VSL successfully concludes trial calibration with hydrogen enriched natural gas

10/19/2021

European research on hydrogen transport through natural gas grid boosts energy transition

VSL, the Dutch National Metrology Institute, has successfully concluded a first trial calibration with hydrogen enriched natural gas with its primary high-pressure standard. The institute collaborates at European level on research1 on reliable measurements of renewable gases and gas mixtures. As a part of this project, VSL operated the high-pressure gas transportation grid calibration facility, which is normally used for natural gas, on a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen. The mixture contained up to 15% hydrogen.

Hydrogen plays an important role in the energy transition and is believed to be one of the solutions to lower carbon dioxide emissions, for example by supplying the regular natural gas grid with hydrogen. For hydrogen to be used that way, mass transportation needs to be made possible. One of the possibilities to transport hydrogen is to transport it through the regular gas grid, for example by enriching natural gas with hydrogen, or in its pure form.

The European Commission has issued a research project that looks into the measurement of renewable energy source and gas mixtures. To be able to transport these renewable gases (like biomethane or pure hydrogen) through the regular gas grid, the reliability of used gas meters needs to be verified. That way, purchases made are based on the right amount of gas used. Right now, these meters are calibrated using natural gas, so it is essential to test the accuracy of these meters when using them on gas mixtures of, for example, natural gas and hydrogen.

By operating VSL’s calibration facility with hydrogen enriched natural gas the accuracy of gas meters is studied when using them with a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen. With this research, we know more about using the regular gas grid for the transportation of hydrogen and possible consequences for the accuracy of gas metres, in our homes as well as for commercial use.

1 This project (NEWGASMET, 18NRM06) has received funding from the EMPIR programme co-financed by the Participating States and from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.