ISO TC 197 Update June 2009
Karen Hall, National Hydrogen Association

The technical committee responsible for the development of international standards for hydrogen energy technologies (ISO/TC 197) has been making significant progress on active work items. In addition, the 2009 Plenary meeting has been announced.

The following provides a very brief overview of several of these activities. Those with an interest in learning more about specific items can do so using the archives feature of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report at, or by visiting to see the scope of the activities and timelines for development. Those with an interest in participating directly in these activities are advised to contact the administrator of the official member body in their country. For example, in the US, this is Jill Thompson of the Compressed Gas Association. In the UK, this is Charlie Duncombe of the British Standards Institute.

2009 Plenary - KATS, the member body from the Republic of Korea, will host the next ISO/TC 197 Plenary meeting on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 in Seoul, Korea. This timing coincides with the 2009 Korea Energy Show. The meeting venue will be the Pacific Hall, COEX, Seoul, which is also the location of the Korea Energy Show. For more information on the location and on the Show, please visit the following website: Meeting rooms for the Working Group meetings are available on October 12-13, 2009, and will be announced after consultation with the Working Group Conveners. Additionally, the Korea Energy Show is in the process of organizing a hydrogen and fuel cell seminar on October 15, 2009.

Those interested in participating in the ISO/TC 197 Plenary meeting are advised to contact their national body.

ISO/TC 197 Working Groups Update

Working Group 8: Work item: ISO 22734-2 - Hydrogen generators using water electrolysis process — Part 2: Residential applications, will be meeting in Montreal on July 2, 2009. This meeting will lead to submitting a Draft International Standard in July-August, 2009.

Working Group 9: Work Item FDIS 16110-2 Hydrogen generators using fuel processing technologies – Part 2: Test methods for performance, has submitted the Final Draft International Standard for technical editing.

Working Group 11: Work item ISO 20100 - Gaseous hydrogen — Fuelling stations, will be meeting in Montreal on July 3, 2009. The WG is continuing its work towards the publication of the international standard. A special effort has been made to get a broader group of stakeholders involved in the development of this international standard.

Working Group 12: Work Item ISO 14687-2 - Hydrogen Fuel — Product Specification — Part 2: Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications for road vehicles, will be meeting on the 17th and 18th of June, 2009 in Vancouver, Canada.   The WG is continuing its work towards the publication of the international standard. A special effort has been made to get a broader group of stakeholders involved in the development of this international standard. In addition, the WG continues efforts to collect and evaluate data on PEM fuel cell membrane tolerances for impurities.

Working Group 13: Work item ISO 26142 - Hydrogen detection apparatus, is now at the Final Draft International Standard stage.  WG 13 members are in the process of reviewing the draft FDIS document to submit it to ISO/TC197 this month.

NFPA Makes Move to Harmonize Hydrogen Separation Distances
Geoff Bromaghim, National Hydrogen Association

At the June 2009 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Session, held June 11, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois, NFPA 52 was amended by the acceptance of comment 52-34, which would replace Table with the appropriate table extracted from NFPA 55. This action is supported by the Hydrogen Industry Panel on Codes (HIPOC), which met prior to the NFPA Technical Session and then proceeded to speak in favor of the amendment.

In accordance with NFPA procedures, the technical committee responsible for NFPA 52 must now be balloted on this Association meeting action. Should the ballot not pass, the wording of that portion of the Report affected by the amendment would return to the text of the previous edition, if any. If there is no previous edition text, the text is simply deleted. Ballots are due by June 25. The NHA hopes to be able to report the final action in the July edition of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report.

The transcript from the June 2009 NFPA Technical Session Meeting will be available within two weeks at

European Future Energy Forum: Roundtable Report
Roundtable on Advancing commercialization of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell technologies, a part of the new Energy mix, through international cooperation of Regulations, Codes and Standards (RCS)
Randy Dey, The CCS Global Group Inc.

The European Future Energy Forum was held on 9-11 June 2009 in Balboa, Spain. As part of this event, there were a few roundtable discussions pertaining to hydrogen and fuel cells. Only one was related directly to hydrogen standards, and was chaired by Randy Dey from the CCS Global Group. The session was titled,  Advancing commercialization of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell technologies, a part of the new Energy mix, through international cooperation of Regulations, Codes and Standards, and discussed the importance of creating a climate of international cooperation in the development of regulations, codes and standards on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Since most attendees from this event are active in renewable energy technologies and investments and were therefore unfamiliar with hydrogen standards, the session provided an excellent overview of the importance of “one product, one standard, one test,” and was a useful first introduction to the ISO standards published and under development specific to hydrogen energy technologies.

The 2009 European Future Energy Forum has clearly shown that the world is steadily moving into the post-fossil fuel age and that this new energy age will comprise of a number of energy solutions. Unfortunately, even though the storage of renewable energies was identified as an important challenge by the participants, hydrogen was not presented as one of the solutions. It was noted at the Roundtable that there was an opportunity to discuss how hydrogen can be used to generate transportation fuel, reliable power and distributed energy from renewable energies. It is clear that the hydrogen and fuel cell industry will have to work harder to get the message across and overcome the myth that the commercialization of these new technologies is still not yet a couple of decades away starting with the early market products.

On the RCS front, the result of this Roundtable was very much in line with the general consensus that emanated from the European Future Energy Forum: The leadership of governments and industry have to work together to make it happen! During the forum, it was recognized that business as usual will not ensure that the energy paradigm shift happens in the timeframe that is needed to overcome the climate change challenges. During the Roundtable, it was agreed that business as usual that often results in market fragmentation due to the multitude of national/regional standards needs to be avoided and that the focus should instead be on cooperation towards the development of International Standards.

The participants to the Roundtable agreed that it was of the utmost importance that the leadership of governments and industry strive towards the ultimate goal of "One product, one standard, one test" that is so important to the large-scale deployment of these new technologies. It was recognized that the WTO instruments that are in place to remove non tariff barriers through the development of International standards at ISO and IEC should be fully supported by these stakeholders. The participants agreed that countries should be encouraged to contribute to the development of the ISO and IEC International Standards followed by the subsequent adoption of these standards when published. These countries should also encourage their regulatory bodies to recognize the value of the international consensus by referring to these International Standards in global or national regulations.

In the case of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, the importance of the work of ISO/TC 197 and IEC/TC 105 was stressed. The development of International Standards was strongly supported by the Roundtable group including the USA represented by Ms. Karen Hall on behalf of the US Department of Energy.

Mark Your Calendar: Hydrogen Codes and Standards Workshop in Conjunction with WHTC 2009
Brian Schorr, Partnership for Advancing the Transition to Hydrogen (PATH)

The Partnership for Advancing the Transition to Hydrogen (PATH), with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. National Hydrogen Association, is pleased to announce a Workshop for Hydrogen Codes and Standards in New Delhi, India on 29 August 2009!  The Workshop will be held in conjunction with the 2009 World Hydrogen Technologies Convention ( 26-28 August at the India Habitat Centre, the site of WHTC 2009.

The Workshop will review success stories and lessons learned on hydrogen facilities siting and demonstration projects, and explore synergistic opportunities in codes, standards and regulations development in India and surrounding countries. This will be done in the context of the status of international hydrogen codes, standards and regulations, and will be useful to all countries at an early stage of developing hydrogen safety requirements.  Therefore, anyone interested in understanding the challenges faced in India and other countries at an early stage of developing hydrogen requirements, and learning more about the successes from other countries, is encouraged to attend. Participants will have a chance to share the challenges they face. Key outcomes of this event will include coordinated action within India and with other interested countries.

The Workshop will be held from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm, and be followed by lunch.  A separate registration is required, along with a nominal Workshop fee ($50 for members of PATH associations, $55 for all others).  Registration may be done in advance through WHTC registration or at the door.  The Workshop agenda will be available on PATH’s website soon (

WHTC 2009 is a biennial event organized under the auspices of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE). The Convention serves as a unique platform for exploring sustainable energy options complemented by novel technological innovations. WHTC 2009 is aimed at the strategists of the energy industry, in particular researchers, policy makers, investors, energy producers and consumers to align their efforts & knowledge relating to the production, usage, handling and safety of hydrogen as an energy carrier.

PATH is an international coalition of hydrogen associations, working together to develop and strengthen the global hydrogen energy industry.  For more information, visit

The National Hydrogen Association (U.S.) is a founding member of PATH and represents industry, educational and research interests.  For more information on the NHA, please

The U.S. Department of Energy provides cost-shared funding support for the NHA’s Codes & Standards program.  To learn more about the DOE’s Hydrogen Program, please visit

A Numerical Study of Hydrogen or Helium Release and Mixing in Partially Confined Spaces
Kuldeep Prasad, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Development of the hydrogen economy will require a better understanding of the potential for fires and explosions associated with the unintended release of hydrogen within a structure. The ability to predict the mixing and dispersion behavior of hydrogen, when released into a partially confined space (e.g. hydrogen leak from automobiles parked in a residential garage) is critical to the safe use of hydrogen products.

Further Experiences In Permitting And Safety Of Integrated Hydrogen Systems
Susan Schoenung, Longitude 122 West, Inc.

Under the auspices of the International Energy Agency’s Hydrogen Implementing Agreement, a working group has been evaluating and comparing experiences with integrated hydrogen demonstration systems, including a comparison of permitting requirements and safety designs. The group, Annex18 "Evaluation of Integrated Systems," has considered recently developed projects for both vehicle refueling stations and also fuel cell power systems with hydrogen as energy storage medium and fuel.