Innovators team up to secure funding for green hydrogen project

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A collaboration between two Yorkshire companies has secured £297,000 from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Net Zero Industrial Innovation Portfolio to support the switch from natural gas to hydrogen.

Pipelines experts Sustainable Pipeline Systems (SPS) and end connection experts Smartflow Couplings will now begin feasibility work at the SPS site in East Heslerton, near Malton, as part of the Industrial Fuel Switch Program from BEIS.

Andy Rickard, sustainability consultant in North Yorkshire, will work with the two companies to identify local industries and sites interested in using the green hydrogen available at the SPS demonstration base in North Yorkshire from 2024.

This may include farms using off-road vehicles currently powered by diesel that could use hydrogen combustion engines.

Hydrogen can be made from biomass, creating a more sustainable energy cycle.

The project aims to show the feasibility of automated construction of mobile pipelines with a reduced carbon footprint and advanced digital integrity monitoring.

SPS’ MASiP system was developed for the hydrogen age for which a new backbone of hydrogen pipelines is needed for the UK, Europe and beyond.

This development will support the high pressure and larger diameter pipelines needed to connect industrial centers to the hydrogen supply needed for the future

SPS has formed a Hydrogen Pipeline Advisory Group with most major energy companies active in the development of hydrogen options to guide the development of a full-scale hydrogen pipeline demonstrator in 2023.

The demonstrator aims to show end-use as well as advanced pipeline construction technology for hydrogen supply in industrial infrastructure.

Andrew Stevenson, CEO of SPS, said: “We are proud to be playing a vital role in preparing a new hydrogen pipeline transport network to support the UK’s fuel switch plans.

“We are already at the forefront of innovation in pipeline technology, including digital monitoring to reduce environmental impact and monitoring networks to detect leaks and fatigue failures.

“This project will allow us to use the expertise developed in other energy fields to support decarbonisation.”

Smartflow specializes in the design and manufacture of dry fittings to improve the efficiency of fluid transfer processes, as well as the design and supply of bespoke end fittings such as SPS pipe fittings.

The manufacturer will aim to develop a high performance 36 inch diameter fitting for use on the SPS hydrogen grid.

Gary Thompson, Managing Director of Smartflow, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to build on the work we began in partnership with SPS early in development, to facilitate the transition to hydrogen.

“Our goal is to increase the technology readiness level of the end connection system, with the intention of having pipe diameters developed up to 36” by 2024.

“Hydrogen gas can cause many problems for standard carbon steel pipe and welded fittings, so this project will require a corrosion resistant connection to match SPS’ patented MASIP pipeline product.”

Rickard added: “It’s fantastic to see two local businesses pooling their knowledge to support the transition to green hydrogen and I look forward to identifying local Yorkshire businesses that could benefit from the results of the project and accelerate their own net zero strategies.

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