Critical RCS Needs Report Summary
Robert Wichert, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association
Karen Hall, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association

As a part of the FCHEA cost-shared agreement with Regulatory Logic in support of Regulations, Codes and Standards for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Energy Systems, FCHEA is preparing a report on the critical RCS needs of the industry. This article is a summary of that report.

The full report evaluates critical Regulations, Codes, and Standards (RCS) needs of industry and priority RCS development efforts for industry support and participation. It includes a list of domestic and international working groups and technical committees in which named industry experts and the subcontractor participate for those working groups and technical committees supported by the subcontract.

The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) supports the development of regulations, codes and standards deemed by the members to be critical or important to the timely deployment of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association members lead activities through Working Groups and sub-group task forces. Through these groups, members have an opportunity to develop policies, interact with colleagues and opinion leaders, facilitate codes and standards development, and conduct education and outreach activities on behalf of the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industries. 

FCHEA engages industry and other stakeholders in these activities through regular web-based meetings of a variety of task groups and focus groups. All members are invited to participate, and other stakeholders are also able to participate by joining the task group or by invitation. A description of each of the active task groups is provided below. Those in bold are supported in part by the DOE contract: 

Government Affairs
Codes and Standards (National Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Codes & Standards Coordination Committee)
Materials and Components
     Hydrogen Sensors Task Force
Portable Power
     Transportation Regulations Task Force
Power Generation
     Aviation Working Group
     Cargo Transport Task Force
     Joint Hydrogen Quality Task Force
     Fork Lift Task Force

SOFC Working Group

Nuclear Hydrogen Production Working Group
The need for Working Groups and Task Forces is ever-changing. FCHEA remains pro-active and works with our members and other stakeholders to address issues as they are identified. As a result, new working groups and task forces may develop while others become inactive, in response to industry needs.

The list of active working groups and task forces supported by our contract, along with the members lead for each group is listed here:

National Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Codes & Standards Coordination Committee (Robert Wichert, FCHEA and Chad Blake, NREL)

Materials and Components (Mike Hicks, IdaTech, Group Lead)
     Gasket Task Force (Tony Blaine, Blaine Associates, Group Lead)
     Hydrogen Sensors Task Force (Robert Wichert, FCHEA) 

Portable Power Working Group (Anna Stukas, Angstrom Power, Group Lead)      

Transportation Regulations Task Force (Anna Stukas, Angstrom Power, Group Lead) 

Power Generation Working Group (Pinakin Patel, Fuel Cell Energy, Group Lead)

Transportation Working Group  (Bill Chernicoff, Toyota, Group Lead)

     Aviation Working Group (Vernon Chang, Cessna, Group Lead)     Vehicle Cargo Transport Task Force (Robert Wichert, FCHEA) 
     Joint Hydrogen Quality Task Force  (Bill Collins, UTC Power, Group Lead)

     Fork Lift Task Force (Aaron Harris, Nuvera Fuel Cells, Group Lead) 

Nuclear Hydrogen Working Group (Robert Wichert, FCHEA) 

Direct Support of RCS Offered by FCHEA
FCHEA staff also participates and represents industry in the following RCS development activities:

  • IEC TC105 Working Groups 3, 4, 7, 8 – Representative – Robert Wichert – FCHEA
  • ISO TC 197 Working Group14 – Representative – Karen Hall, FCHEA
  • NFPA 2 and NFPA 52 - Representative – Robert Wichert – FCHEA (Alternate, Karen Hall - FCHEA)
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – Representative- Robert Wichert - FCHEA
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)  – Representative- Robert Wichert - FCHEA
  • United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods – Representative- Robert Wichert - FCHEA
  • Dangerous Goods Advisory Council – Representative- Robert Wichert – FCHEA

Regulatory Matrix
The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) maintains a matrix of the regulation, codes, and standards (RCS) activities of interest to our members. This is updated on an ongoing basis as the direct result of critical needs being identified by our members and other stakeholders. These are then discussed in the appropriate working groups and task force meetings, and reported monthly during the NHFCCSCC webinars. In this way, the matrix of critical needs is kept up to date and items are raised for discussion and action in the context of RCS activities.

The most recent version of the matrix is available here (61 kb PDF). FCHEA members can access the most recent version any time

Accessing the ASTM Standard Test Methods for Validating Hydrogen Quality
Jackie Button, California Fuel Cell partnership
Alyson Fick, ASTM

ASTM International is one of the world’s largest management systems for the development of voluntary consensus standards.  ASTM’s members, representing producers, users, consumers, government, and academia from over 135 countries, develop technical documents that are a basis for manufacturing, management, procurement, codes and regulations. 

These members belong to one or more standards-writing committees, such as ASTM’s Committee D03 on Gaseous Fuels.  Committee D03 plays a preeminent role in the gaseous fuels industry to address the current issues in the field. The Committee, with a current membership of approximately 120, has jurisdiction over 33 standards, published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Volume 05.06.  

The D03 Subcommittee D03.14 on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells is responsible for developing standards, specifications, practices, and guidelines relating to hydrogen used in energy generation or as feed gas to low, medium and high temperature fuel cells. This subcommittee is also responsible for developing standards, specifications, practices, and guidelines relating to other gaseous fuels used in low, medium and high temperature fuel cells. 

For more information about D03.14 and its activities, please contact Jackie Button, Sub Chairman, at 

How to become a member of ASTM
ASTM participation is open to any individual with an interest in these activities. As a member, you have the power to help shape standards development through involvement on task groups, balloting standards, voting on proposed new standards, and revisions to existing standards. Participation in ASTM is easier than ever with many electronic tools now available right from your desktop! 

To learn more about membership or to join a committee, visit

As a Member you will receive:

  • Free Volume of Book of Standards (online, print, or cd)
  • Free Online Access to:
    • Committee Volume from Book of Standards (Ex. D03 - Volume 05.06)
    • Online Committee Web pages
    • Standards Development Tools and Terminology Dictionary
  • Free Subscription to Standardization News and eNews
  • 10% Discount off ASTM Publications
  • Webex and Teleconference support for Task Group Sessions and Meetings
  • Networking opportunities with Industry professionals, clients, and customers
  • Forum for exposing a new product, test method, or technique to industry peers

How to ACCESS and purchase ASTM STANDARDS
An online search of more than 12,000 ASTM International standards enables you to locate ASTM standards in dozens of industrial, management, and other areas. Available on the ASTM website ( — select “Standards” and then “Search”), this function facilitates searches by keyword or standard numbers; you can see the titles and scopes of all ASTM standards and the documents referenced in each standard. 

You can also purchase any standard as an immediate PDF download or by placing an order through Customer Service at ASTM International (+1 610-832-9585). Online subscriptions are also available. 

International customers may order from ASTM or choose from one of the sources located at:

Current standards available for purchase under the jurisdiction of D03.14 include: 

D7550-09 Standard Test Method for Determination of Ammonium, Alkali and Alkaline Earth Metals in Hydrogen and Other Cell Feed Gases by Ion Chromatography 

D7606-11 Standard Practice for Sampling of High Pressure Hydrogen and Related Fuel Cell Feed Gases 

D7634-10 Standard Test Method for Visualizing Particulate Sizes and Morphology of Particles Contained in Hydrogen Fuel by Microscopy 

D7649-10 Standard Test Method for Determination of Trace Carbon Dioxide, Argon, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Water in Hydrogen Fuel by Jet Pulse Injection and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer Analysis 

D7650-10 Standard Test Method for Test Method for Sampling of Particulate Matter in High Pressure Hydrogen used as a Gaseous Fuel with an In-Stream Filter 

D7651-10 Standard Test Method for Gravimetric Measurement of Particulate Concentration of Hydrogen Fuel 

D7652-11 Standard Test Method for Determination of Trace Hydrogen Sulfide, Carbonyl Sulfide, Methyl Mercaptan, Carbon Disulfide and Total Sulfur in Hydrogen Fuel by Gas Chromatography and Sulfur Chemiluminescence Detection 

D7653-10 Standard Test Method for Determination of Trace Gaseous Contaminants in Hydrogen Fuel by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy 

D7675-11 Standard Test Method for Test Method for the Determination of Total Hydrocarbons in Hydrogen by FID Based Total Hydrocarbon (THC) Analyzer 

The Future for Hydrogen Refuelling Stations
Karen Hall, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association

Siting hydrogen fuelling stations has typically required working with the authorities having jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis. The developer has to show they are using best practices, safe design, and meet provisions of the applicable fire code, among other things. 

Industry insiders have noted that at the present time, the codes and standards relating to hydrogen fuelling stations can be incomplete or inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another.  As the industry grows and more hydrogen fuelling stations are built, the amount of fuel going through and being stored in a forecourt will grow. This will create a need to take a look at the current limits to the amount of hydrogen permitted using existing requirements, and to develop an understanding about what is required from the technologies, as well as the codes and standards themselves, to meet the needs of a growing demand. 

This brief overview is intended to help those interested in understanding more about existing requirements for hydrogen refuelling stations, as well as describe what is likely to take place in the development of these requirements. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but to point to the groups and activities that are working in this area so that the process of siting these stations in the future becomes more straightforward and consistent. 

For specific information on the scopes of the various codes, standards and regulations, as well as information on the many standards not covered in this brief overview, please visit 

How did we Get Here?
To see where we are going, let’s take a look at where we have been. 

In 2000, the International Code Council, one of the two main US Model Code development organizations, formed the ICC ad hoc Committee on Hydrogen Gas to begin to look at how the I-Codes might accommodate provisions for hydrogen energy systems. 

Model Codes address issues for the built environment, such as design, layout, and construction, fire prevention, safety, and set-back distances. These model codes are then available for the various jurisdictions, such as states or cities that have their own codes, to adopt as written or as modified. 

Some basic provisions were developed and adopted into the I-Codes during 2001/2, and these were expanded upon in 2004.  Among the changes approved in 2004 affecting hydrogen in the ICC International Fire Code (IFC) were two new options for storing hydrogen at fuelling stations - one as a liquid in an insulated container below ground and a second as a pressurized gas in tanks located on top of the station's overhead canopy.
The first option allows for the storage of liquid hydrogen in an insulated, underground tank. This storage method maximizes safety by protecting the hydrogen from direct contact with vehicles and minimizes exposure of the hydrogen tank to possible vandalism. The storage tank also allows for safe venting of hydrogen above the ground. Should the hydrogen leak, the non-toxic fuel vents in its natural gaseous form above station operations, rising directly into the air.
The second hydrogen storage option allows for the optional placement of hydrogen generation, compression and storage equipment on top of refueling station overhead canopies. Overhead placement enhances safety because the equipment remains removed from possible vehicular impact. For this design option fire-protected canopy construction is specified in addition to remotely activated discharge devices that release the stored hydrogen gas safely into the air in the event of an emergency.

The ICC ad hoc Committee for Hydrogen Gas then completed its mission and a new organization, called the Hydrogen Industry Panel on Codes (HIPOC) took its place. 

HIPOC continued the basic model of its predecessor, but expanded to include the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards as well. The main reason this model works so well is that HIPOC is independent of any particular industry group or any particular code development agency. Representatives from industry, ICC and NFPA, as well as the National Laboratories and other stakeholders collaborate in a virtual forum to identify where the model codes are incomplete or inconsistent, Code developers and Fire Safety professionals work side-by-side with industry experts to draft language for the model codes to make them more complete and consistent. You can learn more about HIPOC at

Where Do We Go from Here? 
As technologies change, the provisions in the model codes can be improved through their code change processes. The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report regularly publishes information on the key codes relating to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, including when and how to submit code change proposals.  These are also published on the code developer’s websites ( and 

When there is technical data to support a code change, such as publication of an industry consensus standard covering safety and performance of a system or component, these can be referenced in the model codes. Such inclusion can help make the permitting process more straightforward. 

NFPA 52: The Vehicular Gaseous Fuel Systems Code, 2010 edition – contains the basic provisions for siting hydrogen fuelling stations. Bulk storage requirements are contained in NFPA 55: Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code. In early 2011, NFPA made a decision to remove hydrogen from the scope of the committee responsible for NFPA 52 and give it to the technical committee responsible for NFPA 2: Hydrogen Technologies Code. As a result, NFPA 2 will soon be the “one stop shop” for modifying requirements for hydrogen energy systems in the NFPA codes, or at least a good place to start. 

U.S. codes typically require a component or system to be “listed or approved”. This means that it can go through a process of certification by one of the certification facilities (such as CSA or Underwriters Laboratory, to name just two). Certification requires a procedure to be certified as having met – typically this is a published standard. When the system or component is tested and is shown to meet the requirements of the published standard cited in the code, it is listed. When that standard does not yet exist or has not been published, or the standard is not acceptable to the NFPA Technical Committee for any reason, the system or component can still be approved by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). It is just that the job of convincing the AHJ that it is safe is a bit harder, and has to be done each time something changes, including the jurisdiction. 

But what if the entire hydrogen fuelling station had a recognized published standard which could be cited in the model codes?  ISO 20100, Gaseous hydrogen — Fuelling stations, is intended to be just that. This document has not yet completed the process to become and International Standard, and there remain some technical issues of concern to the US experts. In addition, there are requirements in the current draft which are not harmonized with existing NFPA requirements. Efforts are ongoing to resolve the remaining issues. NFPA has invited a representative from the ISO working group to join a task group to address the differences in separation distances. The US has prepared technical comments for ISO/TC 197 on the current draft. 

ISO 20100 currently addresses stand-alone hydrogen fuelling stations – however there are plans to include retrofit stations and stations that dispense multiple fuels in a future edition. So there is a little way to go yet, but the concept of a standard for the whole station is certainly intriguing as it could, if adopted in the codes and regulations of the various jurisdictions, make permitting much easier – worldwide. 

In the meantime, the best way to prepare for the future of hydrogen fuelling stations is to get involved in the activities to develop or harmonize the requirements. Review the HIPOC minutes from time to time. Let the association know you appreciate the opportunities to work with AHJs through HIPOC or workshops.  Tell us where we can help increase the technology understanding to facilitate future sitings. Tell us where you are experiencing difficulties or what concerns you for the future of hydrogen refuelling. 

Working together we can prepare for the challenges that lie ahead and help ensure each installation need not be a unique educational experience.

NFPA 52 Receives 96 Proposals
Karen Hall, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association

Earlier this year, The NFPA Standards Council voted to approve the request of the Technical Committee (TC) on Vehicular Alternative Fuel (VAF) Systems 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 work of removing the hydrogen requirements from NFPA 52 rests with the VAF TC. NFPA 52 is on the fall 2012 revision cycle. 

During the most recent public comment period for NFPA 52, 96 proposals were received. The TC met on August 2-3 in Quincy, Massachusetts to act on these proposals and create any necessary committee proposals to address the revised scope of the document and any other matters arising. 

In addition to the hydrogen requirements which are being removed, NFPA 52 contains requirements for 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. 

With hydrogen requirements coming out of the document, the TC is in the process of reorganizing the material. Four task groups were formed to address new Chapter 4 General Fueling Station Requirements, a General Automotive Chapter, to determine if any additional material from NFPA 59A should be brought into NFPA 52, and to review Chapter 17 and determine the appropriate course of action to be addressed in the Report on Comments (ROC) phase or in the next revision cycle. 

The committee completed action on all 96 public proposals and created 14 committee proposals. 

The next steps are to prepare a formal report on this ROP meeting for committee ballot. If it passes, the report will be published for public review and comment. If not, it goes back to Committee. Once published, the process allows for public comments on the actions taken by the committee. 

The Committee will meet to act on Public Comments, to develop its own Comments, and to prepare its report in the Report on Comments (ROC) phase. This meeting is anticipated to take place in mid-April 2012. Further information on the NFPA process and timeline is available by visiting and clicking the “Codes and Standards” button near the upper left.

Final Reminder – Key September Events

The 2011 International Conference on Hydrogen Safety (ICHS) - "Enabling Progress and Opportunities", will be held in San Francisco California on September 12-14. The conference hotel is filling up fast – however organizers have an overflow option at the Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf for $269 per night. Those attending the ICHS need to ask for the Sandia National Labs room block. 

The ICHS2011 web site is

The 2nd International Workshop on Degradation Issues of Fuel Cells will be held September 21-23 in Thessaloniki, Greece. 

This international workshop aims at:

  • Understanding fundamental degradation mechanisms, as well as identifying measures to increase fuel cell lifetime, robustness and reliability.
  • Identifying test procedures, characterization tools & test criteria to address degradation from the MEA to the system level.
  • Providing a model-based approach to describe degradation phenomena.
  • Identifying future R&D activities for further understanding, mitigating and reducing degradation phenomena.
  • Identifying methodologies for evaluation of degradation and harmonization of test procedures.

Click here to view the announcement and registration materials. 

You can learn about other upcoming conferences and codes and standards meetings in our “Meetings and Events” section at

If you are aware of upcoming events related to safety, codes, standards or regulations for fuel cells and hydrogen energy systems, please let us know and we will be happy to add it to our calendar.