Portgás has strengthened its partnership with INEGI - Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering - to set up a laboratory and trial benches at the Institute's facilities to test the injection of H2 into the natural gas distribution network. This step follows the first phase of the partnership, which included the study of compatibility between hydrogen and the flow of gas in the distribution networks, at the different pressure levels.
'Following the results obtained, we moved from theory to practice, and proceeded with the necessary tests to assess the impact of H2 injection with regard to materials, firing processes, and safety and operational conditions', recounts Lucas Marcon, who is in charge of the project at INEGI.
The laboratory is already operational and will be the stage for tests on trial benches that simulate the conditions of Portgás's metallic distribution and supply networks, including all their components (piping, valves, sensors, seals, among others), and the operation of the firing equipment they supply.
Based on this assessment and in collaboration with Portgás, INEGI's team of experts will define the requirements and specifications of future infrastructures and facilities to operate in conditions of efficiency and safety for scenarios of gradual injection of hydrogen into the grid operated by Portgás.
The project is part of the strategy of Decarbonisation and Digitisation of the distribution assets of Portgás, based on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and on the commitment to the sector's decarbonisation, on the prioritisation of studies in the area of the feasibility of the injection of gases of renewable origin in the infrastructures of the REN Group, and on the strengthening of its role as an operator without any participation in gas investment or generation.
In line with the Portuguese strategy for decarbonisation of the various sectors of the economy, INEGI has been supporting the development of technologies for generation, storage, and use of hydrogen generated from renewable energy sources.