Tests conclude that the gas blend under consideration has not led to leaks.
Nortegas has successfully completed the first test phase of its H2Sarea project, in which it has tested, over 3,000 hours, a replica of the natural gas distribution network and all of its constituent parts with a blend of 5% hydrogen and 95% methane.
The company explained that it has been able to establish that the gas mixture distribution under trial (5% hydrogen and 95% methane) "has not led to leaks". The tests have been conducted at more than 550 critical points in the current distribution network, such as regulation and metering stations (RMS), flanged joints, welds, welding points, valves, steel and polyethylene pipes, steel-polyethylene and polyethylene-copper transitions, as well as at different points of domestic installations and meters.
In addition, the "correct operation" of all the equipment that make up both the natural gas distribution network and domestic installations has been checked.
Nortegas emphasised that H2Sarea is a unique project in Spain that promotes the safe injection of green hydrogen into natural gas distribution infrastructure in increasing percentage blends of hydrogen and natural gas.
Through H2Sarea, Nortegas addresses one of the "most relevant energy challenges" in terms of the efficient use of hydrogen, since the injection of this renewable gas into existing natural gas distribution networks would enable this infrastructure to be used as it is, and to contribute further to the role of hydrogen as a lever for the decarbonisation of the economy.
The company explained that the "success" of this first phase paves the way for a new cycle of tests, in which the facilities will be exposed to 3,000 hours of a blend of 10% hydrogen and 90% methane to check, once again, the resistance of the infrastructure to the presence of hydrogen.
The objective of H2Sarea is to test the operation of the natural gas infrastructure at different blending percentages until 100% hydrogen is reached, with a view to identifying and providing the necessary technological solutions for the eventual progressive transformation of the distribution network.
The results obtained will be used to design future actions and make specific proposals, based on real-life experience, to the different regulatory bodies, to take this transformation forward.
The CEO of Nortegas, Javier Contreras, emphasised that the results obtained in the first phase of H2Sarea will encourage them to continue testing the infrastructure until blending levels are reached which "enable us to achieve our decarbonisation goals".
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