ISO/TC 197 Plenary Report
by Karen Hall, FCHEA; Jay Keller, FCHEA; and Glenn Scheffler, Chair of US TAG for ISO/TC 197

ISO/TC 197 Working Group Report
by Karen Hall, FCHEA; Jay Keller, FCHEA; and Glenn Scheffler, Chair of US TAG for ISO/TC 197

Stationary and Portable Fuel Cell Standards out for Comment
by Karen Hall, Senior Technical Specialist, FCHEA

CSA Provides Status Update and Call for Experts
by Karen Hall, Senior Technical Specialist, FCHEA

Technical Resources
by Karen Hall, Senior Technical Specialist, FCHEA

UNECE Adopts Global Technical Regulation on the Safety of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Codes & Standards Coordinating Committee Teleconference - October 30th, 2013 Minutes (PDF)
Connor Dolan, External Affairs Manager, FCHEA

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Codes & Standards Coordinating Committee Teleconference - December 12th, 2013 Minutes (PDF)
Connor Dolan, External Affairs Manager, FCHEA

ISO/TC 197 Plenary Report
by Karen Hall, FCHEA; Jay Keller, FCHEA; and Glenn Scheffler, Chair of US TAG for ISO/TC 197

The International Standards Technical Committee on Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ISO/TC 197) held a plenary meeting on December 5-6, 2013. 

The work of this Technical Committee is important for global commercialization of hydrogen energy technologies. Specific topics of work include cylinders, basic safety considerations, fueling station, components, hydrogen fuel, and others. 

Approximately 90 experts attended the meeting, representing 12 member countries plus liaisons. 

ISO/TC 197 has reserved a block of documents 19880 through 19890. New documents will use these numbers.

Systematic review of FDIS 22734-1 for industrial electrolyzers indicated that the document should be updated. The US indicated an interest in submitting a New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) and proposing a convener. Additionally, France indicated that there are some details of ISO 22734-2 that should be fixed. The United States committed to submit an NWIP(s) to cover this work too so that one WG can do both.

There was a discussion regarding consolidation of Hydrogen Fuel - product specification standards (14687-1:1999; 14687-2: 2012; 14687-3: 2013). Japan expressed concerns that the WG experts, as well as users, are not the same. Japan proposed separate preliminary work items, and paired NWIPs to revise parts 2 and 3. Effectively this would be a single Working Group with co-conveners focusing on revising parts 2 and 3; followed by consolidation in 2017. TC 197 took a Resolution to approve Preliminary Work Item (PWI) to work on development of the NWIP. The approval allows preliminary activities to update parts 2 and 3, independent of consolidation efforts. No NWIP is necessary at this stage. 

ISO 16111:2008 Transportable gas storage devices - Hydrogen absorbed in reversible metal hydride. The result of the Systematic Review was never circulated - Jim Ferrero will do that. There was one vote to revise, from France, who wishes to enlarge the scope to larger storage capacities. A NWIP and New Working Group would be required. Another option is to leave ISO 16111 as it is, since it is relied upon in the UN regulations. A New Work Item could be submitted to prepare a separate document for the larger sizes.

The Chair noted that ISO will need a strategy to address the issue of hydrogen/natural gas blends either within TC 197 or elsewhere. This is not a trivial issue and is not yet resolved. Growing international interest in "Power-to-Gas" applications may drive this forward.

The timeline for active work items will need to be extended. A report on working groups is provided separately in this issue.

The next ISO/TC 197 plenary meeting will be held the week of 12-1-2014 In Fukuoka at the HyTREC facility. The 2015 meetings may be held in Moscow or Washington, DC. 

ISO/TC 197 Working Group Report
by Karen Hall, FCHEA; Jay Keller, FCHEA; and Glenn Scheffler, Chair of US TAG for ISO/TC 197

The International Standards Technical Committee on Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ISO/TC 197) has ten active working groups (WGs). Seven of these met in December. The remaining three will be holding kick-off meetings in early May. The following WG's had their kick off meetings in December:

  • WG18 - road vehicle tanks and pressure relief valves (TPRDs)
  • WG19 - fueling station dispensers
  • WG20 - valves
  • WG24 - fueling stations


Working Group 18 has two documents currently assigned to them. ISO 19881 Land Vehicle Fuel Tanks; and ISO 19882 TPRDs. The convener is Livio Gambone, formerly of PowerTech and now with CSA Group. WG 18 has liaisons with WG 19, ISO/TC 52 SC 3, ISO/TC 22/SC25. The ISO documents will be based on HGV documents (after CSA releases copyright).

ISO 19881: Land Vehicle Fuel Tanks An outline for the document was reviewed. Issues raised included the following:

  • At the end of life, tanks should be put out of service to avoid liability if someone repurposes cylinders and does not install them properly. Question: Can we build a case for eliminating lifetime limits as damage is the real limiter, not time in normal service?
  • There is interest in harmonizing with GTR. Some differences exist. Discussions of differences such as 3.3 versus 3.5 in glass for stress ratio. Data is being gathered. GTR will go into revision cycle right away to make any required updates. GTR does not include a high-strain rate test (gunfire) but HGV 2, European regulations and SAE J2579 do.
  • The WG discussed whether the standard should encourage increased fire ratings - ex. - fire test without PRD to encourage coatings or other fire resistant measures so that PRD can be made to release early but more slowly. The convener pointed out this solution is allowed by the standard - it is one solution the manufacturer could use - and that this is a vehicle-level solution outside the scope of this TC.

The working group will consider for inclusion:

  • Performance-based stress rupture testing (as alternative to or addition to burst test prescription) - if the test method is verified.
  • Fire resistance testing (without PRDs) for fire rating.
  • Is there a need for 15 year (or any) life-time limit, given stress rupture and cycle life. It was pointed out that (based on analysis and actual field experience) tanks are limited by accidents or fires and by tank age, so inspections after events/accidents are more important than enforcing a time limit.

Next meeting: May 8, 2014 at FCHEA in Washington, DC.

ISO 19882: Thermally-activated Pressure Relief Devices (TPRDs) 

Key points discussed were as follows:

  • Applicability to the same specification of containers as in ISO 19881 (above). Not applicable to re-seating or re-sealing TPRDs.
  • There are test procedures in the GTR, CSA and SAE docs.
  • Service life and nominal working pressure are specified by the manufacturer - will match the fuel container.
  • CSA HPRD is the seed document. All TPRDs that meet this ISO 19882 will meet the requirements of the GTR.
  • CSA Group working on an arrangement to release copyright.

Next meeting: May 9, 2014 at FCHEA in Washington, DC.


Working Group 19 was formed to develop an international standard (ISO 19880-2) on gaseous hydrogen filling station dispensers. Here are a few key points from the kick-off meeting:

  • There needs to be clear boundaries drawn between the filling station standard and the dispenser standard and between the dispenser standard and the components (valves, hoses, etc) to avoid needless over-lap and testing. This standard will focus on safety aspects of dispenser equipment whereas performance of the fill will be governed by the filling station standard.
  • Management of potentially hazardous atmospheres in dispenser cabinets is not listed on the draft outline of the document. This topic should be addressed (to avoid over-specification as done in some codes and standards).
  • Safety (not performance) is addressed - but how do you verify the max flow limiting and other items related to safe fill of vehicle tanks without testing a fill protocol and response when serious deviations occur?
  • Why is dielectric testing of the dispenser listed under routine performance tests (that are to be performed on each production unit) rather than specifying a test that is performed only for qualification (type) testing?
  • Comments from experts will be collected on the draft in early March (following a 2 month period for review and comment).

The next meeting will be held in June preferably the week after the DOE Annual Merit Review during the week of June 23rd.


ISO 19880-3 will cover the safety performance of valves over 1MPa for gaseous hydrogen fueling stations.

A quick walk-through an initial draft document was conducted. A question was raised for further consideration relative to whether having a valve standard unique to hydrogen might hinder use of standard off-the-shelf equipment that is purchased to standard requirements and not a specialized specification for hydrogen.

A working draft is to be circulated in January for review and comment following copyright release from CSA.


Working Group 24 will develop a new document (ISO 19880-1). Jesse Schneider (USA) and Guy Dang-Nhu (France) are co-project leaders. WG24 met in December and put together a Table of Contents. The WG hopes to hold several in-person meetings over 2014. Separation Distances, Maintenance & Operation Instruction, and Minimum Station Documentation are proposed Appendices.

The WG plans to develop a DIS in 2 years and IS in 3 years in order to meet the timeline for European requirements.

A Task Force for Safety Distances and one on Final Acceptance Tests were created. 

The first stage document will be a Technical Report (TR) in order to reach consensus and finalize scope, timing for ISO 19880-1. Coordination will be important with station components standards (Dispensers, Valves, Compressors, Hoses, and Fittings). The ISO/TC 197 Technical Advisory Board (TAB) will play a significant coordinating role. 

Proposed dates for 2014 meetings are as follows: Feb 24-25 in Tokyo, Japan (FC Expo), Apr 17-18 in LA, CA (CaFCP meeting), June 20th Washington, DC (US DOE AMR), Oct 9-10 Munich, Germany. 

The following Working Groups also met to continue their work:

  • WG15 - Stationary Tanks
  • WG16 - Basic Considerations
  • WG17 - Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA)


Working Group 15 is a joint effort with TC 58 SC3 (Cylinder design). While this WG has been functioning for some time, the Convener is new to the group. The previous convener was replaced with the change in new TC leadership. H. Barthélémy, the Technical Program Director (TPD) for this activity is the acting convener until a permanent convener can be identified. The convener used this opportunity to work with TC 58 SC3 to understand how to best leverage and complement each other's efforts. The main purpose of the meeting in December was to continue to reshape the document to obtain WG consensus. This effort uses the approach of re-qualifying transportation vessel designs for the stationary application rather than the design of vessels specifically for this application. 

This WG met earlier in July 2013 in Paris. It was agreed at this time not to discuss the comments made during the preceding DIS but to consider a new proposal made by H. Barthélémy: 

"As agreed during the ISO/TC 197meeting in Montreal in February, the principle of this new draft is to simply refer for the design, manufacture and testing of standards already used for transportable cylinders (this will avoid expensive specified type tests) and to explain how to assess the MAWP, hydraulic test pressure, pressure cycle life,…".

In July, one proposal made by the temporary convener was to consider that a statement be included in the scope of the document (possibly a note) to say that this standard could be used for gases other than hydrogen. There was some resistance from WG 15 members. Discussions were held with ISO/TC 58 SC3. The matter was resolved with the document scope being limited to hydrogen. TC 58/SC3 decided that there was no longer a need for a Joint Working Group; however H. Barthélémy agreed to provide feedback to ISO/TC58 SC3 on the progress of the standard.

There are remaining issues being addressed on the draft, such as referring only to transportable cylinder requirements. The current draft has introduced the concept of "hydrogen accelerating factors." When cycling with hydrogen you accelerate crack initiation and propagation. WG 15 is requesting guidance on a few points through Committee Draft (CD) comments before proceeding to DIS. The TC197 Secretary will send the Working Draft for a two-month comment period imminently. The time frame of the overall effort will need to be adjusted to accommodate delays.


The issue of whether to use the term "Lower Flammability Limit (LFL)" or "Lower Explosive Limit (LEL)" has been resolved after extensive discussion. Although European regulations use "LEL", it was decided to use "LFL" in this ISO document, with some accommodations to recognize values resulting from "standard test methods of LFL" are essentially the same as for "LEL" use in some of the European regulations. Having resolved this issue, a walk-through the document to resolve all comments from the TAB was conducted. The walk-through was not completed during the meeting and the convener was tasked with completing the process after the meeting for subsequent review (and confirmation) by working group members. This has been accomplished by E-mail, and the convener has sent the resulting document to the TC 197 Secretariat for circulation according to ISO policies. 


ISO 19883 (original NP 17971)

This activity is led by China. There was a suggestion from the convener that there may be NWIPs for more International Standards after PSA is complete - specifically:

  • Program Control Valve
  • Absorber
  • Adsorbent
  • Control System
  • Etc.

The DIS was expected for January 2014, however due to difficulties getting Visa approvals in short notice by the Chinese convener and support in Montreal, the activity is behind. ISO/TC 197 agreed to ask for an extension.

E-mail notices and documents are sent from this address: Some experts are not receiving the e-mails. It is important for each WG 17 member to add this e-mail address to their e-mail address book. WG17 will also use the ISO Livelink for WG activities. 

There was significant discussion in the WG 17 meeting, led by the Technical Program Director for this activity, Hervé Barthélémy of Air Liquide, which suggested we do not need to standardize the PSA process - that should be up to the company; but we do need to make sure the process is safe.

Other comments on the current draft include the following:

  • Scope mentions "classification and designation, but these are not mentioned in the Table of Contents. Vaguely described in section 4.1. Could delete from scope or more clearly describe in the document.
  • What are the parameters under consideration?
  • How big a reformer is relevant to ISO/TC 197 interests?
  • What is meant by "technical specifications"? Manufacturers do not have an interest in a prescriptive standard.
  • More key PSA stakeholders need to be involved.
  • Vacuum PSA is slightly different.

The TPD suggested refocusing on safety issues. Based on this recommendation and agreement from the WG, TC 197 agreed to modify the title to "safety of pressure swing adsorption system for hydrogen separation and purification". The document is likely to be more technical than general proposal. A more detailed document is expected to be circulated to WG 17 experts later in 2014 (June). TC 197 later took a resolution to accept change in title and propose a schedule extension. 

PSA manufacturers and users are encouraged to join, or at least monitor, this activity.

The following new Working Groups have also recently been formed. Peter Ehlers of CSA Group will serve as convener. Initial kick-off meetings are planned for early May in Washington, DC:


Stationary and Portable Fuel Cell Standards out for Comment
by Karen Hall, Senior Technical Specialist, FCHEA

IEC 62282-3-201 Ed. 1: Fuel cell technologies - Part 3-201: Stationary fuel cell power systems - Performance test methods for small fuel cell power systems; and IEC 62282-5-1 Ed. 2: Fuel cell technologies - Part 5-1: Portable fuel cell power systems - Safety are available through the National Committees for review and comment.

Members of the U. S. National Committee are requested to provide their comments to Steve Tuckey, CSA Group, no later than Tuesday March 25, 2014.

CSA Provides Status Update and Call for Experts
by Karen Hall, Senior Technical Specialist, FCHEA

The CSA Group provided an update on their national standards activities during the January 8th, 2014 meeting of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Codes & Standards Coordinating Committee (NHFCCSCC). The following are the highlights. For the full report, please refer to the published minutes.

CSA HGV 4.9, Fueling Station Guidelines: Further revisions to the draft are being considered. CSA approval is anticipated in August 2014.

CSA HGV 3.1, Fuel System Components: The revisions were distributed for industry review in October 2013. The review period ended November 2013. The TSC met to review comments received on January 22, 2014. CSA approval is anticipated in March 2015.

CSA HGV 2, Hydrogen Fuel System Containers: The Draft HGV 2 Standard has been balloted to the Automotive Technical Committee for approval. Harmonization efforts with UN GTR and SAE J2579 are ongoing. CSA approval is anticipated in March 2014.

CSA HPIT 1, System Components for Powered Industrial Trucks: The HPIT 1 draft will be balloted to the Automotive Technical Committee for approval. Once the draft is approved, it will be held until the publication of CSA HGV 2. CSA approval is anticipated in March 2014. 

CSA HPIT 2, Fueling for Powered Industrial Trucks: TSC is meeting monthly to continue development of draft standard. CSA approval is anticipated in March 2014. 

CSA CHMC 1, Material Compatibility for Use in Hydrogen Applications: Phase 1 was published in March 2012. Phase 2 is pending approval by Automotive Technical Committee. The combined phase 1 & 2 ANSI standard is expected to be announced imminently. 

In addition to providing an update on the standards-development efforts, CSA is making industry aware of their current Call for Experts:


  • Fuel Cell Technical Committee: User Interest; General Interest; Gas Supplier
  • Hydrogen Powered Industrial Truck On-Board Fuel Storage and Handling Components TSC [HPIT 1]: Forklift manufacturers, fuel cell battery manufacturers
  • Hydrogen Station and Components for Fuelling Powered Industrial Trucks TSC [HPIT 2]: Forklift manufacturers, HPIT station manufacturers
  • Breakaway Devices, Manual Valves and Automatic Valves TSC [HGV 4.4, HGV 4.6 and HGV 4.7]: Valve manufacturers
  • Hydrogen Material Compatibility TSC [CHMC 1]: Experts in the field of rubbers and polymers and how they react when exposed to hydrogen at various temperatures and pressures
  • Fuel System Components for Hydrogen Powered Vehicles TSC [HGV 3]: Valve manufacturers, hose manufacturers
If you are an expert in any of the areas listed above and would like to participate or get additional information, please contact Julie Weis at the CSA Group (

Technical Resources
by Karen Hall, Senior Technical Specialist, FCHEA

Are you looking for technical resources to support your safety, codes and standards understanding? Would you like a reminder of information-rich websites on hydrogen incidents, training, properties, and standards? Consider book marking the FCHEA Technical Resources page of the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Safety Report. Here you will find data, research results, databases, and other useful web resources.

Here are just a few of the websites you will find: This is a link to the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Codes & Standards website which includes educational materials, fact sheets, and training tools, to name just a few of the resources available. is a direct link to the published permitting guides for hydrogen installation, including module for hydrogen fueling stations. This website contains organized data on existing fuel cell and hydrogen infrastructure codes, standards and regulations efforts with drill-down capability, as well as a calendar of events and blog. This links to the DOE H2 Incident Reporting and Lessons Learned Database. 

Are you aware of other websites related to safety, codes and standards for fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure which are not yet listed? Please send us a link and we will seek permission to add it. Websites are always changing, so if you find a broken or outdated link, please let us know by contacting Connor Dolan or Karen Hall.

UNECE Adopts Global Technical Regulation on the Safety of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles

Published 27 June 2013 at

UNECE's World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) adopted on 27 June a United Nations Global Technical Regulation (UN GTR) governing the safety of hydrogen and fuel cell-powered vehicles (HFCVs). This new UN GTR represents the first international legislation in this field.

HFCVs can use either internal combustion engines fuelled by liquefied hydrogen or fuel-cells fuelled by compressed gaseous hydrogen. Hydrogen fuelled vehicles are typically powered by fuel-cell power systems which generate electric power electrochemically. The UN GTR specifies provisions to ensure that such vehicles attain the same safety level as conventional gasoline vehicles.

The new UN GTR specifies safety-related performance requirements for HFCVs, aiming at protecting occupants from fire or explosion of the hydrogen on-board containers. It also includes requirements to prevent electric shock to occupants or first responders in case of a crash.

The adoption of this new UN GTR could help foster interest in HFCVs, in view of the potential benefits of this technology with regards to:

Energy efficiency. Thanks to the elimination of the engine's mobile parts, such as pistons, HFCVs generally achieve between 40-60% energy efficiency, compared to 25% in conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.

Emissions reduction. HFCVs do not produce harmful tailpipe emissions. They could thus help reduce vehicles' emissions of harmful gaseous pollutants, provided some bottlenecks are overcome. These include: (i) the safe and economically-sound mass production of hydrogen from other sources than fossil fuels, (ii) the development of refuelling infrastructures and (iii) safe mass-scale transportation of hydrogen.

The text of the UN GTR, which takes into account existing standards and regulations from Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Korea and the United States, is available at:

For more information, please contact:
Edoardo Gianotti
Secretary of the Working Party on Passive Safety
Phone: +41 (0) 22 917 2422