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Blowout Prediction on a Salt Cavern Selected for a Hydrogen Storage Pilot


To prevent climate change, Europe and the world must shift to low-carbon and renewable energies. Hydrogen, as an energy vector, provides viable solutions for replacing polluting and carbon-emitting fossil fuels. Gaseous hydrogen can be stored underground and coupled with existing natural gas pipe networks. Salt cavern storage is the best suited technology to meet the challenges of new energy systems. Hydrogen storage caverns are currently operated in the UK and Texas. A preliminary risk analysis dedicated to underground hydrogen salt caverns highlighted the importance of containment losses (leaks) and the formation of gas clouds following blowouts, whose ignition may generate dangerous phenomena such as jet fires, unconfined vapor cloud explosions (UVCEs), or flashfires. A blowout is not a frequent accident in gas storage caverns. A safety valve is often set at a 30 m depth below ground level; it is automatically triggered following a pressure drop at the wellhead. Nevertheless, a blowout remains to be one of the significant accidental scenarios likely to occur during hydrogen underground storage in salt caverns. In this paper, we present modelling the subterraneous and aerial parts of a blowout on an EZ53 salt cavern fully filled with hydrogen.

Funding source: The HyPSTER project has received funding from the Clean Hydrogen Partnership under grant no 101006751. The Clean Hydrogen Partnership receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.
Countries: France

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