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Bristol-based CFMS and National Grid collaborate on innovative hydrogen project

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS) a Bristol-based leader in the application of digital engineering, has joined National Grid and experts from across the UK in a project to explore whether the National Transmission System (NTS) is able to transport hydrogen.

The Collaborative Visual Data Twin (CVDT) project, brings together National Grid and CFMS, as well as DNV, Premtech, and Durham University. It aims to develop a low-cost solution for combining virtual twins and data twins into one robust ‘digital twin’ – a virtual representation of a system that uses simulation and machine learning to help aid decision making.

Funded by Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), this project will play a fundamental role in garnering a greater understanding of the existing network, improving risk analysis and aiding development by allowing the prediction of future scenarios.

Supporting the FutureGrid programme, and part of National Grid’s net zero targets, the project will allow tests to be carried out across various blends of hydrogen to understand the effects of introducing it to traditional gas assets. In order to fully understand this, virtual and data twins will be combined, enabling the teams to use virtual technology to improve understanding of the network and how it needs to develop to deliver hydrogen safely to customers.

Hydrogen is expected to play an important role in the UK’s journey to net-zero, offering a low-carbon green alternative to natural gas and paving the way for a more sustainable fuel to use in homes and businesses.

The transition to hydrogen is a complex process, requiring extensive monitoring and sensoring systems as the transition to hydrogen happens gradually dependent on differing customer demands. This means managing the NTS will be reliant on live, accurate data systems in order to operate effectively.

Sam Paice, CEO of the Centre For Modelling & Simulation said, "At CFMS, we have a strong track record in providing effective digital engineering solutions across a variety of sectors. With net zero goals fast approaching, we champion any project which has the potential to advance sustainable initiatives, and with technology rapidly developing, the CVDT project has the potential to drive development in the transition to hydrogen. We’re proud to play a key role in bringing it to life.”

The project will also establish a training and development programme designed to help support the management of these digital technologies, as well as hydrogen-related pipelines in the future.

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