TPI March 2024

Business & market news

Robots set to patrol and repair hydrogen gas pipelines

LeakVision in operation in a hydrogen pipeline

power homes in conjunction with other renewable energy sources like solar, wind or heat source pumps. The government’s Hydrogen Strategy aims to attract £4bn in investment and launch a leading hydrogen economy that will create over 9,000 jobs by 2030. The aim is for all residential gas boilers to be hydrogen-ready by 2026. The change is predicted to save 21 million tonnes of CO 2 and lower electricity costs by 2050. Simon Langdale, engineering director at Synovate, said: “Hydrogen has the potential to play a significant role in decarbonising the UK. As technology and infrastructure continue to develop, hydrogen is likely to become an increasingly important energy source. Our advanced robot technologies will be essential to ensuring the optimisation and safety of the network.” Hydrogen can also be injected into the natural gas grid, which is used to supply homes with natural gas for heating and cooking. By blending hydrogen with natural gas, homes can use a cleaner energy source that emits fewer greenhouse gases than natural gas alone. The process of injecting hydrogen into the gas grid is being explored and tested by energy companies in several countries.

Advanced trials of robots that are able to detect hydrogen leaks and fix pipes have concluded. The research could help to pave the way for hydrogen to be used in industry, transport and heating. Harrogate, UK-based Synovate, part of the Synthotech Group, teamed up with Northern Gas Networks to undertake the trials at a test facility in Spadeadam, Cumbria. The testing programme assessed if a robot could identify a hydrogen leak and repair an operational pipe. The Spadeadam research and testing facility is operated by DNV, a company that specialises in evaluating the effects of significant hazards on people and property. The LeakVision robots can be deployed remotely for long distances, which speeds up the investigation process to aid safety and reduce environmental impact. Hydrogen can be used as a clean and renewable energy source to power homes in various ways. For example, hydrogen fuel cells can convert the chemical energy stored in hydrogen into electrical energy that can power homes. Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce water and electricity. The process produces zero greenhouse gas emissions and only emits water vapour. Fuel cells are considered efficient and reliable and can be used to

Hydrogen can be burned in boilers to provide heat and hot water for homes. Hydrogen boilers are similar to natural gas boilers and can be used to replace natural gas boilers in homes. Hydrogen boilers produce only water vapour and heat, making them a clean and renewable energy source for homes.

LeakVision is a patented leakage detection system sensor mounted to a robot base. The system was developed during a collaboration between Northern Gas Networks, Synovate, the EIC and a consortium of innovators, including ROSEN, The Technology Partnership and the University of Leeds. Synovate Alleima receives major order for steam generator tubes to be used in the nuclear industry

“We see great potential for growth in the nuclear segment. Our addressable market in the nuclear segment is expected to grow at approximately 9 per cent CAGR in the coming five years and we are aiming to increase our market shares in this field. Although lead-times are relatively long, we are ready to significantly ramp-up our capacity when needed,” said Carl von Schantz, president of tube division “I am pleased that we once again are chosen as a trusted supplier for a prestigious power project such as this. Our competitive advantage is our technology leadership and high-quality offering. Growth in the global nuclear segment is driven by replacements, new-builds, extensions as well as new nuclear power innovations, like for example small modular reactors and we are currently active in several discussions regarding future power projects,” said Nigel Haworth, president of business unit energy, tube division. Alleima

Alleima has received a major order for steam generator tubes with a total value of approximately SEK220mn. The order reflects Alleima’s strong position in the nuclear segment. The order from one of the world’s leading suppliers of nuclear power equipment is classified as a major order (ie above SEK200mn) and was booked in the fourth quarter of 2023. The order will be reported in the tube division and deliveries are scheduled for the second half of 2025.

The Alleima tubes

Carl von Schantz



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