• Hydrogen 100: Road to social proof

    The ‘road to social proof roadmap’ seeks to identify socio-economic and technical issues associated with our hydrogen feasibility study. It supports the development and building of the evidence base required to satisfy our customers and stakeholders. It consists of the elements that cover all aspects of gas distribution that may be affected by the switch from natural gas to hydrogen. 

    An image which identifies the socio-economic and technical issues associated with out hydrogen feasibility study  [click for larger image] Hydrogen road to social proof



    The following projects are also taking place in support of our feasibility programme:


    Technical assurance and programme overview

    Technical oversight and review will be required for the eight evidential projects required for the safety case and compliance elements of H100. This will ensure that the quality of the testing, data gathering, analysis and reporting is conducted with a high degree of rigour, and that outputs from all the projects are credible and quantifiable.


    Stakeholder and customer strategy

    An effective stakeholder and customer strategy will be required throughout the project to enable seamless project delivery and to ensure that all stakeholders understand why, how and when we are planning to build our hydrogen demonstration network.  Another key element will be to identify and develop future funding streams for the next phases of the project.


    Safety case and operational procedures

    Delivery of an HSE-approved safety case is a fundamental element of this project as without it we cannot build and operate our hydrogen demonstration network. This project will review all relevant sections of GS(M)R and SGN procedures and standards in light of constructing and operating a hydrogen distribution network. It will also establish differences and then build a safety case and compliance framework that will enable its safe construction and operation.


    PE Materials and jointing techniques

    This element will develop a testing strategy, methodology and delivery model that will enable the evaluation of the effects of hydrogen on PE pipe and fittings, both short and long term.  It will also conduct an examination of jointing methods and integrity to ensure that current procedures and quality assurance processes are suitable for PE hydrogen networks. A key output from this project will be the determination of performance criteria that verifies the integrity off PE and the techniques used for jointing.


    Characteristics of hydrogen

    We have a good understanding of how natural gas behaves when it escapes below and above ground, and how it tracks into property using other services and in different subsoil types. This project will enable us to develop through physical testing and analysis our understanding of hydrogen tracking behaviour compared to natural gas, and to then use that understanding to develop quantified risk assessments and procedures that will support the emergency process.  


    Consequence testing

    This project will examine the consequences of hydrogen ingress into property in terms of gas concentrations, movement, accumulation, ignition sources, energy required for ignition and the likelihood of ignition from common electrical appliances to the point of and including detonation.  

    Outputs and analysis from the physical testing elements of the project will be used to develop quantified risk assessments and assess the application and suitability of the current emergency process when applied to hydrogen gas escapes.


    Hydrogen logistics

    This project will give invaluable insight into the complexities of construction and the operational requirements for each site. It will also develop an estimation tool that can be used to baseline the hydrogen volumes required in terms of production, transportation, distribution and storage, and to estimate plant footprint before the feasibility and FEED studies are commenced. 


    Hydrogen metering 

    This element will provide factual evidence based on testing and data that will determine the suitability of existing UK natural gas meters for use with hydrogen. It will also identify the suitability from both a technical and commercial viewpoint of existing commercially available H2 meters for use in domestic and commercial property. 


    Odorant and gas detection 

    A selection of suitable odorants, including mercaptan – the odorant currently used for natural gas, will be tested and evaluated against SGN and industry standards, but for use with hydrogen gas. The output from this project will be an odorant that is compatible with hydrogen in terms of its pungent smell and residence time.

    Accurate gas detection instruments are essential in the gas industry for confirming the presence or absence of natural gas and for tracing gas escapes once presence is confirmed. This project will choose gas instruments that will detect hydrogen and then test them against the current industry INQ standards but for use with hydrogen.  One will then be selected that best meets the process requirements. 


    Appliance testing

    This work package will develop a strategy for the long-term field trial and testing of approved 100% hydrogen gas appliances. The appliances will be installed in homes that are connected to the hydrogen demonstration network where they will be monitored and tested on a regular basis to ensure that they remain safe and operate efficiently.


    Feasibility and FEED studies

    This work package will conduct feasibility and FEED studies at three potential demonstration sites.  One will then be selected as the best overall location for the SGN’s hydrogen demonstration.  The basis of these studies will be to identify if the project is viable, identify options and assist in the development of other project documentation, such as the business case, project execution plan and the strategic brief.

    This is a large and complex project with the feasibility and FEED studies pulling together all elements of the project. The feasibility studies will enable eventual selection of the site that delivers the best UK scalable demonstration model.