Partners: NGN, Cadent, SGN, WWU

Funding: Network Innovation Allowance (NIA)

This project seeks to extend the principle of hydrogen conversion as established in the Leeds City Gate, across key UK urban centres.

The UK’s natural gas network has an unmatched ability to meet the massive swings in energy required to heat properties, from the low demands of mid-summer to the peak demands of winter.

But burning of natural gas is not sustainable given the requirements of the Climate Change Act, hence the Leeds City Gate investigation into switching gas from methane to hydrogen.

The H21 LCG project established hydrogen conversion is technically possible the Major Urban Centres project aimed to expand on this work focusing on three main questions:

1) Do the distribution networks have sufficient capacity to supply the required amounts of energy post conversion?

2) Can the large city networks be split into yearly sectors to allow for the conversion of part of a city during a summer period (the network is more flexible at this time due to reduced demand and the impact on customers is reduced due to a lowered requirement for heating) whilst leaving a network robust enough to maintain supply to converted and non-converted areas for the following winter?

3) Can the yearly sector be split into approximately 26 zones to allow for smaller areas to be converted within a week thereby reducing the disruption and loss of gas supply to customer to a practicable minimum?

The technique to model UK conversion from methane to hydrogen needed to be shared and adapted by other GDNs to establish the specific requirements for other major urban centres.

To do this, the H21 team supported the other gas networks (as well as developing the strategy within NGN) to model Newcastle to Hull and across from West Yorkshire to Liverpool for NGN and Cadent, for Edinburgh and Bournemouth for SGN and Cardiff and Bristol for WWU.

The detailed analysis and results of the project will be presented in a report.