Our innovation projects

Innovation at Cadent is driven by curiosity.

We take new ideas from lightbulb moments, through trials to everyday implementation; focusing on solutions that are safe, reliable and improve the customer experience.

As the largest gas distribution network in the UK, we want to find ways to do things differently to benefit our customers now; and be at the forefront of solutions to keep energy flowing long into the future.

These are just a few of the projects that we are excited to be working on at the moment:

Revolutionising transport Leyland CNG filling station

HGVs account for 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from UK transport. In partnership with CNG Fuels, we invested in the first commercial high-pressure compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling station. The facility is connected to our high-pressure local transmission system at Leyland, Lancashire, and has been operating since March 2016.

The John Lewis Partnership currently uses the station to fuel its fleet of dedicated CNG heavy goods vehicles from their nearby regional distribution centre.

Results from the first 12 months of operation show that greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) emissions from lorries using the Leyland station were cut by 84 per cent.

Sensit APL Day to day operations

When engineers arrive on site to carry out repair work on underground pipes, finding the precise location of polyethylene pipes (PE) under the ground can be difficult.

It can take several excavations just to find the pipe which increases the amount of time on site and disruption to the surrounding area.

We have been working with SENSIT Technologies on new technology to make the process of finding these pipes quicker and easier. The tool, the Ultra-Trac Acoustic Pipe Locator (APL) or ‘Sensit APL’, uses a keyhole technique with an acoustic sensor to quickly detect plastic and iron pipes underground.

PRISM Gas mains replacement

Traditionally, in a street where the gas mains pipe needs to be replaced it would need to be dug up at each home or business to access the service pipes into the properties. This takes a week to complete using conventional methods. Property owners have to deal with access disruption while excavated waste is generated from each hole in the street.

PRISM is revolutionising this process. Pipes can now be replaced through just two excavation sites – a launch and a receive pit – situated at each end of the street.

Decarbonising heat

HyDeploy

Along with NGN and the HyDeploy consortium, we have begun a three year project at Keele University to demonstrate that a blend of hydrogen and natural gas can be distributed and used safely and efficiently in a gas distribution network without disruptive changes for customers.

Hydrogen is a clean, carbon-free gas that does not contribute to climate change.

Enabling alternative gas

Future Billing Methodology Unlocking a low carbon gas future

The current billing framework was designed for North Sea gas and can be a barrier for alternative sources of gas, particularly low carbon gases. Collaborative working with colleagues from across the gas industry will allow us to explore different options for billing and recommend the best solution for customers.

This project will help unlock the full potential of the gas network to distribute unconventional gases, helping customers move to a low carbon energy future.

Diverse gas sources

Bio-SNG commercial plant

We are working with project partners to fund the world’s first commercially operating BioSNG plant making gas from household waste.

Bio-substitute natural gas (BioSNG) is a green gas produced by the thermal and chemical conversion of wastes and biomass. It is an affordable, low carbon gas that can be used to heat homes and power vehicles.