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Pioneering hydrogen fuel trial yielding positive results

The UK's first live hydrogen fuel trial, designed to help reduce UK CO2 emissions and reach the Government's net zero target for 2050, is yielding positive results and shedding first light on consumer views.

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HyDeploy is a ground-breaking green energy demonstration, supplying a blend of up to 20% hydrogen by volume with natural gas to 130 homes and faculty buildings at Keele University in Staffordshire.

Five months into the pilot, lead project partner Cadent has issued a project update revealing that, so far, gas appliances using the blend are functioning normally and householders and campus businesses haven't noticed any differences to their gas supply.

The update also provides fascinating insight from the social science being conducted as part of the pilot, revealing the emerging views of consumers using the hydrogen blend in their homes.

Social acceptance is recognised as an important factor in transitioning from one technology to another and research into the perceptions of hydrogen blending among residents is also a key part of the pilot.

HSE, through its Research and Consultancy services, is one of the HyDeploy project partners and has been overseeing all technical and safety aspects of the project.

Using facilities at the HSE Science and Research Centre at Buxton in Derbyshire, HSE has conducted extensive research into the effect of hydrogen on the different materials found in the gas network. HSE, together with other project partners, has also carried out laboratory tests on a range of gas appliances, prior to the live trial.

The pilot is demonstrating that a blend of up to 20% hydrogen can reduce climate-damaging carbon emissions from heating the nation's homes, while at the same time enabling customers to use their gas supply as normal, without any changes needed to gas appliances or pipework.

The project, which paused hydrogen blending during the Covid-19 lockdown, is now making preparations to resume blending.

Read the Cadent project update in full.

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