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Safety First for Hydrogen From Hamburg to the World: excursion to the DNV Spadeadam Research and Testing Centre

Safety First for Hydrogen
Delegation in front of the project "HyStreet", Copyright: DNV

In partnership with DNV, the EEHH Cluster Agency organised an excursion to the Spadeadam research and testing centre at the end of November. Attendees included representatives of companies from northern Germany/Hamburg, such as Apex Energy, ContiTech, EnBW, Fraunhofer IWES and Storenergy.

The DNV Spadeadam Research and Testing Centre near Newcastle focuses on demonstrating and investigating fire and explosion events when handling hydrogen and other gases. The excursion programme started with DNV staff providing a comprehensive insight into the theoretical principles, as well as physical and chemical aspects, such as volume flow and burn rate depending on the concentration of the respective substance.

Key finding: fire is not the primary cause of damage during a hydrogen explosion, but rather the chain reaction that results in other objects catching fire, as well as unsecured objects. To illustrate this, DNV staff conducted several tests within the spacious grounds, using propane and methane, as well as gaseous and liquid hydrogen, for example. This gave participants first-hand experience of the direct consequences of these tests. “Even with the smaller explosions, I experienced the blast, the noise and the heat on my face. I can't imagine what uncontrolled explosions and fires would be like in a real environment,” says Sibyl Scharrer, International Cooperation Hydrogen Project Manager at the EEHH Cluster Agency.

During the excursion, DNV presented other partner projects on the risks involved when installing hydrogen infrastructure. In the FutureGrid project, the UK pipeline system operator, National Gas, is researching the development and operation of the gas network, in order to supply its customers with sufficient quantities of hydrogen. This project involves hydrogen blends of 2%, 5% and 20%, up to 100% hydrogen. The HyStreet project, on the other hand, is testing hydrogen connections in residential areas and the distribution of hydrogen to individual residential properties. The EEHH Cluster Agency invited participants to share their ideas and experience at a networking dinner.

About Jingkai Shi

Profilbild zu: Jingkai Shi

Hamburg is the model region for the energy transition and the Germany’s wind capital with connections all over the world. The local renewable energy sector is thus a key partner for the international energy industry. In my role as a contact person for international cooperation in renewables, I’m responsible for REH’s relations with international industry networks, support REH’s members in their international activities, and help Hamburg gain a stronger visibility and perception on the world stage by using social media.