Hydrogen gas meter in NGN's hydrogen home. Image: MeteRSit
The new smart meters will be based on MeteRSIT’s well established thermo-mass technology and will be hydrogen ready, able to measure not only natural gas but also blended and pure hydrogen and other gases such as biomethane.
In addition to the design, a field test phase of at least 12 months is planned with the installation of 10,000 meters across Italy.
The overall duration of the project and testing will be approximately 24 months.
“We are pleased to announce this agreement, which for SIT recognises the work and investments made over recent years,” says Federico de’ Stefani, Chairperson and CEO of SIT, the holding company of MeteRSIT.
“This is particularly good news for our country and for all end consumers. In fact, this new generation of meters will contribute to a more conscious management of energy consumption and facilitate a transition to the use of pure hydrogen or gas blends.”
MeteRSIT has been a pioneer in the development of a hydrogen-capable smart meter. Back in 2019, the company was selected as one of two to develop a prototype hydrogen meter for Britain’s government-backed Hy4Heat programme, which is now being demonstrated in Northern Gas Networks’ hydrogen homes in Gateshead in the north of England.
Subsequently, its meter, under the Domusnext name, has obtained Europe’s Measuring Instrument Directive (MID) certification as well as Commercial Product Assurance certification from the British National Cyber Security Centre.
MeteRSIT’s thermos-mass technology in essence comprises a pair of temperature sensors symmetrically placed around a micro-heating element. With no flow, the two sensors measure the same temperature but as the flow rate increases, heat is carried downstream with the temperature differential between the two sensors proportional to the mass flow rate.
With hydrogen emerging as a replacement to natural gas, and potentially more rapidly than previously envisaged with the current gas supply constraints in Europe, hydrogen ready meters offer the opportunity to future-proof gas smart meter deployments.
Italgas Reti is a subsidiary of Italgas, with about 6.5 million active meters in over 1,600 municipalities throughout Italy.
Italgas is well advanced with experimenting with hydrogen and is developing a power to gas pilot in Sardinia to test the entire hydrogen value chain, from production from renewable energies up to various end uses including blending with natural gas for residential and industrial uses and for mobility and electricity production.
SIT among its other recent activities in June presented its hydrogen ready boiler for use with 100% hydrogen and biogas mixtures, which is branded under the Ariston Alteas name.