Vienna Turbine Ready for Hydrogen

Preparations for blending at Donaustadt power station

Natural gas used in Vienna is set for replacement by 2040. In 2023, Wien Energie, RheinEnergie, Siemens Energy, and VERBUND will blend hydrogen into the energy generation mix as part of an operational trial, the first of its kind involving a commercially used F-class gas turbine in combined cycle operation. The project aims to gain important insights about how combined heating and power plants can be converted for use with alternative energy. Upgrading the turbine for operation with hydrogen is the first milestone in the project.

Along with hydrogen co-firing, Wien Energie will boost the efficiency of the power station by 23 MW. The upgrade involves installing improved turbine blades, a new combustion system, thermal gas analyzer, and control system.“This joint project will demonstrate that it will be possible to convert existing gas turbines in order to use hydrogen,” says Aleš Prešern, General Manager of Siemens Energy Austria.

The proportion of hydrogen in the first stage will be 15 percent by volume, doubling in the second stage. With 15% green hydrogen by volume, the Donaustadt power station will reduce its emissions by 33,000 metric tons of CO2 annually.Wien Energie, RheinEnergie, and VERBUND all use Siemens Energy SGT-5 4000F gas turbines. The turbines can offset intra-day fluctuations and seasonal differences in production from renewable wind or solar-powered generation systems.

The partners are investing about €10 million and expect initial results from the trial by the end of 2023.