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EMPIR project on renewable gas flow measurements commissions new test benches

Image showing A biogas plant in the countryside
Biogas plant

Investigating renewable gas flow meter accuracy for compliance with the EU Measuring Instruments Directive

The project
Renewable gases such as biogas and hydrogen are increasingly available within Europe's distribution networks, alongside natural gas. Operators and users of the grid expect the same measurement accuracy as with natural gas, for correctly billed commercial transactions. Commercially available gas meters are subject to the EU Measuring Instruments Directive (MID), but compliance is based on measurements validated only for natural gas.

EMPIR project Flow metering of renewable gases (biogas, biomethane, hydrogen, syngas and mixtures with natural gas) (18NRM06, NEWGASMET) is working to perform renewable gas flow measurements using commercially available meters already validated for use with natural gas. Instrumentation is assessed under typical renewable gas usage, to investigate the effects on measurement accuracy, costs and meter life-time, with gas composition suitably defined for test purposes. Testing and verification procedures traceable to the International System of Units will be adapted to demonstrate flow meter accuracy and durability for MID compliance. Standards bodies will be offered the use of the results to improve gas measurement harmonisation, to build confidence in the accuracy of metered transactions for the European energy gas market.

New test benches

New test benches that enable to study durability effects of hydrogen and biogas on gas meters have been commissioned as part of the EMPIR project. These are needed because biogas is a corrosive gas and hydrogen can cause a chemical reaction with some materials such as plastics and steel. Durability tests of 3 different domestic gas meter types have taken place, and analysis of the results is underway.

The project consortium designed a system to assess the leakage from gas meters; this development could be included in the technical standards that are used to prove the hydrogen tightness of gas meters. This particular issue is crucial as existing gas meters can be tight with natural gas, but not with hydrogen. These technical standards are used by manufacturers and operators who are defining specifications for gas meter design.

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.


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