Industry News

DNV Inks Contract to Test Pipelines Conversions to Transport Pure Hydrogen in the UK

by | Sep 28, 2022

DNV has inked a three-year contract to provide evidence required to demonstrate the safe use and conversion of the local transmission systems (LTS) high pressure pipelines to transport 100% hydrogen (announced 26 September).

The gas distribution company SGN, which manages around 3,100km of the LTS pipelines in the UK, is leading this project working in collaboration with the other UK gas networks.

These pipelines connect the high-pressure National Transmission System (NTS) with the lower pressure tiers. They are considered the ‘backbone’ of the energy network, currently delivering gas from NTS offtakes to towns and cities across the country, writes Neil James Slater, DNV Head of Media Relations, Energy Systems.

Angus McIntosh, Director of Energy Futures, SGN said: “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 30km natural gas pipeline to hydrogen. The evidence and outcomes will be representative and scalable to all local transmission assets in the UK, over 11000km of pipeline assets and associated plant.”

Offline testing for this project will be carried out 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 said: “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 10GW 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 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. 

Source: DNV News by Neil James Slater 

Edited by Suzanna Hayek