General Electric Energy

Project Number



Advanced Hydrogen Turbine Development


General Electric Energy

Principle Investigator

Reed Anderson

Project Dates


Research Area

Hydrogen Turbine Program

Federal Contact

Robin Ames –

GE Energy has an ongoing U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) program to develop gas turbine technology for coal-based integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power generation that will improve efficiency, reduce emissions, lower costs, and allow for carbon capture and storage (CCS).  DOE's primary goals are:

  • Efficiency improvements: increase combined cycle (CC) efficiency by 2 to 3 percent by 2010 and by 3 to 5 percent by 2015 above the baseline state-of-the-art CC turbines in IGCC applications.
  • Emissions improvement: reduce NOx to less than 2 ppm in an atmosphere containing 15 percent oxygen. 
  • IGCC plant capital cost improvement: contribute to a significant cost reduction.

 In 2010, the program was expanded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to address industrial applications, such as refineries and steel mills. 

Under the program, GE Energy is advancing important technologies related to combustion, turbines, and materials. These areas have the largest impact on meeting DOE's goals.  Efficiency and cost goals are impacted through increasing gas turbine firing temperature, increasing component efficiencies, and reducing cooling flows or leakages. Emissions goals, made more challenging by the hydrogen fuel and higher firing temperature, are impacted through fundamental combustion technology advancement and improved air utilization. In all these areas, advancements are being achieved and validated through sophisticated analytical analyses combined with extensive testing, at the sub-component, component, and system level.  Examples are:

  • Combustion sub-component tests including extensive megawatt-scale, combustion can testing of new pre-mix combustion technology for syngas and hydrogen that has demonstrated single digit NOX emissions at target 2012 cycle conditions.
  •  Multiple sub-component rig tests of various new cooling and leakage flow reduction technologies.
  • Subscale testing of turbine aerodynamics, when combined with analytical evaluation is leading to next generation turbine airfoil designs with improved technical performance.  

Subcomponent material thermal barrier coatings and bond coatings testing to select coating systems that allow durable operation in high-temperature syngas and hydrogen environment, facilitate component technology advances, and ensure turbine components achieve high reliability and life. Also included in the program is a systems-level integration activity to assess the plant-level impact of the technologies on efficiency, emissions, and cost.

Building on the progress that has been made to date, the remainder of the project will continue ongoing efforts and initiate the remaining areas of the program.  A key milestone to be completed toward the end of the project will be a full-scale engine-level demonstration of select program technology.  

3D Cutaway Model of a GE Heavy Duty Gas Turbine

Film Effectiveness Map for a Novel Cooling Concept