Dangerous Goods Requirements Clarified
Robert Wichert, Technical Director, FCHEA

The DANGEROUS GOODS PANEL (DGP) Working Group of the Whole of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) met in Atlantic City, United States, 4- 8 April 2011. Three items on the agenda are of particular interest to those wishing to transport hydrogen and fuel cell products: All three relate to Agenda Item 2: Development of recommendations for amendments to the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284) for incorporation in the 2013-2014 Edition.

Provisions Concerning Passengers and Crew
A working paper was presented by the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC) and the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) which identified existing applicable requirements and solicited the Working Group’s advice on what additional measures might be needed in gaining acceptance of the proposal to permit passengers and crew to place Division 4.3 fuel cell cartridges, already permitted as carry-on, to be carried in checked baggage.

The result of this discussion was the following amendment to 8;1.1.2 t) 6) to read as follows:

t) fuel cells used to power portable electronic devices (for example cameras, cellular phones, laptop computers and camcorders) and spare fuel cell cartridges, under the following conditions:6) no more than two spare fuel cell cartridges may be carried by a passenger in carry-on baggage, in checked baggage or on the person:

Packing Instructions



Hydrogen Fuel Quality for Stationary PEMFC Applications
Karen Hall, Technology Transition Corporation

ISO/TC 197 has recently circulated comments received on the committee draft ISO/CD 14687-3 Hydrogen Fuel — Product Specification — Part 3: Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications for stationary appliances.

TC 197 is forwarding these comments to Working Group (WG) 14 for its consideration in preparation of the draft International Standard (DIS) text.

Of the twenty P-member countries eligible to comment, five (Argentina, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States) provided comments. The thirteen pages of comments, many of which are editorial or pertain to questions regarding sampling techniques, will be addressed by WG 14 at their next meeting, 27-28 June in Grenoble, France.

Experts who participate in their national committee which mirrors ISO/TC 197 may obtain copies of the full set of comments from their national mirror group. Experts who are members of ISO/TC 197 WG 14 will receive the comments through the Working Group as well. If you are not a member of a national mirror group and would like more information on how to get involved, please e-mail me atkhall@ttcorp.com. I will then help you connect to the appropriate organization or person in your country to indicate your interest.

Progress Toward Development of International Requirements for Stationary Hydrogen Storage
Frederic Barth, Working Group Convenor

ISO/TC 197 Working Group 15 – STATIONARY STORAGE OF HYDROGEN, which is developing ISO/CD 15399: Gaseous hydrogen - Cylinders and tubes for stationary storage, met in Montreal, Canada on 16-17 March, 2011. There was participation from experts from Austria, Canada, France, Norway, The United Kingdom, and The United States.

Summary and outcome of the discussions

The meeting began with experts agreeing on terminology and definitions specific to stationary use such as "Maximum Allowable Working Pressure" (MAWP) and "Maximum Allowable Temperature" (MAT). 

Effect of pressure variations
Experts from Japan sent a report presenting the experimental program that has been launched on the effects of pressure variations on type III composite cylinders. 

The experts discussed the influence of cyclic pressure fluctuations and the relative effect of "deep cycles" versus "shallow cycles". It was noted that pressure variations of limited amplitude, such as those that can occur in a very large number in vehicle fuelling applications (potentially in the millions) could potentially damage the wrapping, in particular when it is subject to high radial stress (compressive load resulting from elevated internal pressure). 

It was agreed that both types of cycling operations were relevant for current applications and that until convincing scientific data demonstrating a general relationship between behavior at full amplitude cycles and small amplitude cycles is made available, cycle life will need to be specified either by assuming that any significant pressure variation is a cycle (could be very conservative) or by defining cycle lives for various specified cycle amplitude.

The following was noted:

  • As time to perform a pressure cycle is roughly proportional to cycle amplitude, testing for a large number of cycles at a fraction of full amplitude could take about the same time as testing for a limited number of cycles at full amplitude.

  • A lower amplitude threshold will in any case need to be specified in order to define which pressure variation (from MAWP) are to be included for quantifying the number of pressure cycles to be considered.

Resistance to static load and lifetime
It was agreed that the objective of the stress ratio requirements is to prevent any risk of failure by stress rupture due to insufficient pressure vessel strength.

It was noted that a test demonstrating adequate performance with regards to static load considering the expected lifetime was also needed.

Although a 30 year specified lifetime is judged appropriate in general, it was noted that the standard could allow lower specified lifetimes in order to facilitate the use of existing composite cylinders and tubes. It was noted that In this case, standard specified life time values could be considered. (To be further addressed at next meeting).

Hydrogen enhanced fatigue of metal components (type 1 cylinders, metallic liner, metal boss)
It was noted that the research community is not yet working on the approach foreseen for this standard, which is to develop a scientific basis allowing to justify a specified cycle in hydrogen service based both 1) on the resistance to cyclic loads established by hydraulic testing, and 2) on the fatigue performance of the metallic material used under hydrogen service (at the MAWP) relative to air.

Plastic liner blistering and collapse
It was agreed that the maximum allowable depressurization rate (or flow section) would be specified by the manufacturer - with a minimum value specified by the standard – and that type 4 pressure vessel would be subjected to a depressurization performance test (to be defined) based on the manufacturer specified value, followed by an examination of the liner (after parting the pressure vessel).

Overheating or overcooling of the structure due to excessive rate of pressurization/depressurization
It was agreed that the extreme temperature pressure cycling test, which is the test identified to demonstrate adequate capability with regards to overheating/overcooling from excessive pressurization/depressurization rates, would be performed at 85°C and -40°C regardless of the Maximum allowable temperature and Minimum allowable temperature specified by the manufacturer.

Next steps
The following topics will be specifically addressed at the next meeting scheduled for 20 -21 July in Paris:

  • Stress ratios
  • Specified service life
  • Specified cycle life
  • Stress rupture test
  • Hydraulic cycling test
  • Resistance to fire conditions

NFPA Takes Action to Remove Hydrogen from Scope of NFPA 52

During the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards Council Meeting held February 28 – March 1, 2011, the following action was taken:

The Council voted to approve the request of the Technical Committee (TC) on Vehicular Alternative Fuel Systems Committee to revise the Committee scope by removing the responsibility for hydrogen requirements from the scope of the TC. The responsibility for all hydrogen requirements will now be addressed by the scope of the TC on Hydrogen Technologies, responsible for NFPA 2, Hydrogen Technologies Code. The revised scope for the Vehicular Alternative Fuel Systems Committee is as follows:Scope: This Committee shall have primary responsibility for documents on fire and explosion hazards associated with compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine fuel systems, on vehicles of all types and for refueling stations and associated storage. 

The Committee shall coordinate its documents with the Committee on the National Fuel Gas Code with respect to natural gas piping within the scope of that Committee; with the Committees on Industrial Trucks, Fire Safety for Recreational Vehicles, and Marine Fire Protection with respect to engine fuel systems and refueling stations within their scopes; and the Liquefied Natural Gas Committee with respect to storage of LNG within its scope.

New Hydrogen Safety Resources Available
Linda L. Fassbender, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

In March PNNL added three new sections to the H2 Safety Best Practices website (www.h2bestpractices.org) that may be of interest to readers of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report. 

Introduction to Hydrogen - a new section called "So You
Want to Know Something about Hydrogen" (www.h2bestpractices.org/h2introduction). 
The target audience for this new section is students, technicians, and young engineers who are just getting started in a job that entails working with or around hydrogen. The section provides basic information about gaseous and liquid hydrogen properties and behavior, hydrogen applications, hydrogen storage systems, controls for hydrogen systems, and hydrogen hazards (leaks, flames, and explosions). The information is presented as simple bullets with a number of photos and video clips to illustrate the concepts. 

Indoor Refueling of Hydrogen-Powered Industrial Trucks
This section (www.h2bestpractices.org/refueling) was requested by the U.S. Department of Energy to address the increasing use of hydrogen-powered industrial trucks in the materials-handling industry and the indoor refueling of these vehicles. Currently there are more than 1,000 hydrogen fuel cell industrial trucks operating in the United States at about 20 different installations. There have been hundreds of thousands of hydrogen industrial truck refuelings to date, some indoors and some outdoors. Best practices for setting up indoor refueling stations for these vehicles are presented in six categories: design considerations, piping safeguards, leak mitigation, vehicle safety features, operations, and training. 

Chemical Hydrogen Storage
This section was added because scientists in government, industry, and academia are working to improve the weight, volume, and cost of current hydrogen storage systems, as well as to develop new technologies with performance and cost characteristics similar to gasoline systems. The term "chemical hydrogen storage" describes storage technologies in which hydrogen is released through a chemical reaction and then restored through another chemical reaction. Common reactions involve heating chemical hydrides to release hydrogen and/or reacting them with water or alcohols. Chemical hydrides present hazards such as toxic byproducts, water and air reactivity, pyrophoricity, potential for runaway reactions with gas formation, and room-temperature gas emissions and instability. Best practices are presented for working safely with chemical hydrides. 

Modification to the Welcome Page
The welcome page (www.h2bestpractices.org) was modified to include the following important message about the use of the information presented on the website:

Following the best practices contained in this online manual represents a commitment to the safe use and handling of hydrogen, but it should be recognized that no information resource can provide 100% assurance of safety. Personnel with applicable expertise should always be consulted in designing and implementing any system carrying a potential safety risk. Additionally, since following these best practices does not guarantee compliance with local codes, standards, and regulations, users should check with their local Authority Having Jurisdiction to ensure that those requirements are adequately addressed.

Upcoming International Event – Hydrogen Technologies and Infrastructure
Karen Hall, Technology Transition Corporation

The University of Ulster is proud to announce the 11th International Short Course and Advanced Research Workshop (ISCARW) in the series Progress in Hydrogen Safety on the topic "Hydrogen Technologies and Infrastructure". This event, which includes speakers from Canada, The Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom, will be held 16-20 May 2011, in Belfast.

Five bursaries are sponsored by the International Association for Hydrogen Safety. 

For the full program and registration details, please view the course brochure at: