NFPA Hydrogen Technologies Technical Committee Meets at NREL
Paul May, NFPA Staff Liaison

On June 26-27, 2008 the NFPA Technical Committee on Hydrogen Technologies met at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. This was the third meeting for this new committee that will create NFPA 2. The committee continued their work to develop a draft document towards a final document for public review.

Below is an overall schedule for the T/C on NFPA 2 Based on the NFPA Standards Council decision to place the document on the Annual 2010 revision cycle:

Annual 2010 Revision Cycle


Notice of intent to enter cycle7/11/08

PreReport on Proposal Draft or outline posted for public proposals10/1/08

Public proposal closing date12/1/08

Final Date for Report on Proposal (ROP) meeting2/27/09

ROP published and posted6/26/09

Public Comment closing date9/4/09

Final date for a Report on Comment (ROC) meeting11/6/09

ROC published and posted2/26/10

Intent to make a motion (ITMAM) closing date4/9/10

Posting of filed ITMAMs5/7/10

Council issuance of documents without ITMAMs6/1/10

Association meeting for documents with ITMAMS6/5-9/10

Appeals to NFPA Standards council6/29/10

Council issuance of all documents (documents with ITMAMs and without ITMAMs)7/30/10

The Task Groups presented their results to the entire Technical Committee and guests. 

Separation Distances: Jeff LaChance of Sandia National Laboratories gave a presentation on risk-informed approach. Larry Fluer of Fluer, Inc. gave a presentation on the separation distance table of NFPA 55. Three members of HIPOC, as well as several other guests, were there for the discussion.

Task Group leaders from each of the other Task Groups also presented their work, and made recommendartions concerning the future of the task group. 

Steps towards the Report on Proposals (ROP) stage were discussed and task group assignments brought forth. Several New Task Groups were formed as follows:

Task Group 7 Integration. This task group is responsible for ensuring consistent format throughout the text and ensure all the chapters flow properly from the fundamental chapters (1-8). This entails pulling together the input from Task Groups 2, 3, 4, 5, &6 into a draft document that will serve as the first draft NFPA 2 code for TC review. 

Task Group 8 Quality Control. To provide a comprehensive review of each iteration of the NFPA 2 document as prepared for publication by the NFPA 2 Integration Task Group. This work will include the identification and coordination of resolution of all concerns with the Integration Task Group in a timely manner. The reviews will address technical content, prose and formatting. 

Task Group 9 Liquid Hydrogen. This task group would evaluate existing codes relative to LH2 and address the short-term (A2010) and long-term (beyond A2010) gap analysis for inclusion into NFPA 2 and other standards. Focus will be on differences between liquid hydrogen (LH2) and gaseous hydrogen (GH2) that would necessitate additions and updates to NFPA 2. Use of LH2 would be limited to small-scale generation (for consideration as a reserved chapter) and include storage, loading, unloading, vaporization, and dispensing as GH2 and LH2 at points of use. Responsibilities could include dialogue with the research community, identification of differences w risk implications, definition and development of tables and text. 

Task Group 10 Hydrogen Explosions. To develop scientifically-based and practical H2 explosion prevention and mitigation measures for inclusion in NFPA 2 and other NFPA documents as appropriate. Assess the impact of code provisions proposed for NFPA 2 and existing provisions in applicable NFPA codes and standards (ie. 52/55/853/45/68/69/86/88A/502/et al.##s) related to the risk of hydrogen explosions.

Disbanding of Old Task Groups. The following Task Groups were disbanded effective as of the June meeting and the follow on tasks for the other task groups are listed below: 

Task Group 1 – disbanded. The function of this TG has been superceded with new TG7. 
Task Group 2 – Fundamentals – This task group has completed its work product and is disbanded. 
Task Group 3 – Vehicular – This task group effort will be complete when the final ROC text for NFPA 52 is available and extracted into NFPA 2. 
Task Group 4 – Fuel cells and generation – This task group effort will be complete when the final ROC text for NFPA 853 and 55 is available and extracted into NFPA 2. 
Task Group 5 – Stationary Applications – This task group is complete and is now disbanded. Thanks for the good work. 
Task Group 6 – Separation Distances – The work product of this task group was incorporated into the draft NFPA 2 by Task Group 2. There is ongoing work for this task group in the area of developing separation distances for liquid hydrogen and developing the mitigation credits concept. 

The next meeting will be hosted by TC member Al Unione at the National Engineering Technologies Lab (NETL) in Pittsburgh, PA –February 24-26, 2009. The next meeting will be an ROP meeting. 

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Technology Services Weights and Measures Division (WMD) Report on the Development of Commercial Hydrogen Measurement Standards

During the July 9, 2008 National Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Codes & Standards Coordinating Committee (NHFCCSCC) teleconference, Juana Williams of NIST provided a comprehensive update on NIST’s activities relating to the development of commercial hydrogen measurement standards. As the July minutes will not be available until they are approved in August, Juana agreed to allow the NHA to publish her report here.

(1) U.S. National Work Group (USNWG) for the Development of Commercial Hydrogen Measurement Standards

The USNWG Subcommittees met June 17-19, 2008 at the Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, IL. A summary will be made available in July 2008. In the interim, the following report is only a preliminary overview of the Subcommittees' discussions:

Device Standards and Test Procedures Subcommittee (DSTPS)
The California Division of Measurement Standards reported on its observation of the set up and operation of a station test apparatus that uses a gravimetric test method for determining the accuracy of hydrogen delivery by refueling equipment. The DSTPS observed the operation of a Greenfield Corporation hydrogen refueling dispenser and gravimetric test equipment used to verify the accuracy of the dispenser. 

The DSTPS made further modifications to Specifications paragraphs (equipment design) in Draft 3.0 of the NIST Handbook 44 Hydrogen Gas Measuring Devices Code primarily to clarify the intent of requirements. The DSTPS also identified the following topics as requiring further research and/or discussion to ensure that requirements are appropriate and/or properly address hydrogen gas measuring device applications:

  • nonresettable totalizer registration of product delivery,
  • test conditions and marking requirements for the "minimum measured quantity,"
  • return/disposal of product after test of the refueling equipment,
  • uncertainties associated with the gravimetric test method, and
  • pressurization and control of flow rates

Diane Lee (NIST WMD) will email a request for information on existing test procedures/equipment to all stakeholders.

The DSTPS is requesting test data to demonstrate whether or not the proposed 1.5 % accuracy tolerance in the draft code is appropriate.

Fuel Specifications Subcommittee (FSS)
The California Division of Measurement Standards reported on its observation of the set up and operation of a hydrogen quality sampling apparatus in its possession. The FSS discussed the ability to sample at 700 bar and to analyze sample data and test methods. 

The FSS will conduct an in-depth review of "The Starting Point: A Discussion Paper Describing a Proposed Method of Sale and Quality Specification for Hydrogen Vehicle Fuel" to determine if:

  • the display and marking of operating pressure is acceptable only in units of "bar" for equipment and signage
  • the California Department of Food and Agriculture Fuel Specification is the starting point for the fuel standard recognized by the FSS
  • NIST Special Publication (SP) 330 "The International System of Units (SI)" and NIST SP 811 "Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI)" are the USNWG's sources for units of measurement (both documents are available at:

(2) Upcoming Workshops on Commercial Hydrogen Measurement Standards
NIST WMD is pleased to announce two Workshops on Commercial Hydrogen Measurement Standards for U.S. State and local weights and measures jurisdictions. 

These workshops are made possible through the American Competitiveness Initiative funding in support of the U.S. transition to a hydrogen economy. The two and one half day workshops will familiarize weights and measures officials who will be responsible for field inspection and test of motor-fuel dispensers with the latest developments in the operation, performance and safety of hydrogen refueling and related transportation technologies. Workshop participants will also learn about the critical role weights and measures is playing in support of the hydrogen economy.

Workshop sessions at the NIST Gaithersburg, Maryland campus are planned for:

  • August 12-14, 2008
  • September 23-25, 2008

Sessions Include
Presentations on:

  • National and International Weights and Measures and Related Standards Work
  • Hydrogen Safety
  • Commercial Hydrogen Refueling Equipment

Sessions Include
Demonstrations of:

  • Refueling Fuel Cell Vehicles
  • Ride and Drive Fuel Cell Vehicles

NIST WMD is seeking experts on hydrogen- refueling equipment, safety, properties, and related technologies who are available to serve as presenters in the workshops. 

If you have questions or are interested in presenting at the workshops please contact Juana Williams by email or by telephone at 301-975-3989.

(3) July 2008 National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) Annual Meeting
The NCWM will meet July 12-17, 2008 in Burlington, Vermont. The Specifications and Tolerances Committee and Meter Manufacturers Association1 will be briefed on the status of national and international work to develop commercial hydrogen measurement standards. 

(4) New NIST WMD Hydrogen Web Page
In June 2008, NIST WMD launched a link from its home page to a new hydrogen web page titled "Developing Commercial Hydrogen Measurement Standards." The web page will be the U.S. weights and measures and hydrogen communities' source for the latest information and status of ongoing work to develop uniform and appropriate legal metrology standards for commercial hydrogen measurements. The web page includes the following topics: (1) U.S. National Work Group (USNWG) for the Development of Commercial Hydrogen Measurement Standards; (2) Development of International Standards; (3) NIST WMD Five Year Plan; (4) Quarterly Articles on Hydrogen News; (5) Helpful Hydrogen Links; (6) Current Hydrogen Events; and (7) Contacts in the NIST WMD for Commercial Hydrogen Measurement. 

The links for the new hydrogen web page are:

If you have questions about this report or other related topics, please contact Juana Williams by email at or telephone at 301-975-3989.

1 Meter Manufacturers Association (MMA) is a group of U.S. meter and related equipment manufacturers reorganized in 1976 to work to promote a better understanding of metering systems and their use through education, by addressing technology issues, and promoting uniformity in national standards and through harmonization with international legal metrology requirements.

Hydrogen Industry Panel On Codes (HIPOC) Update

The Hydrogen Industry Panel on Codes (HIPOC), instituted by Office of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Infrastructure Technology – Hydrogen Safety Codes & Standards in February 2006, has the goal of extending, and to the best extent practicable, harmonizing hydrogen code and standard development activities within the ICC and NFPA such that the proper codes and standards are in place (and stay in place) through the conclusion of the 2010/11 ICC Code Development Cycle (2012 Editions) and the conclusion of the 2011 NFPA Codes & Standards Process. This will coincide with the goal of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to facilitate a successful industry commercialization decision by 2015.

The two primary objectives of the HIPOC are to:

  1. Review current codes applicable to the storage, dispensing, use and handling of hydrogen in and around fixed-facility applications to the degree they apply to the codes developed by the ICC and NFPA.

  2. Develop or facilitate industry-sponsored proposals or positions that revise or otherwise harmonize the appropriate, reasonable and enforceable model health and safety provisions of the International Codes and codes developed by NFPA that affect or relate to the storage, dispensing, use and handling of hydrogen in and around fixed-facility applications, including service stations, parking garages, warehouses, loading areas and similar uses which support vehicular, distributed and portable power applications. Such provisions are to serve as a model for adoption and use by enforcement agencies at all levels of government in the interest of national uniformity.

Organizationally, the Panel is a “virtual” collaborative entity with the staff resources of the ICC, the NFPA and the National Hydrogen Association (NHA) providing only administrative and clerical support to the panel while directing change proposals to the appropriate code and standard development committees at the Panel’s request. A website developed to function as a central clearinghouse of information relative to HIPOC activities has been created by the NHA at the location where the NHFCCSCC website and the Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Safety Report are located: ( with links to/from the DOE, ICC, NFPA, NHA and other related websites.

The Panel represents a collaborative industry opinion and does not speak on behalf of the DOE, the ICC, the NFPA or the NHA. Participation on the Panel is entirely voluntary and in no way part of any legal or regulatory, or official advisory process at any level of government.

HIPOC is presently very active due to the publication of the Report on Proposals for NFPA 52 and NFPA 55, the development of the Report on Comments for each of these, and the development of NFPA 2. In addition, HIPOC has been addressing issues from the ICC Public Hearings in February 2008, in order to develop coordinated comments for consideration at the ICC Final Action Hearings in September 2008 in support of HIPOC positions.

HIPOC information is maintained on the HIPOC section of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report at This includes approved minutes of the HIPOC meetings.

HIPOC has held teleconference meetings, and conducted several E-mail exchanges relating to efforts to develop consensus relative to proposals for ICC and NFPA documents affecting hydrogen technologies. HIPOC reviewed the NFPA Report on Proposals for NFPA 52 and NFPA 55, which were made available for public comment by NFPA. HIPOC then considered public comments on items of particular interest to HIPOC, including Indoor Refueling and refueling from tube trailers.

HIPOC has also been addressing a few remaining issues from the ICC Public Hearings in order to determine whether any action is warranted in preparation for the Final Action Hearings to the International Fire Code scheduled for September 17-18, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The key items of discussion include indoor fast-fill hydrogen dispensing (Change F234-07/08), electrostatic discharge control (F233-07/08) and separation distances for hydrogen refueling stations. 

HIPOC has discussed the importance of nationally harmonized provisions for separation distances. HIPOC Panelists are currently working with DOE, Sandia National Laboratory, NREL and NFPA subject matter experts using the HIPOC remote-meeting forum to develop a solution for the forthcoming 2009/10 Code Development Cycle. IFC code change deadline is March 24, 2009. 

At the present time, The NFPA Industrial & Medical Gases (IMG) Committee has approved a proposal to replace the separation distance table in NFPA 55 for gaseous hydrogen with a new Risk-Informed table, based on the work performed at Sandia National Laboratory. The NFPA Vehicular Alternative Fuels (VAF) Technical Committee has also balloted the item. However, the ballot did not receive the required votes. NFPA is currently in the process of determining appropriate resolution of the apparent conflict. While it is anticipated that HIPOC will support a code change proposal for the I-Codes based on the newly approved NFPA table, the Panel would appreciate your feedback to their development process in the interest of building consensus.

To this end, HIPOC jointly participated in the most recent NFPA 2 pre-cycle meetings where the details of NFPA Task Group 6 on separation distances made their final pitch to the “committee as a whole,” Thursday, June 26 at NREL, Golden, CO. 

HIPOC makes their discussions available to the hydrogen community by posting minutes from HIPOC teleconferences and meetings on the HIPOC page of and by reporting regularly to the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Codes & Standards Coordinating Committee. This provided ample opportunity for consensus building while giving interested parties an opportunity to contribute to and understand the basis of HIPOC positions in preparation for NFPA technical committee and I-Code Development Hearings. 

The next HIPOC web conference is scheduled for August 6. For more information relative to HIPOC activities or to participate in the August 6th meeting contact Darren Meyers, Paul May ( or Karen Hall (

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells—Giving Emergency Responders an Edge in the Face of Disasters
Debbi Smith, National Hydrogen Association

2005 was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in U.S. history. When hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, there were seven hurricanes or tropical storms in the Atlantic and Caribbean. One of those storms became hurricane Rita and hit the Gulf Coast 28 days after Katrina made landfall. None of the other 6 storms developed the intensity that Katrina and Rita did though a few made landfall on the U.S. or Canadian Eastern Seaboard. Scientists have stated for years that one of the impacts of global climate change will be an increase in severity and frequency of storms of all kinds.

Weather induced storms aren’t the only disasters facing cities. Since 9/11, cities and towns now have emergency preparedness plans for terrorist attacks. In the western U.S., state emergency preparedness plans include terrorist and storm disaster plans plus preparedness plans for wildfires and earthquakes. Along the Pacific Rim, add volcanoes to the list. In all cases of disaster, grid-independent electrical power becomes an immediate and critical need.

Emergency Responders, City Managers and Municipal Leaders need to stay abreast of every beneficial technology in order to protect the life and property of their citizens and themselves.

The emergency preparedness market is a readily developing market for portable and stationary fuel cells and potentially, on-site hydrogen generation. During the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, it was evident that grid-independent electrical power was in critical short supply. Hydrogen-powered and direct methanol-powered fuel cells were among the electric-power generation equipment deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi by fuel cell manufacturers to aid in disaster recovery, but the need was far greater than the ability to supply demand. 

In the midst of a disaster and in the immediate aftermath, the situation is chaotic and actions are, by necessity, reactions—which is not the best environment to try to convince decision-makers on site to use new and unfamiliar technology. Education is key to enabling deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies as is sensitivity on the part of equipment manufacturers to the situation faced by emergency responders at disaster and evacuation sites. For example, command central needs to deal with one point of contact for all HFC or DMFC equipment deployment and needs to know that point of contact is aware of their needs from the start.

To accommodate emergency responders, the NHA and its affiliates have developed a strategy of focusing on known evacuation destination cities ahead of any disaster as part of emergency preparedness management. This approach is being taken in San Antonio, Texas, a Gulf Coast evacuation destination city and Columbia, South Carolina, an Atlantic evacuation city for South and North Carolina coastal zone cities. Model cities like these can be used for hydrogen and fuel cell emergency use and then replicated in other evacuation destination cities across the U.S. and Canada.

The Case for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

Among the top three needs in any city disaster plan are:

  • Communication
  • Emergency Medical
  • Potable Water

In their current state of development and deployment hydrogen and fuel cells meet the needs for the above applications in which they provide an advantage over traditional power generation by diesel and gasoline generators. 

Advantages provided by hydrogen and fuel cell technology for emergency preparedness and disaster recovery are:

  • Doesn’t need electrical grid for recharge
  • No harmful emissions
  • Silent
  • Manufacturing Scalability

Additional information on the hydrogen/fuel cell advantage over generators and portable battery packs are demonstrated below. 

Communication backup power: Katrina exposed flaws in the telecommunications infrastructure that led to a complete communications breakdown in and around New Orleans. The result was a mandate, issued in early 2007, directing telecommunications providers to ensure their sites maintain a minimum of 24 hours emergency backup power for assets inside central offices/switch sites and eight hours for Outside Plant (OSP) facilities such as cell sites, remote switches and digital loop carrier system remote terminals. “The FCC mandate is forcing us to be creative in finding ways to meet the new requirements—changing industry thinking on everything from alternative power sources like fuel cells to the cabinets and enclosures we use to house those power sources,” says Dusty Baker, vice president of engineering, Emerson Network Power’s energy systems business.1

Emergency medical back-up and portable power: During hurricanes Katrina and Rita, San Antonio, Texas received approximately 100,000 evacuees from along the Gulf Coast, several thousand of them had special medical needs.2-5 Medical emergencies require electronic patient monitoring equipment which either needs to be recharged regularly or plugged into an electric power supply. Locating patients near an electrical supply is problematic in an emergency the size of Katrina. With portable fuel cells, the electrical supply can stay with the patient on the gurney providing flexibility in re-location as the situation warrants. Portable fuel cells outperform batteries in longevity and offer the flexibility of indoor power usage because of their silence and zero emissions. With larger fuel cells, power can also be located closer to the “need” which makes for safer operating conditions in medical shelters that have lost power or in makeshift, emergency medical shelters that would otherwise use gasoline or diesel generators.

Search and Rescue Power:Stationary fuel cells can serve a critical role in rescue operations too. In disasters such as earthquakes, mine or building collapse, rescue operations often continue into the night. With electrical power needs such as large light bar stanchions powered by hydrogen fuel cells instead of gasoline or diesel generators, the silent operations of the fuel cells allow rescue workers to hear the victims’ cries for help.

As demonstrated by fuel-cell powered UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) in DOD applications6-7, hydrogen-powered fuel cells outperform battery-power in the same application allowing more time in the air for surveillance. For search and rescue operations which use similar UAVs, hydrogen-powered fuel cells provide the ability for rescue teams to cover more ground and transmit more data to save lives. 

Emergency Responders Program through Homeland Security
The Science and Technology, Technology Solutions Program within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is a resource for emergency responders to use fuel cell equipment for emergency needs. Grants are open to emergency responders only through this program and need has to be demonstrated on how fuel cell technology can help job performance and fill a capability gap. The Tech Solutions program will also help with faster deployment if need is critical. For further information, please visit the DHS Science and Technology website at:


  1. Press Release, April 24, 2008, Emerson Network
  2. Appleseed Hurricane Katrina Project, San Antonio City Report, June 30,2006; Faegre & Benson LLP,
  3. Hospitals in Hurricane Katrina: Challenges Facing Custodial Institutions in a Disaster, Gray, Bradford, Ph.D., Herbert, Kathy, M.D., MMM., M.P.H., Published by the Urban Institute, July 2006.
  4. Press Release, American Forces Press Service, Washington, DC Sept 24, 2005, Air Force Evacuates Thousands; Crews, Aircraft, Standing By
  5. Press Release, Associated Press, September 25, 2005, Houston, TX, Gridlock in Houston as Texans Flee
  6. Working Group presentations at NHA 2007 Topical Forum, Military Uses of Hydrogen, Columbia, SC
  7. Press Release,, Southborough, MA, Protonex to Unveil Procore UAV fuel cell power system.http://www.air-attack/com/news/news_article/2016