New International Working Group Focuses on Hydrogen-Specific Detectors
Karen Hall, National Hydrogen Association

ISO TC 197 has formed a new Working Group (WG 13: HYDROGEN DETECTORS) to focus on the development of an international standard for hydrogen-specific detectors. The group held their inaugural meeting on 23 & 24 January in Tokyo, convened by Dr. Ichiro Matsubara. Representatives from Japan, Korea, USA, and France were present.

The background for the formation of WG13 was presented by Convener Matsubara. He explained that in May 2005, an ad hoc group meeting in Washington DC identified that there is currently no international standard for hydrogen-specific sensors. Japan has recently undergone deregulation to enable broad use of hydrogen, including the deployment of hydrogen refueling stations. This deregulation was made possible by securing safety concerns. One common fundamental safety element is monitoring for hydrogen leaks. For ease and simplification of the regulation, it is desirable to detect hydrogen selectively, rather than simply as one of the flammable gases, such as exhaust gases.

IEC 61779, which covers requirements for flammable gas detection, contains requirements that are an integral part of the activity of WG 13, which is ISO Working Draft (WD) 24162. The requirements of control systems as well as installation requirements are excluded from the draft standard being prepared by WG13. Only performance requirements and test methods for hydrogen-specific detectors will be covered.

While IEC 61779 covers detectors for flammable gases, there are no provisions for measuring range, selectivity and poisoning, which are considered essential for securing the safety of hydrogen installations. Likewise, UL 2075 covers toxic and combustible gas and vapor detectors and sensors intended to be portable or employed in indoor or outdoor locations in accordance with the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70.

IEC 61779 is currently maintained by IEC TC 31, and parts 1 and 6 are being incorporated into IEC 60079 - 29 (-1 and -2, respectively). Parts 2-5 have been repealed. IEC 60079 - 29 -1 and IEC 60079 - 29 - 2 have not yet been published. Therefore, WG13 has taken all of the appropriate requirements from IEC 61779 as a baseline for WD 26142. Some requirements have been modified for hydrogen-specific detection.

The ISO WD took as many provisions from the IEC standard as possible. However, WG13 recognizes that IEC 61779 does not address some issues that should be addressed for hydrogen-specific detectors.

Due to hydrogen's wide flammability range, it is desirable to detect lower concentrations with more accuracy than afforded in IEC 61779. WD 24162 proposes a slight modification of the calibration curve and accuracy range allowed in IEC 61779 in order to make them more appropriate to the parts per million (ppm) range desired for detection of hydrogen concentration. Response time, short-term stability, long-term stability, recovery time and poisoning will all be addressed, utilizing the requirements of IEC 61779 where applicable.

The existing IEC standard suggests a very sophisticated test chamber due to the wide variety of gases that are to be detected. The new ISO WD proposes a simpler test chamber that addresses the issues of hydrogen detection only.

The Working Group is now attempting to create a standard similar to standards accepted for flammable gas detection devices, but modified for the unique needs of a stationary hydrogen facility. They are also working to simplify any tests where doing so does not compromise the intent, but merely avoids steps and equipment that are designed to test detection equipment for gases other than hydrogen.

Anyone interested in applying to join WG13 is encouraged to contact the Administrator of their National Technical Advisory Group (TAG). In the US, contact Debbie Angerman at CGA.

Natural Gas Vehicle Update

On January 26, 2006, Mr. Hank Seiff, from the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation, presented the attached information to participants in the NGV2/HGV2 TAG teleconference.

The Clean Vehicle Education Foundation (CVEF) has been awarded a three-year "Natural Gas Vehicle Cylinder Safety, Training and Inspection Program" contract by DOE. The overall object of the program is to increase the understanding of the safe and proper use and maintenance of vehicular CNG fuel containers. The program includes the following phases:

  • Public and Industry Awareness Campaign
  • Training Scholarships
  • Evaluate Current Training and Testing Practices
  • CNG Cylinder Safety Monitoring and Investigation Activities
  • CNG Cylinder Recertification (process to certify tanks beyond original life) 
  • Compressed Hydrogen/Hydrogen/Natural Gas (HCNG) Cylinder Safety Considerations

More about the program can be found at:
and in this press release (113Kb PDF)

International Standards Update
Debbie Angerman, US TAG ISO TC 197

ISO TC 196 WG 8: Hydrogen Generators
The Draft International Standard (DIS) vote on ISO/DIS 22734-1,Hydrogen generators using water electrolysis process-Part 1: Industrial and commercial applications passed. Comments have been referred back to WG8 before proceeding to FDIS (Final Draft International Standard) Approval voting.

ISO/CD 22734-2 Hydrogen generators using water electrolysis process * Part 2: Residential applications, is circulated for comments until 2 May 2006 with the purpose of reaching consensus on the technical content of the document. The committee draft is a product of WG8. US TAG members are asked to carefully study the text and submit all pertinent comments at this stage. Please e-mail your comments to Debbie Angerman no later than April 14.

The second committee draft (CD) ISO 16111 Transportable gas storage devices --Hydrogen absorbed in reversible metal hydride, is being circulated for approval among the P-members of ISO/TC 197. U.S. TAG members are reminded to e-mail your vote and any comments using the comments template to Debbie Angerman.

This second committee draft has been prepared by ISO/TC 197 WG 10. Ned Stetson, US, is the convener. It replaces ISO/TC 197 document N 304 and addresses the comments that were received during its circulation. The TC 197 Secretary will forward this second CD to ISO/TC 58/SC3 Gas cylinder design so that they can provide their comments as well.

Liquid Hydrogen
The deadline for submitting responses to N316, 5-Year Systematic review of ISO 13984:1999, Liquid hydrogen--Land vehicle fueling system interface has been extended until March 6. Members of the U.S. TAG are asked to provide a response to the 5-year systematic review questionnaire. Note that participants are requested to work on this standard if the decision is to revise it. Participants are asked to comment and provide expertise. Attendance at meetings, although preferred, is not a requirement to participate.

Call for Participants
ISO/TC 197 is inviting hydrogen experts to join its ad hoc group on hydrogen components. The work of the ad hoc group is to prepare the following:

  • A list of existing international standards that can be used as is for hydrogen applications
  • A list of existing international standards that can be used for hydrogen applications with a few modifications
  • A list of components for which no existing international standard is recognized as being suitable for hydrogen use or for which existing international standard would require many changes to be considered suitable for hydrogen applications.

As the task at hand is quite specific to hydrogen, the ad hoc group is looking for experts that are knowledgeable in the field of hydrogen components. Specifically, the ad hoc group is looking for experts that are involved in the manufacturing or use of any of the following hydrogen components:

  • Hydrogen ground storage tanks
  • Metal hydride storage tanks (stationary and onboard)
  • Liquid hydrogen refueling connectors
  • Interface between the filling station and vehicles
  • Dispensers
  • Pumps
  • Compressors
  • Pressure relief valves
  • Burst discs
  • Automatic shut-off valves
  • Manual shut-off valves
  • Check valves
  • Pressure regulators
  • Pressure gauges
  • Hydrogen flow meters
  • Rigid pressure lines
  • Flexible pressure lines
  • Fittings
  • Hydrogen injectors
  • Hydrogen vent systems
  • Detectors of hydrogen impurities
  • Filters
  • Hydrogen mass measurement devices
  • Heat exchangers
  • Seals
  • Pressure sensors
  • Level sensors
  • Break away devices
  • Hydrogen combustors

If you are interested in being part of this work, please contact your TAG Administrator. 

ISO/TC 197 is inviting hydrogen experts to join its working groups WG 11 which deals with gaseous hydrogen refueling stations and WG 13 for hydrogen detectors

Specifically, ISO/TC 197 WG 11 is looking for experts that are involved in the design, manufacture or installation of hydrogen infrastructure.

ISO/TC 197 WG 13 is looking for experts that are concerned with hydrogen detection in stationary applications. The working group would benefit from the expertise of individuals representing manufacturers and users of hydrogen sensors.

Should you be interested in becoming a member of one of these ISO/TC 197 working groups or require further information, please contact your National TAG Administrator. If you do not know your TAG Administrator (Debbie Angerman in the US), you can contact the ISO/TC 197.

A working group expert is:

  • nominated by P-members having agreed to participate in the project concerned, or by A-, D-liaison organizations, or by other ISO or IEC committees in liaison;
  • acts in personal capacity, contributing on the basis of their own knowledge;
  • expected to be resource persons to assist the project leader if requested;
  • potentially serve as member of a working group if responsible committee decides to establish a working group. (From ISO Directives Supplement)

Fuel Cell Technologies
A request for comments on the hydrogen safety related aspects of IEC/CD 62282-6-2, Fuel cell technologies-Part 6-2: Micro Fuel Cell Power Systems-Performance has been sent to ISO TC 197 P-member countries. The US TAG is reminded to send comments to Debbie Angerman at CGA.

Comments have been received from U.S. TAG members on ICE/CD 62282-3-3, Fuel cell technologies--Part 3-3: Stationary Fuel Cell Power Plants--Installation. Barring objections from members of the US TAG, these comments will be forwarded to the ISO/TC 197 Secretary as from the U.S. TAG.

Debbi Angerman can be reach at 703-788-2700.

ASME B31.12 Project Team on H2 Piping and Pipelines Meets in Tampa
John Koehr, ASME

As a follow-on to January's article by Lou Hayden, "New ASME Code for Hydrogen Pipelines," the ASME B31.12 Project Team on Hydrogen Piping and Pipelines met January 31st -February 1st in Tampa, FL. The project team is comprised of volunteer subject matter experts from industry, government, and other standard development organizations. Draft sections of the new B31.12 Code are under development and were reviewed during the meeting. The project team is considering piping systems operating at pressures up to 15,000 psi and pipelines operating at pressures up to 3,000 psi. The B31.12 Code will be divided into four parts:

  1. A common section containing requirements and data referenced by the relevant code sections below, 
  2. Part A: Industrial piping systems, 
  3. Part B: Pipeline and distribution systems and
  4. Part C: Commercial and residential systems.

The complete draft B31.12 Code is expected to be forwarded to the B31 Standards Committee for review by September 2006, with a B31 Standards Committee ballot expected by the end of 2006.

In other activities, the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) Project Team on Hydrogen Tanks will be developing new rules for stationary, transportable, and portable tanks in hydrogen service at pressures up to 15,000 psi. The scope includes metallic and composite materials as well as pressure vessels for metal hydride storage. The project team met on February 15, 2006 in Portland, OR.A status report from the meeting is available.

For more information on ASME hydrogen codes and standards development, contact Gerry Eisenberg at 800-843-2763 or 973-882-1167.

ASME BPV Project Team on H2 Tanks Meets in Portland
John Koehr and Gerry Eisenberg, ASME

The ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) Project Team on Hydrogen Tanks met on February 15, 2006 in Portland, Oregon as part of the quarterly Boiler Code Week meetings. The project team is developing new rules for stationary, transportable, and portable tanks in hydrogen service at pressures up to 15,000 psi. The scope includes metallic and composite materials as well as pressure vessels for metal hydride storage. Key activities include:

  • Fracture resistance requirements: A recommended new Article KD-10 has been proposed for ASME BPVC Section VIII Division 3, providing additional toughness requirements for all-steel pressure vessels in Hydrogen service. 
  • Addition of new materials (e.g. Al alloy 6061) not already covered in Section VIII Division 3.
  • Design Margins for Composite Vessels: A technical report was prepared to address design margins for composite tanks that will build upon the information developed in the Hydrogen Standardization Interim Report for Tanks, Piping and Pipelines which was distributed to the Project Team. The scope of this study includes stationary (e.g. storage) and transport tanks; it does not include vehicle fuel tanks. The report provides recommended design margins relative to short term burst pressure and interim margins for long term stress rupture based on a fixed 15 year design life for fully wrapped and hoop wrapped composite tanks with metal liners. 
  • New Code Case for Composite Vessels: A draft Code Case is being developed by a Task Group that covers the fabrication of fiber reinforced thermosetting plastic pressure vessels for high-pressure service. The Case covers three applications of pressure vessels, Class A-portable, Class B-transportable, and Class C stationary applications. 
  • Revision to Code Case 2390: expanding the scope of metallic lined composite reinforced circumferentially wrapped storage and transport pressure vessels to Hydrogen service at 15,000 psi.
  • Metal Hydride Vessel Design: A draft Code Case has proposed for Section VIII Division 1 application. 
  • Improved methods for inservice inspection.

Contact Gerry Eisenberg for more information on ASME hydrogen codes and standards development. Gary Eisenberg can be reach at 800-843-2763 or 973-882-1167.

Effective Cylinder Testing Led to DOT Exemption for Air Cargo Transport
Barbara Van Fleet, Jadoo Power

Fuel cells generate electrical energy directly through the use of hydrogen gas. This is accomplished cleanly and efficiently without emitting any hazardous substances. Though fuel cells have been in existence for over a hundred years, commercially viable power systems have only recently become a reality. The four major areas of fuel cell application are: transportation, stationary portable and micro. The major challenge for all these segments is expansion of the infrastructure that can support the demand applications - all but portable, where the infrastructure exists and is in use now. The Portable segment is the largest user base of fuel cell technology today for this reason.

End user requirements, including safety, usability and portability, were foremost in the development of the NABII portable fuel cell and its industry standard N-Stor fuel canisters. Jadoo's N-Stor fuel canister stores hydrogen absorbed in a metal hydride powder. This storage method allows three times the hydrogen storage volumetrically as typical compressed gas storage. As this type of storage system is relatively new, regulations for transportation and safety are being developed in parallel to sales of the technology.

The N-Stor is a total "system-level" approach to ensuring safety during use and transport. Extensive tests of the storage system components including; the cylinder the valve and the thermal relief device, as well as the total system were required. Tests to confirm the durability of the cylinder, as defined in 49 CFR included bursting to destruction, cycling, and flattening. Testing of the thermal relief device is also specified by 49 CFR, including verification of activation temperature, extrusion tests and leak tests. Bonfire testing was also conducted to verify that the device would successfully protect the canister. The valve tests included operation over extreme temperature ranges, cycling and burst testing. The successful completion of these test allowed Jadoo to receive the first DOT exemption for air cargo transport ever awarded for a hydrogen fuel canister system.

In conjunction with the tests required to prove safe transportability, Jadoo conducted a series of non-compulsory tests to further validate the durability and safety of the N-Stor. Drop and crush testing as well as "projectile testing" was performed on the N-Stor fuel canister.

Jadoo is also working with such other agencies as the National Association of State Fire Marshals in order to pass on information that will help others in the push to rollout the safest and most cost-effective hydrogen economy today.

For more information, please contact Jadoo at 916.608.9044