DNV, an independent energy expert and assurance provider, has recently expanded its research laboratory in Singapore to include new testing equipment for the safety assessments of hydrogen transport and storage facilities.
Hydrogen is seen as a critical energy source in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors, such as heavy industry, maritime, and large-scale transport, and in supporting the integration of intermittent renewables. Several gas network operators in the APAC region are exploring the opportunity to transport hydrogen through adapted or repurposed infrastructure. DNV’s new test chamber is designed to evaluate whether existing pipelines can safely transport hydrogen, either blended with natural gas or in pure form.
The new hydrogen-ready integrated solution for fatigue crack growth rate (FCGR) testing includes hydrogen booster systems, safety and hydrogen alarms, ventilation systems, and an additional test vessel. DNV’s experts in Singapore will use the equipment to assess the fracture, fatigue, and corrosion performance of pipe material such as steel for varying concentrations of hydrogen under different operational and environmental conditions, such as high pressure.
Testing is necessary as hydrogen can make steel more brittle and prone to stress cracking. Thus, fracture resistance and fatigue crack growth rates obtained from laboratory testing of the steel and welds in hydrogen environments are essential parameters to assess the integrity, risk of fracture, and remaining life of pipelines and equipment for hydrogen service.
DNV’s laboratory in Singapore has been offering materials and structural testing and advisory services, including fatigue and fracture toughness testing of steel and welds for pipelines, pressure vessels, and process equipment for more than three decades in the APAC region, providing assurance to oil and gas companies. The new lab facility will substantially support the growing need for hydrogen-related services in the APAC region and reinforce DNV’s global position on materials testing, recognized from its leading-edge labs in the UK (Spadeadam) and the USA (Columbus).
DNV is currently providing technical advice and support on the integration of blended hydrogen into gas trunkline assets in India and assisting Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) in a two-year project to assess the viability of blending hydrogen into South Korea’s gas transmission network.
The expansion of DNV’s laboratory in Singapore highlights the growing importance of hydrogen as a clean energy source and the need to ensure its safe transport and storage. With the growing interest in hydrogen as a key solution for decarbonization, the lab will help address the challenges of transporting and storing hydrogen.
Potential challenges surrounding hydrogen include its storage and transportation. Hydrogen has a low volumetric energy density, which makes its storage and transportation challenging. Hydrogen also has a low boiling point and can easily escape from storage vessels, which poses a potential explosion hazard. Thus, the need for testing facilities like DNV’s new test chamber is critical in ensuring the safe transport and storage of hydrogen.
DNV’s laboratory in Singapore plays a crucial role in supporting the development of future hydrogen value chains and ensuring the safety of facilities through risk advisory, asset integrity, and regulatory change. The expansion of the laboratory will further enhance DNV’s wider role in the growing hydrogen industry in the APAC region and globally.