The H21 NIC Phase 2 project will be taking the work from Phase 1 one step further and investigating whether or not the day to day procedures that we undertake on the gas network can still be undertaken safely in order to allow us to maintain a safe network. As well as trialing hydrogen on an in-situ part of our network to determine confidence in conversion (to date all tests have been at purpose-built facilities and not within the current network). Phase 2 is split into 4 phases:

Phase 2a – Appraisal of Network Operations: This phase will review, test and make recommendations to amend the operational and maintenance procedures required to operate a network on 100% hydrogen, including network components and initial operational requirements for conversion to 100% hydrogen. Testing will be undertaken by DNV GL at their dedicated research and testing space at RAF Spadeadam. A mini gas network will be constructed to replicate the existing gas network – all tests will take place on this test rig/mini network.

Phase 2b – Unoccupied Network Trials: To establish confidence in the repurposing of the existing network to 100% hydrogen an unoccupied network operations trial will be undertaken on an existing, undisturbed section of the gas network. This will be used to demonstrate operational and maintenance procedures in action for a 100% hydrogen network as well as trial the conversion process. A section of the network that is currently in use but does not supply gas to any end users have been identified at Redcar. This section of the network will be isolated, and the location secured whilst testing takes place.

Phase 2c – Combined QRA: The Phase 1 QRA will be combined with the Hy4Heat QRA for an end-to-end quantification of the comparative risk between a 100% hydrogen network and the natural gas network.

Phase 2d – Social Science Research: Following on from Phase 1 of the research a suite of resources will be developed to enable GDNs to communicate effectively with the public about a 100% hydrogen conversion. This will enable the public to make an informed choice about the energy that best meets their needs, rather than one based on any misinformation or misunderstanding. Resources will include a Glossary of Terms, an animation and an interactive display explaining the end to end process of hydrogen (production through to use) all of these materials will be developed and tested on members of the public before being finalised.

Partners: All UK GDNS, National Grid Transmission, DNV-GL, HSE Science Division, Leeds Beckett University

Funding: Network Innovation Competition (NIC)