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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA2_SGN0022
Title H100 Specific Fire & Risks
Status Completed
Energy Categories Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 50%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Other infrastructure and systems R&D) 50%;
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
SGN - Southern England
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 June 2022
End Date 30 April 2023
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £231,825
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region South East
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , SGN - Southern England (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , SGN - Scotland (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , SGN (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA2_SGN0022
Objectives SGN will subcontract Kiwa to perform this work. Kiwa has a long-standing relationship of working with SGN and value the relationship that has been built in supporting SGN in executing consistently innovative ground-breaking projects such as Opening up the Gas Market, HyHouse and the FEED study for H100 Fife.Measurement Quality Statement:The main approach of the project will be to replicate credible fire scenarios using 100% hydrogen. A test rig representative of a gas service pipe will be constructed by our contracting partner to undertake the suite of tests and provide evidence of the behaviour of such scenarios (risk assessment update, videos of tests, etc). This is important as it will allow SGN to further enhance the safety case and/or risk mitigation measures to be defined for these incidents. Data Quality Statement:Regular meetings will be held with key stakeholders and the supplier to agree the format for the sharing and storage of data. Kiwas involvement in the project will ensure a consistent approach in the presentation of the evidence and data due to their involvement in previous H100 projects and their knowledge of PE services. The proposed programme of works has been split into discrete work Packages (WPs). In each case the aforementioned incident data on external leaks in the distribution network is more deeply analysed and contextualised and the key issues determined. WP1 – Third Party Fires Near Meter BoxThe records of fire and explosion associated with PE mains almost exclusively concern third party fires and a number of the fires involved wheelie bins (4 out of 24 incidents), which when ignited have the potential to damage any PE service pipes in the area and meter boxes in close proximity. Evidence gathered during H100 Fife area surveys demonstrated that storage of wheelie bins in close proximity to the main incoming service pipe and/or gas meter box is commonplace.To understand the risks associated with wheelie bin fires adjacent to gas meters, burn tests will be carried out with wheelie bins adjacent to semi-concealed meter boxes. During these tests, the functionality of excess flow valves will also be assessed to determine how reliable these are in the event of such a scenario. This will provide an assessment of the relative risk of isolating services at the ECV vs at the parent main as part of GS(M)R obligations. Comparative tests will be performed with both methane and hydrogen at a pressure of 65mbar.  WP2 – Service Pipe FiresA series of five service pipe fire tests will be performed. These tests will be used to investigate the nature and visibility of both natural gas and hydrogen fires from service pipes and will also be used to confirm the performance of standard SGN fire resistant clothing with hydrogen and also compare this to the risk of ignition of ordinary clothes (as used by a DIYer). During these tests, the invisibility of hydrogen fires will also be assessed and methods of improving the visibility will be tested (e.g. use of Class D fire extinguisher). Filming of these tests will also form part of future training videos.  WP3 – Gas in DuctsThe change from natural gas to hydrogen is expected to significantly increase the risks of gas tracking through and alongside ducts and other services both upstream and downstream of the ECV. In this work package, tests will be performed to investigate the impact of tracking and identify the optimal mitigation solution for different leakage rates. The tests will consider tracking in ducts between telecom boxes (which is a scenario that is expected to be most susceptible to gas tracking) and also along a telecom duct into a property. The tests will investigate whether the accumulation of gas in a confined space arising from a below ground adjacent gas leak is likely to be materially different between natural gas and hydrogen. This work will provide information to assist SGN and telecom infrastructure providers to update and optimise their flammable gas in duct risk procedures and assessments. The likelihood of a viable ignition source within one of these boxes will also be considered in the analysis.In a second part of this test programme, suction devices (e.g. Tornado equipment) will be trialled as a method to assist the removal of leaked gas in a confined space.The experiments will be repeated with different leak rates and sizes of cabinet. At least 20 sets of data will be generated. WP4 – Automatic Isolation ValvesWithin the Hy4Heat Safety Annex the use of excess flow valves is limited to 20 m3/h. Above this value any leakage has the potential to create significant flammable clouds; the safety Annex thus calls upon the use of Automatic Isolation Valve (AIV) systems for commercial buildings or larger domestic properties.Whilst such systems can be used with all flammable gases, they have not been demonstrated with hydrogen. This work package will investigate their use with hydrogen and ensure that it functions in accordance with the manufacturers claims. Most of the work will consist of re-analysing work from previous projects (e.g. HyHouse project, Hy4Heat DNV data) to determine likely detection levels. This will then be confirmed in tests where four off plywood rooms will be constructed and levels of hydrogen up to 50,000ppm produced in individual rooms. This will demonstrate the actuation of an AIV at an appropriate pressure. This programme of work seeks to better understand the consequences and to access the additional risks that could present with a change from natural gas to hydrogen of the following less obvious incidents:Third Party Fires Near Meter BoxService Pipe FiresGas in DuctsThe project will also assess risk mitigation measures which could lead to a reduction in risks such as the use of Automatic Isolation Valves systems.
Abstract This project will investigate incidents that can occur following damage to a Hydrogen PE service and assess any change in risk from natural gas. The project will investigate the following: Fires Near Meter Box: using realistic scenario (wheely bin fire adjacent to meter box).Service Pipe Fires: compare the nature and visibility between natural gas and hydrogen fires.Gas in Ducts: investigate the potential for hydrogen gas tracking through ducts and other services and assess the difference in the risks from natural gas. Automatic Isolation Valves: investigate the use of Automatic Isolation Valve (AIV) systems for commercial buildings with hydrogen.Additionally, the project will investigate the functionality of safety equipment and assess its reliability. Further risk mitigation measures may be identified.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/10/22