FT Power Systems can utilise hydrogen as a clean fuel that can be produced from renewable sources (including wind and solar) to generate electricity while simultaneously generating heating, cooling and hot water. The cooling power can be obtained by using a commercial Absorption Chiller that uses heat to make cold water.
Microturbines can reach up to 85% in trigeneration mode (using conventional, renewable or hydrogen fuel-types) in the following way:
• Hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources such as wind or solar power using electrolysis. which is a process that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. This can store excess renewable energy for later use as a clean fuel for microturbines.
• An additional level of flexibility and reliability can be obtained with Microturbines as they can run on a variety of fuels. including natural gas in the event there is shortage of hydrogen.
The benefits of the FT Microturbine trigeneration system using microturbines and hydrogen include:
• Reduce energy costs by using less grid electricity (including less future carbon tax cost).
• Enhance energy security and reliability by having on-site power system with fuel flexibility (the same FT Microturbine unit can run natural gas or diesel in case of hydrogen shortage)
Overall, the FT Microturbine can improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of energy production. The heat produced by the microturbines can be used for space heating. water heating, or industrial processes. Cold water can be produced by using an Absorption Chiller that uses heat to drive a cooling cycle. The cold can be used for air conditioning, refrigeration. or ice making.
Hydrogen microturbines and fuel cells are both potentially viable options for generating electricity from hydrogen. However, there are several factors that can make hydrogen microturbines a superior choice over fuel cells in a number of applications:
Hydrogen microturbines can be used for trigeneration with a very high Efficiency (up to 85%) whereas Fuel Cells applied in a trigeneration configuration have a lower Efficiency (with the specific Efficiency level dependent upon the exhaust temperature of the particular Fuel Cell unit). This is because the exhaust gas from the microturbine is at a higher temperature than the exhaust from a fuel cell, which makes it more suitable for trigeneration applications.
Hydrogen microturbines are typically more compact and have a simpler design than fuel cells. This can make them easier to install and maintain.
Fuel Cells require high-purity hydrogen (as distinct with low purity hydrogen) with very high production, distribution and storage costs. Microturbines however do not have any restriction on the concentration of hydrogen (they can use low purity hydrogen) and can also use a blend of hydrogen mixed with natural gas and other combustibles.
Hydrogen microturbines can be combined with cost effective on-site electrolysers to directly generate electricity, heat and cooling power.