The H2 readiness of gas shut-off valves in gas meters


Written by: Stephan Brückner, Business Development Manager, Germany GmbH & Co. KG

In line with the global political discourse and resulting regulatory initiatives as well as defined specifications, the variety of renewable energies used in industries like mobility and the heating sectors worldwide is set to grow rapidly and significantly.

An ever-growing number of applications is bound to run on hydrogen in the near future. This is where current gas distribution networks will play an important role since they already supply large volumes of hydrogen. Feeding in increasingly larger volumes of up to 100% hydrogen will require gradual technical enhancements of today’s gas distribution network.

To achieve an unlimited infeed of hydrogen in gas distribution networks, all the links in the supply chain will need to be H2­­­­-ready – from the entry to the exit point where the gas will be used. Intrinsic infrastructure components and materials will have to be investigated and tested for specific compatibility limits with hydrogen admixtures and pure hydrogen.

Gas shut-off valves will also need to be H2­­­­-ready and comply with the requirements associated with using hydrogen admixtures in gas distribution networks.

This white paper examines the H2­­­­-ready requirements for gas shut-off valves, including technology overview, materials compatibility, and ATEX examination.

When evaluating the effects of Hydrogen in gas meters, and specifically in gas shut-off valves, three aspects come to the fore:

  1. Changes to material properties due to the effect of hydrogen, particularly the embrittlement of metals
  2. Explosiveness/ignitability of hydrogen compared with other heating gases (ATEX examination)
  3. Increased permeability of hydrogen compared to other heating gases and therefore a potentially higher susceptibility to leakage

Johnson Electric’s gas shut-off valves exhibit zero leaks during multiple severe tests, even when using 100% hydrogen by volume. This is an important step towards H2­­­­ readiness, especially to higher H2­­­­ admixtures in gas distribution networks in conjunction with the modernisation of gas meters. Regarding materials and explosion protection compatibility with hydrogen, Johnson Electric’s gas shut-off valves are leading the way on an international scale.

About the author:

Over the past 17 years, Stephan Brückner has held various positions at the Dresden site of Johnson Electric in Germany. A university-educated industrial engineer, he currently holds the position of Business Development Manager, overseeing the company’s global sales and distribution activities in the field of smart metering. Thanks to his experience, he has an in-depth understanding of the energy sector and the challenges in the various markets.