TurboGen’s hydrogen turbine heralds the fuel of the future

The turbine, which could soon operate on 100% hydrogen, is indicative of Israel’s position as a leading hydrogen energy innovator.

 TurboGen's hydrogen-powered TG40 Micro Turbine (photo credit: TurboGen)
TurboGen's hydrogen-powered TG40 Micro Turbine
(photo credit: TurboGen)

The next manifestation of renewable energy is currently in the crucible of Israeli research and development.

TurboGen – a company specializing in development of hybrid microturbines for self-generation of electricity and heat in microgrids, buildings and structures – is working to enable the systems it develops to use hydrogen to generate energy. In line with the global trend of transition to clean energies and the initiation of large-scale projects for hydrogen production, the company will work to develop a microturbine that will operate on 100% hydrogen.

As companies and governments seek new and innovative ways to transition to renewable energy sources, many companies such as TurboGen have turned to hydrogen as a vehicle to a cleaner future. The natural element can be combined with oxygen in specific configurations in order to generate electricity, similar to the structure of modern batteries. Unlike standard batteries, however, hydrogen cells do not typically contain harmful corrosive chemicals, and their energy production is remarkably clean and renewable, producing little to no carbon emissions.

TurboGen estimates that the unique architecture of its microturbine will allow it, with minor changes, to operate the combustion chamber with mixes of up to 50% hydrogen, followed by development of a dedicated combustion cell using 100% hydrogen.

“This is a significant event for the company which demonstrates considerable business potential. TurboGen’s goal is to develop and sell a green, non-polluting, hydrogen-based solution,” said TurboGen CEO Yaron Gilboa. “We already have indications that the turbine we have developed is suitable for working with up to 50% hydrogen in combination with natural gas. The next goal ahead of us is to complete development of a combustion cell that is suited to the combustion of 100% hydrogen.”

 TurboGen CEO, Yaron Gilboa (credit: Ilan Bashur) TurboGen CEO, Yaron Gilboa (credit: Ilan Bashur)

TurboGen isn’t the only company putting time and resources into producing effective hydrogen energy. Earlier this year, vehicle importer Colmobil agreed to import hydrogen-powered trucks made by Hyundai.

“This is an important milestone on a global scale,” said Colmobil CEO Yaniv Shirazi. “Israel is among the first countries in the world to stage the movement of hydrogen fuel cells on the country’s roads, and the cooperation between these companies positions Israel as one of the most advanced countries in the world.”

Furthermore, Israel hydrogen innovations are making waves in other countries. Earlier this month the Romanian Energy Minister Virgil Popescu met with several companies and discussed the huge potential of hydrogen energy solutions in Romania’s future.

“I think that’s a huge opportunity for cooperation between [Israeli and Romanian] companies,” he said. “Both countries working together can make a lot of progress in the field of hydrogen, which we see as the fuel of the future.”