A gas compressor in Alrewas, Staffordshire celebrates its 50th birthday this month, making it the longest-serving unit in National Grid’s fleet of 64 compressors – the ‘accelerator pedals’ of the system which keeps Britain warm through the winter.
Compressors increase the pressure of gas by reducing volume to push the fuel around the gas transmission system.
Overall, gas makes up 40% of the power consumed in the UK; heating more than eight out of ten homes and providing more than half of the energy needs of UK industry.
It has been carefully maintained over the last 50 years, including replacing its jet-engine turbines with newer, lower emission alternatives.
Isabelle Haigh, Head of Plant Operations for National Grid, said: “Maintaining our compressors, pipelines and gas turbines is vital to the safe, secure and reliable operation of our gas network, but we’re also investing in transformative engineering and cutting-edge technology to help the country hit its net zero carbon target by 2050.
“We are working hard to explore moving from natural methane used in the gas network to the cleaner alternatives of hydrogen and biogas - but keeping our current equipment in perfect working order is key to this transition.”
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