Bladon Delivering Hydrogen Future with Loughborough University
03 November 2021
Clean power pioneer Bladon Micro Turbine will research and develop a hydrogen fuelled version of its micro turbine generator in partnership with Loughborough University. This will significantly advance hydrogen combustion for micro gas turbines and enable Bladon’s modular, upgradable power generator to operate using 100% hydrogen fuel with ultra-low emissions and zero CO2.
Loughborough University has developed its world-leading National Centre for Combustion and Aerothermal Technology (NCCAT), funded through a partnership comprising the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Innovate UK (IUK), Rolls-Royce and Loughborough University. This will combine Bladon’s expertise in micro-combustor design with Loughborough University’s outstanding capability, expertise and facilities.
Bladon’s micro turbine gensets (MTGs) deliver clean, reliable power to telecoms sites and other challenging applications worldwide. The gensets are fuel flexible, currently capable of operating on diesel, kerosene and paraffin, low carbon Hydrotreated Vegetable oil (HVO) or even a mix of these, without any reconfiguration. They offer independent operation, with just one maintenance visit required each year regardless of run hours or load.
The company’s latest developments, enabled by the generator’s modular engineering design, include a range of gaseous products, that will lead to the use of hydrogen as a fuel, offering zero carbon power for its operators. The current Bladon MTG already offers far lower than EU Stage V off-highway emission limits, with a 99.9% efficient combustion process. The gensets can also be employed in cooperation with a range of renewable energy solutions.
“NCCAT is designed to help the UK meet the net zero carbon challenge across several key areas in the UK. We are absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with Bladon Jets to realise their commercial goal of producing a micro turbine hydrogen demonstrator in 2022” – Emma Callaghan, Business Manager, NCCAT.
“Our micro turbine generators are clean now and they’re going to be zero carbon” said Bladon’s Chief Commercial Officer Yvette Henshall-Bell. “The micro turbine generator is already a truly innovative game-changer and through our work with Loughborough University we will have a hydrogen demonstrator to show our customers later in 2022.”
Bladon Micro Turbine is a pioneer in the design, development, engineering, and manufacture of clean power micro turbine gensets (MTGs). Bladon is combining world-renowned British engineering and advanced manufacturing capabilities, together with its proprietary patented technologies, to help its customers transition to cleaner, greener power generation. The Bladon MTG is produced at the company’s new engineering and manufacturing facility in Leamington Spa, at the heart of British engineering excellence.
The National Centre in Combustion and Aerothermal Technology (NCCAT) at Loughborough University opened in 2020. Primarily funded by Government NCCAT acts as the UK’s primary hub for R&D of future low emission aero gas turbine combustion technologies, which utilise either conventional fuels, or increasingly alternative sources of energy that are being considered for the decarbonisation of the aviation industry. The facilities enable low emission combustion technology to be designed, modelled, and experimentally simulated with unprecedented agility. This is important to enable complex technologies to be designed iterated and developed in compressed timescales and budgets.
Beyond aerospace, NCCAT’s capabilities help to address other key aerothermal technological challenges across several key sectors for the UK including, for example, micro-turbines for distributed power generation. The Centre offers customers from SMEs through to multinationals a unique world-class environment in which to promote alignment of early research activities with future commercial goals.
The development showcases Government, Industry and Academia working together to make net zero emissions a reality both for the aviation industry and other key sectors within the UK.