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HSE unveils world class hydrogen testing facility

Today (4th July 2019) sees the opening of a unique hydrogen testing facility at the HSE Science and Research Centre in Buxton.

H21, the world's largest project to reduce carbon emissions, is opening the first ever testing facility for 100 per cent hydrogen.

H21 Test Facility.jpg

Funded through Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition, the project is led by Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributor for the North of England, in partnership with Cadent, SGN and Wales & West Utilities, HSE's Centre for Energy and DNV-GL.

It seeks to establish if a hydrogen gas network is equally as safe as the natural gas grid. The results will be critical in determining if it is safe to convert millions of homes across the country from natural gas to hydrogen.

HSE's Science and Research Centre is the first research facility in the world to carry out testing of existing network assets with 100 percent hydrogen.  The specially designed rig will explore how hydrogen behaves on a variety of assets such as pipes, valves and joints compared with the behaviour of natural gas.

All the safety evidence collected during the experimental trials will assist the government in progressing towards a policy decision on hydrogen by the mid 2020's.

Andrew Curran, HSE's Chief Scientific Adviser, said: "We are pleased to be part of the H21 programme, and in particular, that we are housing this new specialist facility here in Buxton. We are sure this will become a key component in providing the evidence which will enable hydrogen to become a safe, clean and resilient component of our approach to achieving zero-emissions by 2050."

H21 Launch Andrew Curran.jpg

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