A Clear Focus on the Future

End Use

GTI has a long legacy of promoting energy efficiency and helping to meet growing energy demand with clean, lower-cost fuels. Our team has decades of experience in the area of gas quality, interchangeability issues and concerns, constituents that cause corrosion issues and increase risk, and materials characterization and testing. Assessments to verify equipment compatibility and performance have confirmed reliability and provided customers with the knowledge and confidence to buy.

End use equipment including home appliances, commercial cooking appliances, boilers, and industrial burners needs to be optimized for performance using non-traditional sources such as LNG, biogas, and hydrogen. GTI has expertise related to fuel specification and the acceptable property ranges for gases to be interchangeable with specific end use equipment and processes. Researchers have conducted systematic laboratory testing to measure equipment performance as a function of changing gas composition and properties. Approaches begin with defining equipment sensitivity, testing equipment under various gas compositions, and assessing interchangeability parameters to provide critical information regarding equipment and appliance safety, life, and process efficiency.

Capabilities

  • Performance testing of end use equipment with hydrogen fuel blends
  • Cost assessment of end use equipment with hydrogen systems
  • Design and material assessment
  • Codes and standards development support
GTI's Residential and Commercial Lab

Assessing the impact of hydrogen/natural gas blends on residential/commercial gas-fired equipment

GTI’s project team is investigating the implications of blending hydrogen into natural gas for use in conventional and advanced gas-fired equipment in buildings.

GTI is assessing performance, emissions, and safety of a wide array of combustion system designs in small equipment. Researchers are testing each appliance to identify how specific equipment reacts to increasing levels of H2, assess its ability to retain normal operations, and document any operational or potential safety issues. Results will quantify the impact of increasing H2 blending and provide insight to determine how appliances can be best installed and designed to better tolerate hydrogen. Recommendations for product development and data that can inform industry standards are also valuable outcomes of the project.

Demonstrating solutions to utilize high hydrogen blends in residential and commercial combustion equipment

GTI researchers will demonstrate solutions to utilize high-hydrogen (H2) blends (> 50% H2 by volume) and 100% H2 in residential and commercial combustion equipment in a controlled laboratory environment. A high-H2 blend test station demonstration and experimental test station will be built to evaluate the performance of high-H2 compatible prototypes, products, and components from an emerging network of global developers and OEMs. An R&D roadmap to identify and address gaps and opportunities with high-H2 compatible stationary combustion equipment will also be developed.

Enabling broader deployment of H2 blending with embedded hydrogen microsensor (H2M) technology

GTI is proposing a project for development and evaluation of in-situ H2 microsensors (H2M) that can measure the real-time fraction of hydrogen in a blended fuel stream. An embedded sensor will allow system and equipment controls to react to variations in hydrogen within gas-fired combustion equipment or low-pressure gas distribution systems. Researchers will develop a novel H2M module for in-situ measuring of H2/natural gas blends over a range up to 50% by volume.

In addition to providing data that allows the system to be adjusted immediately, the sensors will also allow operators to isolate behind-the-meter sections of distribution and end use equipment depending on blend rates to help ensure compatibility and safe operation.

Evaluating fuel cells for residential and commercial micro-CHP (mCHP) systems for on-site power

GTI is beginning a project with UTD and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) to assess residential- and commercial-scale fuel cell systems less than 50kW for use in North American markets. A micro-CHP (mCHP) system will be selected and evaluated to assess its ability to achieve high electrical efficiencies and near zero emission levels at reduced costs using natural gas.

Fuel cells can offer advantages in mCHP applications. Natural gas can be used to generate hydrogen, which is then used in a fuel cell to generate electricity. Using natural gas and propane in self-powered mCHP systems will help to ensure resiliency and reliability of heating and power supply with high up-time, while using the fuels in an environmentally responsible way.

Hydrogen can also be produced from renewable sources or electricity from the grid, and when the resulting pure hydrogen is used, the only byproduct is heat and water. As hydrogen blending becomes more prevalent, fuel cells could be an important technology to serve hydrogen-rich on-site power applications.

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