the hydrogen turbines over salt formations like they did in the article. Absent pipelines, they'll import inexpensive solar from New Mexico, harvest H2 from the Rio Grande with electrolysis, then store it in engineered salt caverns in Texas. During winter and night, those Texas hydrogen turbines will transport electricity through HVDC to Toronto. 

Banks won't finance NG pipelines but they will finance HVDC and hydrogen turbines located near water resources and over the right geology for storage. 

My bad, I thought reality could at least adhere to high school mathematics.  

My bad, stupid me, Utopia does not include math. 

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40 minutes ago, footeab@yahoo.com said:

My bad, I thought reality could at least adhere to high school mathematics.  

My bad, stupid me, Utopia does not include math. 

Talking into the wind, my friend, talking into the wind.

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