SGN partners with Oxford Flow to verify hydrogen-ready gas networks

08/06/2023
Gemma Simpson (SGN), Faris Churcher (Oxford Flow) and James Heywood (SGN).
  • SGN selects Oxford Flow to provide its innovative hydrogen-ready IM-S gas regulators for LTS Futures project
  • Decommissioned pipeline to be tested with 100% hydrogen at facility in Cumbria
  • LTS Futures is a crucial project to demonstrate how gas networks can decarbonise

GAS distribution company SGN has selected flow control solutions specialist Oxford Flow, to help prove the hydrogen-readiness of existing gas network infrastructure. The companies will work together as part of SGN’s LTS Futures project, which is verifying the compatibility of Great Britain’s local transmission system (LTS) with hydrogen gas.

Oxford Flow will provide innovative hydrogen-ready gas pressure regulators (IM-S) which are smaller and lighter than natural gas equivalents. They’ll be used to stress test decommissioned gas pipelines with 100% hydrogen. The innovative IM series regulators are designed to make the retrofitting of existing gas systems easier and reduce future maintenance.

Gemma Simpson, SGN Director of LTS Futures, said: “The LTS Futures project will enable wide-scale system transformation of the UK gas network to hydrogen, driving decarbonisation and supporting our net-zero goals. We are excited to be partnering with Oxford Flow to use this latest innovation as we transition to clean energy.

“Using Oxford Flow’s valves and regulators, will help establish a hydrogen-ready solution for pressure regulating equipment. They will not only future proof our systems by being hydrogen ready and tested, but also by removing leak points common in valves to reduce emissions.”

Later this year SGN’s LTS Futures team will join forces with Oxford Flow’s field operatives to test samples of decommissioned pipe at an industry research and testing facility in Spadeadam in Cumbria.

Faris Churcher, Business Lead – Gas and Energy Transition, at Oxford Flow, said: “We’re delighted to be working with SGN as part of the LTS Futures project. When conversations began, the focus was on efficacy of pipeline infrastructure and its ability to transport hydrogen. However, the pipelines themselves are not the only infrastructure – or equipment – that needs careful consideration.

“Our role in this project involves testing existing regulators and comparing them to our hydrogen-ready solution, to support SGN in making recommendations about critical infrastructure and its suitability for hydrogen blending or pure hydrogen transportation.”

The test results will inform the next stage of the LTS Futures project – a first-of-its-kind live hydrogen repurposing trial and demonstration using a decommissioned pipeline at Grangemouth next year.

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