Hamburg's gas grid proves suitable for mixed operation with hydrogen

Gasnetz Hamburg tested the use of hydrogen in the energy centre in Bergedorf, Germany. Image by Gasnetz Hamburg.

September 16 (Renewables Now) - The gas infrastructure in Hamburg has proved suitable for a mixed operation with 30% hydrogen, fuelling hopes that it has the potential to advance the decarbonisation of the local industry.

The port city's gas network operator Gasnetz Hamburg and several partners have made tests, adding up to 30% hydrogen in a section of the gas grid for 15 months as part of a research project. The mixed operation of heat generation plants with hydrogen was also tested during this period. The results show that despite the lower energy density, the cogeneration plant and heating boiler were able to operate with a hydrogen mixture after some technical modifications were made to the gas engines and the boiler burners.

The project shows that natural gas devices are also suitable for mixed operation with hydrogen, says Tom Lindemann, project manager at Gasnetz Hamburg.

The solution tested in the project cannot be used in the entire gas grid in Hamburg but it offers an important solution for individual network sections in which green electricity can be stored as gas and later converted back into electricity and heat, if necessary, Lindemann added.

The findings from the project serve a long-term goal to enable the reconversion of renewable hydrogen and thus decouple the availability of electricity from the time of its generation.

Apart from Gasnetz Hamburg, the other partners in the project include enercity contracting GmbH, the Competence Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CC4E) at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg) and the Bergedorf district.

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