Kiwa Gastec conducted the end to end management of the HyHouse project, part funded by DECC’s Energy Storage Competition.
This was the first study into the dispersion of flammable gases in a house.
Why was the HyHouse Project commissioned?
Hydrogen’s potential is far reaching – from fuelling the transport system to providing energy for domestic heating and cooking. Given that over 30% of carbon emissions in the UK derive from cooking and providing heat in the home, the benefit from switching to hydrogen would go a long way to meeting the decarbonisation target.
What is the HyHouse Project?
Kiwa Gastec was charged with evaluating the risks associated with using hydrogen in a domestic setting. This 'HyHouse' project took place in a two storey, three-bedroom farmhouse in Scotland provided by SSE.
Gas leaks are rare but do occur from time to time from sources as diverse as a defective gas appliance to DIY accidents. The project was designed to prove whether accidental leaks from a pure hydrogen or hydrogen and natural gas mixture supply would have more or less risk attached than a leak from a natural gas supply.
The study involved simulating realistic leaks using five test gases (100% hydrogen, 100% natural gas, and three different mixtures of the two). These gas leak tests were conducted at various rates, and distribution of those gases throughout the house was measured, at three levels of air tightness (to simulate different ages of construction).
HyHouse Project Outcome
The outcome of the HyHouse project was reassuring. Hydrogen is much lighter than natural gas, which means that if there is a leak in a house it is less likely build up to dangerous amounts than natural gas is. The project concluded that the risk associated with using hydrogen in the home was no greater than the risk associated with using natural gas.
Here is the HyHouse final report.
The role of Kiwa Gastec
- Technical leadership
- Project design
- Data analysis
- Risk management