Technical and Regulatory Reviews on the Impact of the Introduction of Hydrogen to Australian Markets
GPA explored the impacts of adding up to 10% hydrogen to the natural gas distribution networks within Australia, as well as the impacts of addition of up to 10% hydrogen to downstream gas users.
Addition of up to 10% hydrogen to the natural gas distribution networks
The study completed a desktop review of the current natural gas distribution networks in operation across Australia. This review identified the materials of construction, operating conditions, gas compositions and ownerships of these networks. The study then reviewed current research and identified similar projects being completed both domestically and internationally.
A review of the impacts of addition of 10% hydrogen to a typical natural gas blend was undertaken, to understand the gas quality, materials, network capacity and blending, and safety and risk impacts to the natural gas distribution network. The review used representative gas compositions for the distribution networks in each state as the basis for calculation of the impacts of addition of 10% hydrogen to gas quality.
This use of representative gas compositions for each state resulted in more realistic outcomes than a theoretical assessment alone. These impacts and considerations were then used as the basis for the technical and regulatory review.
The technical standards, economic and safety and technical regulations were reviewed before considering the technical impacts. The technical and regulatory barriers were then identified, and clear recommendations developed to be used as guidance for policy makers.
On completion of the technical, standards and regulatory review, a set of clear recommendations were developed addressing each aspect of the study and the suite of potential barriers identified. Sixteen recommendations and proposed timeframes for their implementation were developed.
Addition of up to 10% hydrogen to downstream gas users
The study reviewed the impacts of up to 10% hydrogen blended in natural gas on end-users supplied from the distribution network. The study involved a desktop review, which identified the individual user types as well as the different type of appliances, and piping installations.
The study then reviewed the implications of addition of up to 10% hydrogen on the gas quality parameters and combustion characteristics of natural gas. The blended gas has generally comparable combustion characteristics, and behaves similarly to that of unblended natural gas. For up to 10% hydrogen there are additional materials risks, notably embrittlement, especially as the pressure increases, and increased leakage from permeation and through joints, fittings and components.
The review considered:
- Domestic users of natural gas (Type A appliances)
- Commercial and industrial users (Type B appliances)
- Process and industrial users of natural gas
- Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) users
A desktop review of the standards identified as applicable to the gas appliances was completed. The following standards were reviewed:
- AS 3814:2014 – Industrial and commercial gas-fired appliances
- AS/NZS 5263.0:2016 – Gas appliances – General installations
- AS/NZS 5601.1:2013 – Gas installation – General installations
- AS/NZS 4563:2004 – Commercial catering gas equipment
- AS/NZS 1869:2012 – Hose and hose assemblies for liquefied petroleum gases (LPG), natural gas and town gas.
Throughout these projects, GPA worked collaboratively with the technical and safety regulators in each state, gas network owners and operators, appliance manufacturers, industry groups, Australian Standards committees and government departments. These relationships allowed GPA to deliver a comprehensive, technically solid and concise report, which spoke to both a technical and non-technical audience.