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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_CAD0081
Title Hydrogen Conversion Strategy - Pipework
Status Completed
Energy Categories Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 10%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen transport and distribution) 90%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Cadent Central
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 August 2022
End Date 31 August 2023
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £270,175
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region West Midlands
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Cadent Central (99.996%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , Cadent Eastern (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cadent North London (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cadent North West (0.001%)
Project Contact , Cadent West Midlands (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Wales and West Utilities (0.000%)
Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cadent Gas (0.000%)
Project Contact , SGN (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_CAD0081
Objectives This project is a mixture of understanding current evidence, identifying additional research to fill evidence gaps, and then using existing and new evidence to compile a selection of criteria which all existing gas installations must meet ahead of any conversion to hydrogen.An initial technical understanding of the conversion strategy and associated engineering principles for safe repurposing of gas installations to 100% hydrogen will be important. There is a need to differentiate the risks associated with new and existing gas installations which have been operating under natural gas service for decades.Building on the technical understanding will be the identification and analysis of the safety risks associated with repurposing a gas installation to hydrogen. Quantification of specific risks and their impact on the overall installation is an important factor in demonstrating equivalent safety to natural gas for a repurposed hydrogen installation. With the risks understood, potential mitigation measures will be identified and evaluated. Mitigation measures will likely be required to ensure that a repurposed hydrogen installation represents an equivalent level of risk to an existing natural gas installation. The focus will be on mitigation measures required beyond previous work and will specifically address the risks identified in the earlier phases of this work.A critical part of this project involves the technical survey of premises considered for the Village Trial. Ensuring consistency of assessment and approach is a must, to establish installation requirements prior to conversion. Inclusion of the technical survey will link the theoretical work carried out in lab environments to the practical requirements of the real-life premises that will be involved in any trial, which will provide a powerful output from this project. Any recommendations arising from the surveys must comply with the requirements of the relevant standards.Once an installation has been assessed it is essential that the results are consistently evaluated and conform to the required standard(s). The outcomes of the work including supporting evidence will be recorded for future reference and used to inform competent personnel on the criteria that an internal gas installation must satisfy ahead of any conversion to hydrogen.Project delivery will be supported by hiring professional organisations to support Cadent on the project. Much of the work will involve physical testing in a laboratory environment as well as in the potential trial premises, so it is important that any organisation involved has experience in executing technical test programmes across multiple areas of the gas industry. This project is undertaken in 10 work packages, which are: Work Package 1: This first phase will involve a literature review into previous conversion experience from around Europe for insight into lessons learned. Boundaries will be set and defined for the subsequent evaluation, for example, between the emergency control valve (ECV) and the appliance inlet. This is expected to lead to unanswered questions which will be addressed in the tests carried out as part of future work packages. This literature review and resulting gaps to be addressed in subsequent work packages should be shared with the GDNs, ENA and key stakeholder groups.  Work Package 2: This work package is a hazard study to identify and quantify the risks associated with the repurposing of the gas installation. Part of the study will involve the creation of a methodology to assess pipework/system integrity where some parts of the system are not visible/accessible.  Where useful, consideration should be given to existing work relating to new installations. However, more data is required, and this can be sourced from the circa 4000 properties to be surveyed by Cadent and NGN at the two potential Hydrogen Village Trial locations. Quantitative tightness tests will be carried out at all properties and the condition of downstream steel and copper, and presence of lead pipe, will be noted. The difficulty in carrying out visual assessments of the condition of pipe will also be noted and where leaks are discovered, the underlying cause will be recorded. As in Work Package 1, the findings of the hazard study will be fed back to the GDNs, ENA and key stakeholders through the appropriate channels. Work Package 3: The focus here will be on resistance of the gas installation to 3rd party damage. Consideration to where the internal pipework will be most vulnerable will also be important, so advice can be given on routing. This work package acts to reduce the risk of serious outcomes because of 3rd party leaks. Semi-quantitative data will be gained on the difficulty of drilling or sawing copper, stainless or steel pipes to enable a realistic assessment of the likelihood of 3rd party damage in different situations, for example, pipework buried in walls, under floor boards, and even surface mounted. Consideration will be given to the education of builders and DIYers on the risks of hydrogen and the importance of knowing the location of meter box keys and being able to operate the ECV. Work Package 4: This work package involves the investigation of a range of means of corrosion detection and leakage path formation – looking at both proven and novel techniques. Investigations will be carried out into limited number of simple and reliable additional tests that may assist with pipework condition monitoring. The practicalities of the domestic situation will be fully acknowledged, and this may involve the use of endoscopes, simple mechanical tests, and elevated pressure testing. With regards to elevated pressure testing, an investigation will be carried out into the advantages and disadvantages, building upon data from other GDN NIA research as appropriate. An interim report will be issued on the completion of this work package to qualify the progress to date. This report will be shared with the GDNs, ENA, HSE/BEIS to enable all parties to see the progress made and have an input into subsequent work packages as necessary. Work Package 5: This work package will be designed to ascertain air leakage rates (as occupied) of a representative cross section of properties and rooms. In the event of a hydrogen leak within a property, it is important to understand how the layout of the property will affect how the hydrogen propagates through it. Air room tightness tests will be carried out on a variety of different rooms in a cross section of 25 properties (approximately 125 rooms) as occupied. Blower doors are to be used supported by a detailed physical assessment. Work Package 6: This work package will seek to determine the reasonable equivalent hole size for domestic and commercial property for spontaneous leaks. Consideration will be given to values used in current standards IGEM/SR/25 and IGEM/UP/16. This work will be based on the semi-quantitative assessmentof the leaks found in earlier work packages, and will be validated against field data, including the original data from Hy4Heat.  Work Package 7: The work in this phase will consider novel, although still passive, methods of venting higher risk rooms. Rooms containing gas appliances will carry a greater risk than non-appliance bearing areas. Detailed consideration will be given to a range of techniques, including small vents into loft spaces and the use of redundant flues. Work Package 8: There are multiple research projects looking into the suitability of existing gas installations to be repurposed for hydrogen. This work package is dedicated to ensuring all industry and BEIS work is in alignment regarding technical outcomes. Consideration will be made to HyStandards Lots 1-5 with regards to ventilation, materials of construction, pipework pressure loss and other important properties. This will involve engagement with GDNs, ENA and key stakeholders across the end user research and development space. Once alignment has been achieved on the technical outcomes of the range of works, there are two further objectives of this work package:- Draw up of detailed advice for Gas Safe operatives to use to sign off conversion of individual properties at a detailed level e.g., tick and cross manual.- Provision of this evidence pack to support and direct IGEM H series of standards.Work Package 9: This work package is in place to synthesise all previous work packages to produce a detailed survey required for pre-repurposing. Particular focus will be on the following 5 areas:- Pipework condition and tightness- Pipework material- Room volume- Layout and cross-sectional area of room ventilation- Pipework pressure lossThe opportunity will be taken here to extend and enhance the Hydrogen Village Trial QRA, being developed by DNV, to include downstream conversion. This QRA will enable quantification of more focussed gas carcass improvements/upgrades and will be shared with GDNs, ENA and key stakeholders at this stage for third party sign off. Work Package 10: The final work package of this project is dedicated towards the development of training and competency requirements for those individuals carrying out the pre-conversion surveys.  It is critical that conversion advice is readily understood by suitable Gas Safe operatives. Consideration will also be given to include the learnings from the project in site-specific local GDN training courses, as well as development of future EU Skills training. This may be independent of the hydrogen Gas Safe add-on assessment which is likely to concentrate more on hydrogen risks and appliances. Consideration will be given to the generic application of techniques to a wide range of property.  The objectives of the project are as follows:- Provide greater understanding of the conversion strategy and associated engineering principles for safe repurposing of gas installations to 100% hydrogen.- Provide information for the QRA tasks to identify if there are any factors that could impact the utilisation of existing gas pipework in gas consumers homes in hydrogen service.- Use findings to help support the development of hydrogen gas quality standards and specifications.Ensure that all conversion advice is readily understood by suitable Gas Safe operatives for a wide range of properties.
Abstract This project will gather safety evidence to support the delivery of a Village Trial of hydrogen gas supply. Future roll-out of hydrogen will be influenced by the suitability of existing natural gas installations to be safely repurposed for hydrogen use. The purpose of this project is to consider, identify, and mitigate all risks associated with repurposing an existing gas installation to hydrogen.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/10/22