Methane gas is "losing ground" to hydrogen in Sibiu County

Alina Oprea
The village of Dârlos in Sibiu County will be the first town in Romania where methane gas will "lose ground" to hydrogen. Here, the Delgaz Grid company, from the E.ON Romania group, started tests on the operation of networks and devices for use with a mixture of natural gas and hydrogen. The company started testing the supply of a mixture of 80% methane gas and 20% hydrogen, for 75 households on Morii Street in Dârlos. This is the first stage of the 20HyGrid pilot project, launched for the first time in Romania. The Sibiu County Council is a partner in the project to promote alternative energy sources.

Later, in September, the same test will be done in the town of Gornești in Mureș county.

The purpose of the tests is to provide a technical solution at the national level for transporting hydrogen through pipes and using it for heating in homes.

Delgaz Grid specialists test the tightness and behavior of the natural gas distribution network and household appliances. Combustion and operating parameters for different types of appliances will be analyzed. The tests aim to rigorously determine the level of hydrogen compatibility of existing natural gas distribution network components and household customers' installations and appliances.

"In the first stage a mixture of natural gas with hydrogen and in the long term exclusively green gases without carbon dioxide emissions, such as hydrogen produced by electrolysis and biomethane", said Volker Raffel, CEO of E.ON Romania.

"The natural gas networks in Romania have the potential to supply consumers with huge amounts of hydrogen, at the lowest costs compared to other transport and distribution options. They could transport, for example, about 130 TWh of energy annually, almost three times more than the National Energy System for electricity transmission, respectively about 56 TWh", added Cristian Secoșan, general director of Delgaz Grid.

Hydrogen is just another combustible gas, which does not involve risks different from methane, a fact demonstrated by all the projects carried out in Western European countries, explained Cristian Călin, Gas Technical Manager, project coordinator.

"Romania has over 100 years of experience with hydrogen, so we know it can be done, we know with whom it can be done and we know where and what it has been done. For scientific and technical reasons, it is considered possible to introduce quantities of up to 20-30% hydrogen, without relevant changes to end users and infrastructure or pipelines. Hydrogen has major potential in the decarbonization of energy sources for households and the tests carried out by Delgaz Grid in Mediaș are an essential and mandatory step to validate this in the field", says Ioan Iordache, Executive Director of the Romanian Hydrogen Energy Association and General Director of ICMET Craiova.

It is planned to test the mixture of natural gas with hydrogen under real conditions this summer.

"Hydrogen must be seen as an energy vector, one of the few feasible solutions that can balance the variability (insecurity) of renewable sources and the volatility of consumption. First of all, we must demonstrate that it is feasible and safe to transport and use hydrogen, and it is appreciated that Delgaz Grid is the first company to take the step from theory to practice in Romania through this project," said Dumitru Chisăliță, President of the Intelligent Energy Association.

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Green Forum  |  17 May, 2024 at 9:00 AM