HYDROGEN INSTEAD OF GAS: RESULTS OF THE FIRST UKRAINIAN RESEARCH
Ukrainian power engineers and scientists became interested in using hydrogen technologies for a long time, more than 30 years ago. The use of hydrogen with gas can significantly improve the environmental friendliness of gas. And pure hydrogen has quite ambitious prospects in general.

In the summer of 2020, RGC was the first to test hydrogen in its own networks. And it attracted scientists to the process.

During the VI Ukrainian Gas Forum, the Eastern European Gas Partnership, held at the end of October, Ukrainian scientists presented the first research results on the use of hydrogen and gas- hydrogen mixtures in networks and household appliances.

Low-pressure networks - pre-suitable for hydrogen
Testing experimental gas networks for tightness when filled with hydrogen showed that sections of medium pressure operating on hydrogen had significant leaks. And they did not meet the requirements of tightness. But the low-pressure areas met these requirements, said Ph.D. Kyryl Kostohryz.

The tests were carried out at test sites, where models of gas networks were installed in full compliance with the existing gas distribution networks.

Researchers found that the pressure drop in medium pressure networks ranged from 0.24 to 0.4% per hour and exceeded the permissible rate by 2.5-4 times.

A leak was recorded in one medium pressure section. The hydrogen concentration was very high there and was approaching the danger line. The leak has been repaired. Further testing showed a significant reduction in pressure drop to 0.09% per hour. That corresponded to the permissible tightness standard for technological gas pipelines.

The pressure drop was insignificant in low-pressure gas pipelines – on average, 0.01% per hour.

Typical fixed leaks are weld seals, even high quality ones. It was unexpected, Kostohryz noted. Also, screwed and muff joints made with modern specialized sealing materials and sensor connection points did not hold hydrogen.

"Based on the research results, it is already possible to formulate the directions of work on the technical re-equipment of distribution networks and the solution of related problems," Kostohryz said.

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