TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory launches UK’s first domestic hydrogen meter calibration facility

Source: press release, 23 March 2021

BEIS-funded: First domestic hydrogen meter calibration facility in the UK
BEIS-funded: First domestic hydrogen meter calibration facility in the UK (photo: TÜV SÜD)

TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory has launched the UK’s first traceable hydrogen flow calibration facility for domestic gas meters.

The new facility will help meter manufacturers determine if existing meter stock, and new technologies under development, are correctly measuring hydrogen flow rates. This is a crucial step to ensure that hydrogen gas meters deployed onto the market in the future will deliver accurate measurements for customer billing and taxation purposes.

Marc MacDonald, Head of Clean Fuels at TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory, says, “Accurate measurement is an essential element to enable the decarbonisation of heat via the replacement of natural gas with hydrogen in the grid. From our involvement in EU hydrogen metrology projects, and our extensive experience as the UK institute responsible for National Flow Measurement Standards, it is clear that the change from natural gas to hydrogen can result in increased meter measurement errors. Our new hydrogen calibration facility will give manufacturers the independent assurance they need to prove that metering systems are suitable for their intended service.”

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), through the National Measurement System mechanism, the new facility will initially support ongoing hydrogen feasibility and metrology research, including the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR), the UK Flow Programme and several demonstration projects seeking to transition the UK gas grid to hydrogen. The research will be shared publicly so that industry can make more informed choices about meter selection.

Lisa Cameron, Member of Parliament for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, opened the facility and says, “It is wonderful to be opening a UK based world-leading facility that represents a vital step in ensuring hydrogen is a key pillar within a sustainable future. TÜV SÜD is signalling to the world that East Kilbride will be at the forefront of global efforts to explore hydrogen’s potential and the role it will undoubtedly play in combatting climate change at the forefront of our global goals for COP26 and beyond.”

Although the new facility was originally developed for testing domestic gas meters, other meter types including Coriolis, turbine and differential pressure can also be calibrated. Hydrogen flow meter manufacturers will also be able to use the facility for their own R&D purposes.