DNV, the independent energy expert and assurance provider has been engaged to provide the evidence required to demonstrate the safe use and conversion of the local transmission systems (LTS) high pressure pipelines for transporting 100% hydrogen. The gas distribution company SGN manages around 3,100 kilometres of the LTS pipelines in the UK and is leading this project working in collaboration with the other UK gas networks.
The LTS is owned and operated by gas distribution networks. These are the pipelines that connect the high-pressure National Transmission System (NTS) with the lower pressure tiers. These pipelines are considered the “backbone” of the energy network, currently delivering gas from NTS offtakes to towns and cities across the country.
Angus McIntosh, Director of Energy Futures, SGN says, “Repurposing the UK’s extensive gas networks to transport hydrogen offers an exciting opportunity to deliver deep decarbonisation of the energy system. We’re delighted to be working with DNV to undertake offsite testing at their Spadeadam facility. This testing is a key component of our overall programme and will provide critical evidence to support our live demonstration of a conversion of a 30 km natural gas pipeline to hydrogen. The evidence and outcomes will be representative and scalable to all local transmission assets in the UK, over 11,000 km of pipeline assets and associated plant.”
DNV will be providing key safety and operational evidence by carrying out a series of offline tests for this project at their remote research facility in Cumbria, Northern England. The programme of work will demonstrate hot working on hydrogen pipelines, delayed ignition and over pressure tests, burst and fatigue tests as well as exploring the hydrogen compatibility of existing pipeline connections and fittings. As the project progresses, DNV will also support a live network SGN trial by investigating the measurement and monitoring of a hydrogen linepack, (the volume of gas that can be “stored” in a gas pipeline), on a section of the local transmission network.
Hari Vamadevan, Regional Director UK & Ireland, Energy Systems at DNV says, “In the UK’s recently published Energy Security Strategy, hydrogen is referred to as a super-fuel. The UK is intending to lead the way in developing hydrogen as a key domestic energy carrier, indeed recently doubling their ambition to 10 GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030. The existing infrastructure is in place, and SGN is making a huge effort to accelerate the UK’s progress towards net zero.”
DNV is uniquely placed to host the offline LTS Futures trial at their world-leading research facility alongside the FutureGrid project for National Grid Gas and the H21 project for Northern Gas Networks. DNV has demonstrated its commitment to the energy transition in general and research into hydrogen in particular by investing in the construction of the HyStreet terrace of houses – being used to demonstrate how hydrogen can be safely distributed for heating and cooking in typical British homes.