Domestic Hydrogen Safety Controls

Domestic Hydrogen Safety Controls

The Opportunity

The objective of this Opportunity is to shortlist the submissions that best answer the brief, with the aim of attending a presentation day with the EIC Industry Partners, where it can be discussed in greater detail with a technical panel.


What is the Problem?

As part of their net zero ambitions, the UK government and Ofgem have commissioned several projects to assess the safe use of hydrogen gas in domestic buildings. It has been noted that a policy decision on conversion to a hydrogen gas network will only be made once the case for safety is established. The current benchmark position is that any future hydrogen system must be as safe as the current natural gas system.

A Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) for gas distribution and downstream supply has established that 83% of the gas related societal risks are due to incidents occurring inside buildings - i.e., downstream of the Emergency Control Valve (ECV). Furthermore, it is predicted that societal risk levels associated with hydrogen will be greater than they currently are for natural gas if no additional safety mitigation is implemented.

The QRA considered a range of future safety mitigation options available to both Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) and homeowners that would result in quantifiable safety benefits, however it is anticipated that these measures will be unappealing to the public due to cost, disruption, aesthetics, and reduced home energy efficiency.


Preferred Output

This GDN is seeking a smarter automated technological solution that will ensure that hydrogen can be delivered more safely than today’s current natural gas system from the network ECV to any appliances in the home.

The ideal solution will be required to:

• Detect a hydrogen leakage/pressure issue.

• Automatically isolate the supply at the ECV.

• Notify the customer/network.

• Have programmable flowrate set points to account for various appliances’ usage.


A successful project will include tests and demonstrations on a micro-level using the UK’s gas distribution network and the different house configurations at a number of test properties owned by the GDN.