Keele University is hosting the HyDeploy project.

HyDeploy is an energy trial to establish the potential for blending hydrogen, up to 20%, into the normal gas supply to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Subject to Health & Safety Executive (HSE) approval in Phase 1 of the project, the aim is to run a year-long live trial of blended gas on part of the Keele gas network in Phase 3 (2019). HyDeploy will determine the level of hydrogen which could be used by gas consumers safely and with no changes to their behaviour or existing domestic appliances.


Why do you want to inject hydrogen into normal gas?

The UK is committed to a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 80% by 2050.

Over 80% of UK homes are heated by gas, with heat accounting for around one third of UK CO2 emissions. Progress has been made to decarbonise electricity, but very little on decarbonising heat.

Although the gas network already delivers some green gases, like biomethane, further research is needed to understand the potential of other zero or low carbon gases to meet heat demand.

HyDeploy is one of a number of research projects investigating the potential of hydrogen to help meet this challenge. Many experts see hydrogen as an adaptable alternative to fossil fuels. This is because when hydrogen is burned it doesn’t produce CO2, just water and heat. This means it could be a way to deliver low carbon energy.

The results of HyDeploy could provide a platform for a trial on a public network, and wider roll out.

My home is part of the trial, what happens next?

Phase 1 of HyDeploy runs to June 2018. As part of Phase 1, the HyDeploy project team would like to carry out safety checks on all of the gas appliances on the selected part of the Keele network. If your home is in this area, you will be asked to consent to safety checks on your household gas appliances and gas system.

This is because a live trial of hydrogen blended with normal gas at Keele will only go ahead with approval from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE must be satisfied that the blended gas will be as safe to use as normal gas.

The evidence from the safety checks in homes and university buildings and results from laboratory tests will help the HSE:

  • make a decision about whether a live trial can go ahead safely; and
  • confirm the appropriate level of hydrogen that can be used (up to 20%).

 

If you are a householder, click here to book your safety check.

Why is this happening at Keele University?

 

Keele University is ideally placed to host the HyDeploy project. It has:

  • the largest campus in the UK served by its own private gas network;
  • a mix of residential and commercial buildings representative of a small town;
  • an international reputation for research excellence; and
  • a commitment to developing a carbon free future through its Smart Energy Network Demonstrator Project (SEND).

Aims of the HyDeploy research

 

Overall this research aims to:

  1. Establish and demonstrate the level of hydrogen blended with natural gas that can be distributed and used safely in the UK (up to 20%).
  1. Provide practical evidence that a hydrogen blended gas can be delivered and used without disruption to gas customers.
  2. Collate data about how a sample of current UK gas appliances work with hydrogen blended gas.
  3. Inform the national debate over routes to decarbonisation.

If HyDeploy is successful, it could help a move towards hydrogen being blended with natural gas across the UK. This could prevent 120 million tonnes of carbon reaching the atmosphere by 2050.