A project to understand whether it is possible for standard heating and cooking appliances (designed for natural gas) to operate normally with a blend of natural gas and up to 20% hydrogen.
Why is the HyDeploy project happening?
The Gas Safety Management Regulations (GSMR) set specific limits on how much hydrogen can be mixed with natural gas in the UK network. By adding hydrogen, or other gases, the properties of the supplied gas change, hence the tight control over the blend of gases that can be supplied through the gas network.
Increasing the proportion of hydrogen used in the gas supply would significantly reduce carbon emissions, contributing to the UK’s pursuit of Net Zero.
What is the HyDeploy project?
The first stage of HyDeploy involved initially testing a representative sample of boilers, burners and cookers in lab conditions, using around 20 different gas blends, to find out whether the different gas mixes impacted on appliance performance.
The scope of testing then moved out of the lab and into the real world, with tests on appliances connected to the discreet gas network at Keele University, which included occupied houses, a chapel, and other buildings. These appliances were performance tested with natural gas (on which they would operate normally), a methane / hydrogen blend, and a methane, hydrogen and propane blend. This process identified existing performance issues with some appliances that were not in good working order when using natural gas - these were replaced with new appliances and the tests repeated with no issues. There were no performance issues with properly functioning appliances.
The findings of this research built the safety case and Quantitative Risk Assessment necessary for the HSE to give exemption from the GSMR, permitting the scope of this testing to be extended to include a greater range of appliances – HyDeploy stage 2 (HyDeploy2). These were tested in laboratory conditions with a narrower range of gases. The tests confirmed no performance issues on this wider sample of appliances.
What is the project outcome expected to be?
These findings mean that the project to be extended to include a number of homes in Gateshead under the direction of Northern Gas Networks.
The potential long term outcome of the project is the acceptance of hydrogen alongside other forms of zero carbon energy in meeting the needs of the UK population.
The role of Kiwa Gastec
- Design, procurement and build of test environment for carefully controlled and novel testing regime
- Conduct appliance testing using bespoke methods, to cover worst case malfunctions, to certification standard
- Technical consultancy