Hydrogen Pipelines – Safety and Certification of Hydrogen Transport

The comprehensive hydrogen pipeline services by TÜV SÜD help you to assess existing pipelines, components, and necessary conversion.

The comprehensive hydrogen pipeline services by TÜV SÜD help you to assess existing pipelines, components, and necessary conversion.

How does The transport of hydrogen work?

The planned expansion of production capacities, especially in green hydrogen, requires efficient solutions for the storage and transportation of hydrogen. Hydrogen can be stored in a liquid or gaseous state and transported through pipelines. Since constructing a dedicated hydrogen network by building new hydrogen pipelines involves high investment, the use or conversion of the existing gas network is an efficient way to reduce costs. The gas network currently spans millions of kilometres, and many businesses are now faced with the task of conversion of their existing infrastructure to hydrogen.

Why is The Transport Of hydrogen Challenging?

Generally, hydrogen can be transported or stored in a liquid or gaseous state. Different issues exist depending on whether it is delivered via a storage tank, pipelines, or filling station systems. The fact that hydrogen has such a low volume density is probably the most challenging aspect of employing it as an energy carrier. Therefore, hydrogen must be compressed or liquefied, which entails several risks and dangers.

Hydrogen transport in natural gas pipelines

The costs of constructing an extended hydrogen network by building additional hydrogen pipelines are high. Using or converting existing gas pipelines is one approach to cutting these costs. Methane's calorific heating value is three times higher under typical conditions than that of hydrogen. In pipeline systems, however, due to its lower density, the flow velocity of hydrogen is up to three times higher than methane's.
This means that the same gas pipeline can transport three times as much hydrogen at the same pressure simultaneously, even though the energy transfer capacity is slightly lower.

Another consideration is the steel pipe and fittings' integrity. In theory, embrittlement might speed up the crack growth and reduce the pipeline's lifetime, depending on the grade of the steel and the exposure to atomic hydrogen.


How does a pipeline become h2-ready certified?

Operators who want to convert their existing infrastructure to be h2-ready are facing several challenges and are generally looking for answers to the questions:

  • Are existing pipelines suitable for hydrogen transport?
  • How will hydrogen affect pipeline components?
  • How extensive will the necessary conversions be?

To answer those questions, comprehensive hydrogen pipeline inspections are performed. Based on these inspections, maintenance-, safety concepts and standards are derived.

TÜV SÜD offers a variety of services regarding pipelines, which are:

  • Safety-related construction supervision, testing and acceptance of all hydrogen plants in the energy supply chain
  • Dimensioning of pipelines and components as well as strength calculations for hydrogen transportation systems
  • Evaluation of existing high-pressure gas pipelines for hydrogen operation in accordance with DVGW G 409
  • Evaluation of new high-pressure gas pipelines' suitability for hydrogen operation (H2-ready certificate)
  • Assisting gas network operators in developing prequalification documents for pipeline manufacturers and pipeline constructors

    (Objective: identify pipeline producers who are particularly well-suited for the construction of hydrogen-transporting pipelines.)

  • Transient internal pressure loading load cycle analysis
  • Lifetime evaluation under hydrogen embrittlement by fracture mechanics(DVGW G 409 as well as G 463)
  • In the notification/approval procedure, required expert certificates and safety assessments for pipelines and installations
  • Training of personnel for the work on pipelines in operation for operators, pipe fitters and their subcontractors
  • Qualification of personnel and the operational organisation of network operators according to DVGW G 491 Annex O

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Why should aN h2-ready pipeline be certified by TÜV SÜD?

TÜV SÜD offers extraordinary expertise in the field of h2-ready pipelines. As a leading notified inspection body and market leader in converting existing natural gas pipelines into hydrogen pipelines, TÜV SÜD has the most references and is represented in all relevant committees for standards and regulations in the gas sector. (DVGW, TÜV Association, AfR)

In addition to this extraordinary expertise, clients benefit from the image, trustworthiness and reliability that TÜV SÜD as a notified inspection body conveys.

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