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School of Engineering receives funding to collaboratively investigate hydrogen compression

13 December 2023

The School of Engineering is proud to announce that it has been awarded a grant from Ofgem's Strategic Innovation Funding (SIF) for a pioneering research project in the field of hydrogen gas networks, with a total project value of £43.7 million.

The research, undertaken in partnership with Cardiff University's Gas Turbine Research Centre, aims to revolutionise the compression and utilisation of hydrogen in the national gas transmission system - a vital step towards achieving the Government’s Net-Zero objectives.

The project will involve the creation of a micro-scale high-pressure gas network powered by hydrogen. This system will use an innovative compression process, leveraging a repurposed gas turbine specially modified to accommodate the new fuel.

Alongside Cardiff University, the project consortium includes the National Gas Transmission, Siemens Energy, DNV Services UK, Cullum Detuners Ltd, Northern Gas Networks, Southern Gas Networks, and Premtech.

The funding from Ofgem is awarded in three phases. The first phase assesses the feasibility of the project, while the second involves detailed design and development. The final phase, Beta, focuses on the construction of a demonstrator. Cardiff University has previously engaged in other SIF projects with National Gas Transmission, but this marks the first project to advance to the Beta phase.

The research team within the School of Engineering will include Dr. Daniel Pugh, Prof. Phil Bowen, and Prof. Richard Marsh, alongside a dedicated researcher, and a Ph.D. student, all contributing to the success of this project.

Principal Investigator of the project, Senior Lecturer Daniel Pugh said, “This project provides an exciting opportunity to make crucial progress for the use of hydrogen in the National Gas Transmission System - essential for meeting our Net-Zero targets.” He continues “Cardiff University’s Gas Turbine Research Centre will work with project partners to support the development and repurposing of existing physical assets for this challenging new fuel. We are excited to see the project develop and would like to thank Ofgem for the funding ."

FutureGrid Programme Manager Tom Neal said, “This funding is key to help FutureGrid demonstrate that hydrogen is a safe and viable option for the future of the UK’s energy supply. Not only is this resource more sustainable it is also a cleaner option over traditional fuel sources.” He continues “This research is a fundamental step on National Gas Transmission’s journey to Net Zero”.

The project kicked off in September 2023 and will span over 40 months, concluding in December 2026.

This project is funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem managed in partnership with Innovate UK.

Find out more about the Gas Turbine Research Centre.

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