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National Grid uses digital twin to test safe transportation of hydrogen

by Sion Geschwindt
National Grid uses digital twin to test safe transportation of hydrogen

The UK’s National Grid is leading a project to gain a greater understanding of hydrogen transport in the national transmission system.

The collaboration, which includes the digital engineering company The Centre for Modelling & Simulation, consultants DNV and Premtech, and Durham University, aims to develop a low-cost solution for combining virtual twins and data twins into one robust digital twin.

Funded by the regulator Ofgem’s Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), the ‘Collaborative Visual Data Twin’ project should play a key role in garnering a greater understanding of the existing network, improving risk analysis, and allowing the prediction of future scenarios.

The aim is to evaluate tests across various blends of hydrogen up to 100%, which will be carried out at DNV’s research centre in Spadeadam, Cumbria, to understand the effects of introducing it to the traditional gas assets.

The virtual technology will be used to improve understanding of the network and how it needs to develop to transport hydrogen safely to customers.

The hydrogen transition

Sam Paice, CEO of the Centre For Modelling & Simulation, said: “With net zero goals fast approaching, we champion any project which has the potential to advance sustainable initiatives, and with technology rapidly developing, the project has the potential to drive development in the transition to hydrogen.”

The virtual twin standards and systems were developed through an earlier project and are in use across National Grid Gas Transmission sites today.

The data twin is currently in development and will be further advanced throughout the project to enable its link to the virtual twin.

The project also is intended to establish a training and development programme designed to help support the management of these digital technologies, as well as hydrogen-related pipelines in the future.

The project is one of several for which National Grid Gas Transmission has received funding from the NIA on the introduction and role of hydrogen in the gas network.

Others encompass hydrogen metering, hydrogen compression, a framework for green hydrogen injection into the gas grid, coatings for pipes and options for hydrogen blends for refuelling stations on the network.

The transition to hydrogen is a complex process, increasingly so in the transition with blends with methane, which will require extensive monitoring and sensor systems due to the differing customer demands.

Managing the national transmission system will be reliant on live, accurate data systems in order to operate effectively.

Image credit: National Grid

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