Nortegas, a natural gas distributor in Spain, has launched the H2SAREA project. H2SAREA seeks to analyze the performance of both residential and industrial infrastructures and equipment that currently use natural gas, once it is mixed with increasing percentages of hydrogen.
The project consists of researching new technology, equipment, and components that will allow natural gas networks to be transformed to distribute hydrogen in different blending scenarios: hydrogen injection systems, advanced compression systems, development of specific smart fixers for hydrogen, research into new materials and components suitable to be used in both 100% hydrogen environments and in variable natural gas/hydrogen mixes, modular hydrogen separation systems, sensors, burners, and more. The goal is to establish and obtain the necessary technology to progressively transformation its distribution network and use incremental hydrogen/natural gas mixes until 100% hydrogen is achieved.
The project, led by Nortegas, is being conducted by a consortium whose members include ABC Compressors, C.A.E., S.L.– FIDEGAS, H2Site, Erreka Fastening Solutions, and Orkli. It is also working with two of the main technology centers of the Basque Science, Technology, and Innovation Network: Tecnalia and Ikerlan; and the National Hydrogen Center.
The H2SAREA project will last three years. The initial research and development will be carried out at the Tecnalia and Ikerlan technology centers. This will include the H2Loop research platform, which will allow new developments to be tested, along with the behavior of materials and components in contact with hydrogen and natural gas/hydrogen mixes. In a first phase, the analysis of the hydrogen injection will be up to 20% and the percentages will then be gradually increased in a second phase up to 100% hydrogen.
Nortegas is Spain’s second-largest natural gas operator. It operates 5033 miles (8100 km) of distribution networks across three autonomous communities — the Basque Country, Asturias, and Cantabria.