Digital twin project to help hydrogen into grid

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Digital twin technology is to be employed in a collaborative project exploring whether the National Transmission System (NTS) is able to transport hydrogen.

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The Collaborative Visual Data Twin (CVDT) project - bringing together National Grid and the Bristol-based Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), plus DNV, Premtech, and Durham University - aims to develop a low-cost solution for combining virtual twins and data twins into one robust ‘digital twin’.

Funded by Network Innovation Allowance (NIA), CFMS said the project is expected to play a fundamental role in gaining a greater understanding of the existing network, improving risk analysis and aiding development by allowing the prediction of future scenarios.

Supporting National Grid’s FutureGrid programme, 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. 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.

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Hydrogen is expected to play an important role in the UK’s journey to net-zero and managing the NTS will be reliant on live, accurate data systems in order to operate effectively.

In a statement, Sam Paice, CEO of CFMS, 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.”

According to CFMS, 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.