Acasă » Electricity » Mihai Guștiuc: Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar Division, is one of the pioneers of the hydrogen industry

Mihai Guștiuc: Solar Turbines, a Caterpillar Division, is one of the pioneers of the hydrogen industry

23 April 2021
Bogdan Tudorache

Member of Caterpillar, Solar Turbines is a US company based in San Diego, California, to turn 100 years old this year. “The company has installations in more than 100 countries – totalling more than 16.000 cogeneration turbines and more than 6.000 turbines for gas compression sold. We have more than 8.000 employees. In Europe, the headquarters are located in Riazzino, Switzerland, from where sales and maintenance locations are coordinated, the newest being the production/repair facility in Zebrak, Poland. The Solar Turbines vision for the period 2021-2030 includes the switch to gas as intermediary fuel, which is more usable for electricity generation, and then the intermediate periods of using natural gas with hydrogen or other forms of biogas; we might even reach to burning fuels which are wholly bio-based or hydrogen-based in 2030, as this is the demand from the market “, said Mihai Guștiuc, General Director Tehning Consult, the representative of Solar Turbines for Romania, during the ONLINE conference “Project Hydrogen – the Romanian debate”, organized by Energynomics.

Solar Turbines is active in two directions. The first concerns applications for gas transport – hydrogen including – because the company produces gas compression turbines. The second area is represented by industrial processes, which also include cogeneration for areas such as residential or other similar uses.

“Combustion systems have now been developed to allow hydrogen up to a maximum of 20% in the gas transport systems, using the SoLoNOx system, which is patented by Solar Turbines. In industrial processes where conventional combustion systems are used, the percentage can reach up to 100%, such as in the metalworking industry, for various industrial processes”.


Solar Turbines was a pioneer in the use of hydrogen. The first use of hydrogen blended with natural gas took place in 1985 when equipment using up to 40% hydrogen was installed, tested and put into service. SoLoNOx was patented in 1992. A rapid evolution followed and in 1995, already a US refinery operated with a Taurus 60 turbine with up to 100% hydrogen. In 2003, SoLoNOx started to be used in applications with hydrogen mixtures of up to 9%, and in 2010 another turbine, Titan 130, allowed operation with up to 60% hydrogen in China. Research partnerships for the development of SoLoNOx followed and in 2018 there were already 46 turbines with more than 2 million operating hours. Today, SoLoNOx can accept 20% hydrogen in the mixture. With conventional combustion, up to 100% hydrogen can be used.

“Everything depends on the global evolution of hydrogen use. Concerning hydrogen-blended gas distribution networks, we are already involved in two pilot projects, one in Italy and the other in Germany. Italy wants to transport up to 10% of hydrogen in the fuel, with the project to be put into operation in Q4 2021. The other project, in Germany, where a Titanium 130 will be installed, is much more promising as it will allow a 20% mixture of hydrogen. The project will be put into operation by the end of 2022”, said Mihai Guștiuc.

The conference “Project Hydrogen – the Romanian debate” was organized by Energynomics, with the support of our partners Chimcomplex, Horvath & Partners, Kawasaki Gas Turbines Europe, Metachim, Renovatio, Siemens Energy, Solar Turbines.

More than 300 people registered on MyConnector platform to participate in the dialogue.

Autor: Bogdan Tudorache

Active in the economic and business press for the past 26 years, Bogdan graduated Law and then attended intensive courses in Economics and Business English. He went up to the position of editor-in-chief since 2006 and has provided management and editorial policy for numerous economic publications dedicated especially to the community of foreign investors in Romania. From 2003 to 2013 he was active mainly in the financial-banking sector. He started freelancing for Energynomics in 2013, notable for his advanced knowledge of markets, business communities and a mature editorial style, both in Romanian and English.

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