FLEXnCONFU: FLEXibilize combined cycle power plant through Power-to-X solutions using non-CONventional FUels

MAS S.A. is a proud partner of this 4 year long project funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme



Concept | Challenges

Beginning in April 2020, FLEXnCONFU project has as main goal to develop and demonstrate in a combined cycle (CC) power plant an innovative, economically viable and replicable powerto-X-to-power (P2X2P) solution. The objective is to design and implement an integrated power plant layout that can increase the operational flexibility in order to respond to the electricity demand. This will be done by converting surplus electricity production when demand is low into hydrogen (H2) or Ammonia (NH3). These carbon free fuels can then be converted back to electricity when demand increase.

In this project MAS will analyze the control requirements, automation and SCADA systems that will be used in the pilot site (TRL6-P2A) and demo site (TRL7-P2H), while developing and implementing the corresponding optimum control systems, moving a step forward than the currently available ones. MAS will also support controls installation, commissioning and monitoring.

Pillar 1
Use of non-conventional fuels in gas turbines combined cycle power plants for flexibility needs and higher environmental sustainability.

Pillar 2
Integration and demonstration of Power to X systems in real power plant.

Pillar 3
Development of proper grid oriented control strategies.

Pillar 4
Promotion of a hydrogen and ammonia energy society.


Power-to-Hydrogen-to-Power - FLEXnCONFU
Power-to-Ammonia-to-Power - FLEXnCONFU

Development, integration and demonstration of power to hydrogen solution to increase the EDP’s Ribatejo combined cycle power plant flexibility. This would increase the power plant flexibility and efficiency, while decreasing the GHG emissions and the use of natural gas.

Demonstration of power to ammonia solution at lab scale. In order to achieve this objective, a small-scale ammonia reactor for NH3 synthesis will be designed, developed and tested, selecting the most suitable catalyzer and pressre/temperature operating conditions.

Gas Turbine Fuel Flexibility

Design, development and test a gas turbine combustion system able to burn hydrogen and/or ammonia. This will be achieved by:

  • Burning different blends of natural gas/ammonia/hydrogen in a heavy-duty gas turbine combustion system and issuing guidelines for future gas turbine modification.
  • Developing innovative NOx mitigation technologies and strategies.
  • Re-design and test a modified NH3/H2 fueled micro gas turbine able to operate up to 100% NH3.

Advanced Control System

Development of control algorithms focusing on flexibility enhancement and power grid interoperability. In order to achieve the objective a development of proper reduced order models to FLEXnCONFU dynamic modelling will be carried out, followed by the definition of innovative control strategies and the development of advanced predictive controls. The control algorithm will be implemented and tests in both the power to ammonia and power to hydrogen systems.

Economic, Safety and Environmental Sustainability

Demonstration of economic and safety feasibility, social viability and environmental sustainability of the novel solutions.


Smart, secure and more resilient power system

FLEXnCONFU will enlarge CC possibility of offering services on the ancillary services market guaranteeing a more secure, clean and resilient power system. FLEXnCONFU solution will stimulate electric/gas grid interaction and increase EU energy independence enabling EU CC plants to act as hub of gas/electric grid flexibility services.

Smoother operation of fossil fuel power plants

Reduction of minimum load: – 10%
Increase of yearly efficiency: – 5%
Increase yearly EOH: + 5/10% according to the location of the CC
Reduction of yearly start-up numbers: -10%
Quicker ramp up/down with load gradient +10/15%
Reduction of NG consumption and related emissions: -10/20% of GHGeq

Energy system adaptation to intermittent RES

Promotion of P2G2P solutions for GT/CC, exploiting excess of power to produce potential GT fuels like H2/NH3 are the best option to flexibilize the cycles, guaranteeing a smoother operation than a traditional battery to be then coupled and releasing power to the grid.

For more information on this project go to https://flexnconfu.eu/

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 884157