February 2021 NewsFlash - AGA

February 2021 NewsFlash

  • 26-02-2021

  • News

AGA NewsFlash

New AGA Board Member

Cooking With Hydrogen

Updating Certifications

Standards Update

New AGA Board Member

We are delighted to announce that Mr Bill Tabourlos, AGA Group Manager Technical Operations has been appointed as a director on the AGA Board. Bill will continue with his duties as Group Manager Technical Operations but will assume additional responsibilities as a director of the Board.

Bill is very well known and highly respected in the industry and we wish him well as he takes on the challenges of his new role. Bill started his career with AGA in 2004, and holds an Honours in Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) and a Bachelor of Science (Computer) from the University of Melbourne.

Bill has been a valuable contributor in the Australian gas industry, including managing AGA’s Certification Schemes and successfully coordinating the construction and operations of AGA’s Gas Appliance and Components Testing Laboratory. He also contributes as a NATA Technical Assessor to assist in the maintenance and advancement of technical expertise in the gas industry.

During his career with AGA, Bill was instrumental in the development of AGA’s Cylinder, WaterMark and Test Station Certification Schemes. AGA’s Cylinder Certification Scheme proved to be highly successful and effective where for the first time high quality certification services were made available to cylinder importers and suppliers. He has also represented AGA on Standards Australia on various committees ranging from appliances, components and cylinders.  

Bill has a strong commitment and passion for consumer safety and is always there to assist manufacturers to gain access to the Australian market.

With Bill’s broad experience and passion for the industry we serve, he will be a highly valued contributor on the AGA Board.

For decades now scientists have been telling us that we must reduce carbon emissions if we are going to avoid the ravages of climate change.  Most developed countries around the world have committed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and Australia, Germany and Britain are among the three countries leading the way on a pathway to decarbonise gas networks using hydrogen. Collaboration between these countries will enable the quest of decarbonising our natural gas networks to be achieved more quickly.  In Australia, as a first step, there are a number of trials underway to inject up to 10% hydrogen into various natural gas distribution networks.  This is a similar approach to that being undertaken in the UK where Britain’s hydrogen network plan has recently been released by Energy Networks Association UK.  Under the plan consumers will see up to a 20% hydrogen blend in their gas networks by 2023 and the first 100% hydrogen towns are expected to come on-line by 2030.  A trial has been underway at Keele University in Staffordshire since 2019 wherein a 20% hydrogen blend has been successfully introduced into the gas network with no noticeable differences in the operation of domestic and commercial gas appliances.  The results from this UK trial do not directly translate into the Australian context due to slight differences in gas compositions and operating pressures, however, the similarities overwhelmingly outnumber the differences and we can certainly learn much from collaboration.

In Australia, our pathway to a green hydrogen future has commenced with green hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.  This will enable excess renewable energy produced on windy or sunny days to be stored in the existing gas distribution pipeline network rather than in batteries.  In fact, the gas distribution network becomes a giant battery for storing renewable energy.  Australia is blessed with an abundance of renewable energy which could support large scale production of green hydrogen capable of supporting Australia’s transition from natural gas to hydrogen as well as developing a major hydrogen export industry to various countries including Japan and Korea.

There are many pieces of the puzzle yet to be determined but there are many stakeholders actively working towards solutions.  Initially, the gas reticulation network will have up to 10% hydrogen injection, but in future a new generation of hydrogen ready appliances will be required.  That may include appliances that are designed to be readily convertible from natural gas to hydrogen or appliances specifically designed to operate on hydrogen and AGA’s hydrogen test laboratory can assist manufacturers in this regard.  A number of manufacturers have already used AGA’s services to assess what percentage of hydrogen blend their existing appliances can tolerate.  Others have used our services to assess the performance of newly designed hydrogen ready appliances.  For more information please contact AGA Laboratory Manager, Dennis Karafotias (E: dkarafotias@aga.asn.au T: +61 3 9580 4500)

This is an exciting new chapter in the history of our industry, one that will bring many challenges, opportunities and rewards for individual stakeholders but more importantly, will be hugely beneficial in reducing our carbon footprint.

Reminder - Updating Certifications to the latest Standard version

For Certificate Holders operating under The Gas Technical Regulators of Australia GAS EQUIPMENT CERTIFICATION SCHEME – “THE RULES”.

Standards are regularly reviewed by Standards Australia technical committees to ensure these documents:

* remain relevant;

* are improved to address ambiguities / deficiencies;

* keep up with new technologies; and

* include additional consumer safety requirements based on real life market experience.

In Australia, the rules allow a period of 2 years from the publication date (unless otherwise directed by a Regulatory Authority) for Certificates to be updated.  Certificates that do not meet this requirement no longer satisfy regulatory requirements as outlined in “THE RULES”.  In such cases, this means the status and validity of the Certificate will be subject to review.

Please check your Certificate(s) and lodge your Application for Standards upgrade on-line at https://www.aga.asn.au/application-for-certification/.

If you have any queries, please contact our office for further guidance.

Latest Standards Updates

DR AS 4617:2018 Amd 1:2021 (Manually operated gas valves) is open for public comment until the 20th April 2021

If you would like to submit any comments, go to the Standards Australia website by clicking on the following link: Click Here