Scope Issues within ISO/TC WG13 Hydrogen Detectors
Andrei V. Tchouvelev, A.V. Tchouvelev & Associates Inc.

Hydrogen Energy Technologies Workshop: Safety, Installations, and Permitting 

SAE International Announces Hydrogen Storage Symposium (472Kb PDF)

Have Your Say
Karen Hall, National Hydrogen Association

NFPA 2 Hydrogen Technologies Code Technical Committee Meets
Karen Hall , National Hydrogen Association

Did You Know?
The schedule for developing NFPA 52 has been modified to give more time for proposals and to coincide with the NFPA 55 schedule.

Scope Issues within ISO/TC WG13 Hydrogen Detectors
Andrei V. Tchouvelev, A.V. Tchouvelev & Associates Inc.

ISO/TC 197 WG13 Hydrogen Detectors met in Vancouver on October 31 – November 1 to discuss outstanding issues to date and finalize the text of its first Committee Draft (CD) international standard.

A key outstanding issue that was on the meeting agenda was the final definition of and agreement on scope. The Technical Committee, during its plenary meeting in Paris last June, gave a direct instruction to the Working Group to finalize and articulate a scope that would address issues raised in the Plenary, including the need to concentrate on hydrogen refuelling stations without excluding other stationary applications. Considering the debate and suggestions voiced out at the plenary meeting, I was asked by the WG leadership to share my views in this regard with the Working Group members and, thus, assist in resolving this issue. The information in this article, therefore, contains my views, and not necessarily those of the WG13.

My presentation highlighted a few important aspects that should be taken into account from the prospective of scope.

Download Presentation (530Kb PDF) 

First, the scope should be tightly related to the scope of the Gaseous Hydrogen Refuelling Stations Draft Technical Specification (DTS) that is being developed by the ISO/TC 197 WG11. This DTS covers on-site hydrogen generation by electrolysis and reformer technology, hydrogen purification, compression, storage and dispensing to vehicles (with the scope ending at the dispenser nozzle). Hydrogen vaporization from liquid is also part of the scope of the DTS. This means the future standard should be able to “cover” all components of a hydrogen refuelling station listed above.

Second, the normative references of the above DTS as well as Draft International Standards (DIS) for both electrolysers and reformers are calling for IEC 61779 group of standards (namely -1, -4 and -6) to refer to hydrogen detectors. This indicates that these standards anticipate the use of single level detection method. It is fully anticipated that once WG13 document is published it will replace the IEC standard in the normative references. This in turn means that the future standard should not only consider multilevel detection but also should include single level detection. It was pointed out that there is no principal difference between single and multilevel detection; the real key is detection of and monitoring hydrogen concentrations, while the number of set points does not affect a detection apparatus performance.

Third, since the future standard intends to cover only test methods and performance requirements, it is important to link it with the existing IEC 61779-6 standard that regulates selection, installation, use and maintenance of hydrogen detection apparatus.

Fourth, the scope should ensure that other stationary applications that might have similar performance requirements are not excluded. Examples could include variety of underground parking garages, vehicle maintenance facilities, fuel cell stationary units located indoors, etc.

The revised text of the future CD takes all of the above points into account. I personally believe that the revised document adequately reflects the direction of the TC regarding the scope.

In summary the meeting was very interesting and productive. I’d like to express my gratitude to the WG convenor Dr. Ichiro Matsubara and the WG secretary Ms. Yuko Yasutake for inviting me to join the WG13 membership (which I did) and giving me the opportunity to express my views. The group displayed strong focus and intention to continue the international standard development as per ISO schedule. The convenor plans to release the CD for comments to ISO/TC 197 P-members by the end of November 2006.

Last but not least, many thanks to NRC Centre for Fuel Cell Innovation (see below) and Ballard for their hospitality in arranging the meeting space and very interesting technical tours, and, of course, to Ms. Yuko Yasutake, for helping us all out-of-town experts with the meeting logistics. 

About the NRC Centre for Fuel Cell Innovation

Natural Research Council Canada Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation hosted the WG 13 meeting in Vancouver. NRC-IFCI has the facilities and capabilities to host integrated technology demonstration projects, with a primary objective to address both technical and non-technical barriers to deployment of fuel cell, hydrogen and clean energy technologies. They achieve this by collaborating with industry partners and other government departments to design, install and operate prototype and early commercial clean energy systems. They also partner with academic institutes to allow assessment of social impacts of new technology deployment.

NRC-IFCI addresses non-technical barriers to commercialization through engaging permitting authorities, identifying legal and liability concerns, providing input to codes & standards development and promoting public awareness & acceptance of clean energy technologies.

NRC-IFCI technology demonstrations are listed on their website at:

During a tour of the facility, WG13 members were able to see the unique systems designed specifically for this facility for detecting and monitoring safety throughout the laboratories. WG13 thanks NRC for their hospitality, and the opportunity to visit this magnificent facility.

Hydrogen Energy Technologies Workshop

In November 13, 2006, the National Hydrogen Association held the workshop, "Hydrogen Energy Technologies - Safety, Installations, and Permitting," in conjunction with the Fuel Cell Seminar.  The workshop was a focused ½-day workshop aimed at technical individuals who wanted to learn more about hydrogen energy technologies and the application of codes and standards that relate to them. 

The interactive workshop which featured lots of questions from attendees also included the opportunity to handle some portable fuel cell and refueling systems (courtesy of Jadoo) and metal hydride canisters that had been bonfire and overpressure tested.  The latter showed that even when brought to failure, hydrogen canisters will safety maintain their structural integrity.  The NHA would like to thank our four National Hydrogen Association member experts who presented technical data and lessons learned from real permitting and installation experiences.  Their presentations are included below.

Workshop Agenda

1:00 pmWelcome - National Hydrogen Association (NHA)

 The Newest Codes & Standards for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Patrick Serfass
Technical Director - National Hydrogen Association
Download Presentation (4,085Kb PDF)

Safety and Permitting of the Hawaii Fuel Cell Test Facility
Mitch Ewan
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
Download Presentation (4,903Kb PDF)

Tools for Planning, Permitting and Siting Hydrogen Installations
Jim Ohi
Leader, Hydrogen and Natural Gas Systems - National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Download Presentation (8,351Kb PDF)

3:00 pmBreak

First-hand Experiences with Hydrogen Installations
Tom Elzey
Market Specialist, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Download Presentation (4,552Kb PDF)

First-hand Experiences with Fuel Cell Installations
Terry Musil
Senior Program Mgr, Regulations & Standards - Jadoo Power Systems
Download Presentation (3,939Kb PDF)

5:00 pm Adjourn

Have Your Say
Karen Hall, National Hydrogen Association

The NHA is actively involved in a number of national and international code and standard development activities. NHA staff and Codes & Standards Steering Committee members are voting members of several Technical Committees and Working Groups. Therefore, there are many opportunities for interested parties to provide input on documents, even if you do not hold a seat on the applicable committee.

There are several feedback options presented in the Safety Report. For example, the ISO updates, as well as other Standard Development Organization update articles, often describe documents out for review and voting. We describe the document and timeframe, and ask any interested party to let us know if they want a review copy, and when we need the input for inclusion in the NHA response. Staff members represent the NHA on several Technical Committees, so comments received by NHA members will be included in our response. In the event that comments indicate an item is controversial and there is no NHA consensus, we will abstain and forward feedback received, as NHA comments. Feedback from non-NHA members is also welcome. We will do what we can to point you in the appropriate direction to have your comments considered. In some cases this may be through your national Technical Advisory Group, or to a committee Chair.

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report also publishes the minutes of monthly teleconferences and In-Person meetings of the National Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Codes & Standards Coordinating Committee. If you would like to present an issue for broad discussion, consider putting the item forward on the agenda for this meeting. You can send such items to me or Russ Hewett at NREL. 

There are also times when the timing of the NHA C&S Steering Committee telecons corresponds to input timeframes for documents. In this case those topics are on the agenda and NHA staff collects verbal and written input. Again, if you would like to present an issue for broad discussion, consider putting the item forward on the agenda for this meeting. 

Also, you will see a number of resources on the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report website. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to publish an article on each draft code or standard that is out for comment; however the NHA wants to make sure all interested stakeholders are aware of the documents, particularly when they are out for comment or vote. To achieve this, we work closely with Kelvin Hecht (see to provide an updated list of codes ands standards that are out for Review. From the main page of the website (, on the left under "Committee Resources," you will see a tab labelled "Documents for Review." Clicking here takes you to a page to specify whether you want to see the US National documents (such as NFPA, ICC, or other national efforts) or International Documents (such as ISO TC 197and IEC TC 105). You could also search by keyword from the Archives page, if you are looking for anything published in the Safety Report about a particular technology.

The point is that if you have a particular interest in a document, please let us know. If you have comments about a document out for review or vote, again, please let us know. NHA staff will take these comments into consideration when providing the NHA comments or vote on a document. We will be able to reflect your concerns/views/issues if you share them with us. And we are happy to do this through NHA comments, with or without attribution to your organization, as you request.

NFPA 2 Hydrogen Technologies Code Technical Committee Meets
Karen Hall, National Hydrogen Association 

The new NFPA Technical Committee on Hydrogen Technologies met on November 2 & 3 in Golden Colorado to begin work on the development of NFPA 2: Hydrogen Technologies Code. This document will extract the hydrogen technologies requirements of various other NFPA codes.

The Technical Committee members were assigned to groups to extract relevant information and identify gaps. NFPA has several existing codes and standards that address the use of hydrogen and hydrogen technologies, including the following:

  1. NFPA 2 Hydrogen Technologies Code 2010. NFPA’s new hydrogen project that will consolidate the requirements of all of the following documents and address any areas that the current NFPA hydrogen documents do not address.
  2. NFPA 55 Standard for the Storage, Use, and Handling of Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids in Portable and Stationary Containers, Cylinders, and Tanks 2005. Gives storage, handling, and use requirements for compressed gases including hydrogen. There are two chapters in this document devoted to gaseous and liquefied hydrogen storage systems.
  3. NFPA 52 Vehicular Fuel Systems Code 2006 edition. This code covers hydrogen and natural vehicular fuel systems. These systems include storage of fuels at dispensing facilities and dispensing facility operations, design, maintenance. There are also some onboard vehicle requirements (primarily for natural gas). This code is a comprehensive code for hydrogen fueling stations.
  4. NFPA 853 Stationary Fuel Cell Power Plants 2003 Edition. This document addresses installation of stationary fuel cells and refers to NFPA 55 for the hydrogen storage requirements. The 2003 edition expands coverage to fuel cells smaller than 50 kW.
  5. NFPA 30A Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages 2003 edition. Cover refueling facilities that use liquid fuels and combinations of liquid and gaseous fuels. Also covers the repair of any vehicle including vehicles using hydrogen. Refers to NFPA 52 for most gaseous fuel requirements.
  6. NFPA 70 National Electrical Code® 2002. Article 692 contains requirements for electrical safety for fuel cells.
  7. NFPA 497 Recommended Practice for the Classification of Flammable Liquids, Gases, or Vapors and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas 2004 edition. Gives requirements for the electrical classification of areas where hydrogen would be used or stored. Electrical classification is a critical issue and can have a significant impact on project costs.
  8. NFPA 88A Standard for Parking Structures 2002 Edition. Does not contain specific requirements for hydrogen vehicles but does not prohibit them in garages.
  9. NFPA 86 Standard for Ovens and Furnaces 2003. Contains requirements for hydrogen storage systems that are used for gas quenching operations.
  10. NFPA 5000™ Building Construction and Safety Code™ 2006.Contains construction requirements for buildings storing hydrogen. Hydrogen is not addressed directly but as a flammable gas in the hazardous material chapter.
  11. NFPA 1 Uniform Fire Code™ 2006 edition. An extract document that contains large pieces of NFPA 52 and 55 (among many other documents). The fire code is meant to address operational safety as apposed to the building code which addresses construction safety.

Key milestone dates for the code development cycles for these codes are as follows:

DocumentProposal Closing DateFinal date for proposal review meetingComment Closing DateFinal date for comment review meetingFinal Document Issued

NFPA 2 A09 cycle11/23/072/24/089/1/0811/3/088/2/09

NFPA 52*F08 cycle5/26/078/25/073/2/085/4/081/25/08

F08 cycle


NFPA 853 A09 Cycle


A09 Cycle


A08 Cycle


A2010 Cycle


* After reviewing the timetable required to coordinate NFPA 52 and NFPA 55, the decision was reached by the chairs of the IMG and VAF committees to move NFPA 52 to the F2008 revision cycle (the same cycle same NFPA 55). This move would accomplish at least two things:

  1. It would give the task group working on the coordination effort more time to ensure that that all issues are completely addressed.
  2. It would allow NFPA 52 to extract any new requirements dealing with hydrogen storage systems that do not exist in the current edition of NFPA 55 but either are addressed in 52 or need to be addressed in 55 and 52.

Special thanks go to Carl Rivkin, Principal Chemical Engineer, Hydrogen Coordinating Group Project Manager, NFPA, who is the NFPA 2 staff liaison, for the NFPA code summaries and milestone dates. 

In the event that gaps are identified, proposals will be made to the Technical Committees responsible for the appropriate codes. In this way NFPA 2 will pull together relevant hydrogen requirements without conflicting with other NFPA documents. NFPA 2 may also contain appropriate annexes and administrative data to improve its usefulness to code officials and other who use the new code.

The meeting included three technical presentations on work that is ongoing in the areas of hydrogen safety technical validation and fire safety. Future meetings will be held twice each year and continue to include technical presentations.

Did You Know?

The schedule for developing NFPA 52 has been modified to give more time for proposals and to coincide with the NFPA 55 schedule.