California Division of Measurement Standards to Adopt Specifications for Hydrogen Fuel

In 2005, California Senate Bill 76 placed the responsibility to adopt specifications for hydrogen fuel on the Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Measurement Standards (DMS). This law requires DMS to have the standards in place on or before January 1, 2008 . DMS is required to adopt by reference the latest standards for hydrogen established by an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards development organization. If such a standard has not been developed, DMS is required to develop interim standards. 

DMS has determined that no ANSI accredited standards development organization has established standards for hydrogen fuel used in fuel cell or internal combustion motor vehicles. Therefore, the Department proposes to establish interim standards for hydrogen fuel. 

The Department of Food and Agriculture began the formal process of adopting hydrogen fuel regulations on October 5, 2007 . Attached are copies of the notice of intent to adopt regulations, a plain English policy statement and a copy of the proposed regulations. Additional information can be found on the DMS web site at:

Department is seeking comments by all interested parties.

Supporting documents:

The written comment period closes at 5:00 p.m. on December 17, 2007. The Department will consider only comments received at the Department offices by that time. Submit comments to: Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Measurement Standards, 6790 Florin Perkins Road, Suite 100, Sacramento, California 95828. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile (FAX) at (916) 229-3026 or by email at

The Department has scheduled a public hearing on this proposed action. The hearing will be held at 1001 I Street, Sacramento , California 95812, at 1:00 p.m. on December 17, 2007. At this hearing, any person may present statements of arguments orally or in writing relevant to the proposed action. The Department requests but does not require that persons who make oral comments at the hearing also submit a written copy of their testimony at the time of the hearing.

If you have any questions regarding this proposed action, please contact Kristin Macey , Branch Chief, Division of Measurement Standards, at (916) 229‑3044 or

Update on the International Effort to Develop a Hydrogen Fuel Quality Standard
Karen Hall, National Hydrogen Association

ISO TC 197 WG12 met on November 6&7 in Montecatini Terme, Italy in conjunction with the 2007 World Hydrogen Technologies Convention. ISO TS 14687-2: Hydrogen fuel — Product Specification — Part 2: Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications for road vehicles, has been approved for publication. The WG is now working to develop a Committee Draft (CD) on the path of publishing an International Standard on this subject.

At the 9th WG 12 meeting in Seoul, Korea, WG12 determined that “completion of the CD will depend on progress in cell testing, fuel provider integration, and analytical methodology development.” Accordingly, WG12 will gather data and conduct analyses and attempt to prepare a CD by April 2008. In preparing the CD, WG 12 must also address technical comments received during the review and balloting of DTS14687-2, particularly those concerning the availability of standardized analytical methodologies capable of measuring contaminants at the levels specified in TS14687-2. In view of the data and analyses needed to prepare the CD, WG12 acknowledges that the CD will require extensive review and refinement before a Draft International Standard (DIS) can be prepared and submitted. The CD will also reflect the interim nature of the requirements that are appropriate for the limited production stage of fuel cell vehicle development.

The WG12 Secretary has drafted an initial mark up for a CD based on the approved TS. WG 12 members will review this document and send comments to the WG12 Secretary before the end of January 2008. Proposed documentation for the limits on non-hydrogen constituents shown in Table 1 of the document are to accompany the comments. The WG12 Secretary will incorporate comments and circulate a revised initial CD to WG12 members by the end of February 2008.

WG12 members will review the single-cell test protocol, data reporting format, and test matrix submitted by the North American team and send comments to the WG12 Secretary by January 06, 2008. The European program FCTESqa will also submit its test protocol and data reporting format to the Secretary for distribution and comment by WG12 members during the same time period. The North American team will integrate elements from the FCTESqa and JARI test protocols and incorporate comments on all three documents, as appropriate, and submit a revised protocol, data reporting format, and test matrix to the WG12 Secretary within 30 days after receiving WG12 comments from the WG12 Secretary. The test protocol, data reporting format, and test matrix will be for internal use only by WG12 members conducting tests to help determine fuel quality specifications. The documents are intended to provide a common baseline for testing and reporting data by WG12 members and to help enable better sharing of test data among its members and between the testing and modeling communities.

WG12 will harmonize the test protocol it adopts for use by its members with the activities under IEC TC105 WG11 and with the activities under FCTESqa. The round robin testing underway in the U.S. will be extended to include testing laboratories in Korea, Japan, and the EC.

WG 12 will explore dynamic drive cycle test protocols applicable to short-stack testing by gathering recommended drive cycles from industry in key member countries. Recommendations gathered will be reported at the next WG12 meeting.

The new CD will also include a section on safety and detection, like in the original ISO 14687: 1999 document. The original text was revised to reflect the ISO/IEC Guides 51 and 73 recommendations on safety and risk terminology as well as the concept of risk management. The bibliography will be extended to include relevant ISO and IEC documents, in particular a reference to the standard being developed by WG13 for hydrogen detection apparatus.

WG12 will conduct an open workshop on fuel quality to involve and obtain input from a broader set of stakeholders, particularly in Europe. The workshop will be held in collaboration with the planned workshop on fuel quality to be held by FCTESqa in Europe in the Spring of 2009. Details of the WG12 workshop will be discussed at the next WG12 meeting.

The US offered to host the next meeting of WG12, which is tentatively scheduled for March 27-28, 2008, in either Sacramento or San Francisco, CA . This is immediately before the 2008 NHA Conference and Hydrogen Expo, which is scheduled for March 30- April 4 in Sacramento, CA.

ISO TC 197 WG13 Meets in Italy
Karen Hall, National Hydrogen Association

ISO TC 197 working group 13 (WG13) met on November 5 & 6 in Italy, in conjunction with the World Hydrogen Technologies Convention. WG 13 is developing an International Standard for hydrogen detection apparatus. The document had been distributed for comments, and the working group has met twice to resolve the comments received. Many comments were resolved in June, when WG13 met in Seoul, Korea. The remaining comments were addressed at this meeting in Italy.

The scope of the document has changed to indicate the document is applicable for “single and/or multiple safety operations,” which means the number of actions/alarms that the detection apparatus is capable of producing can be one or more. The apparatus still must always continuously, in time domain and concentration domain, monitor hydrogen concentrations over the measuring range of the apparatus.

The WG13 convenor and secretary will prepare an official document of the resolution of the comments for ISO TC 197. The purpose of this article is to provide a short overview of the key progress made at this meeting.

One key area of progress has been in the agreement for cooperation between ISO TC 197 (Hydrogen Technologies) and IEC TC31 (Equipment for explosive atmospheres). It has been agreed that both technical committees will cooperate with each other “to make an effective and positive contribution to international standardization in matters of common interest.”

Based on several of the comments received, the working group discussed the distinction between requirements for the detection apparatus and requirements for the overall system design for a given installation. Since the document is meant to apply to the performance and test requirements for the detection apparatus which may then be used for stationary applications where continuous hydrogen monitoring is required, the system design for installations is outside the scope of the standard. The working group agreed that sensors tested in accordance with this standard may be appropriate for a large variety of installations, and therefore installation-specific requirements were not appropriate to this standard. To that end, the section on batteries was deleted from the draft because the method of backup power is a system design issue, not for the detection apparatus to decide.

There was also significant progress on the issues of measurement range and calibration. The US TAG and Canada had indicated interest in opening the measurement range defined by the standard to allow the broadest possible application of sensors that meet the requirements. WG13 agreed that the measuring range can be declared by the manufacturer based on user requirements, rather than requiring the range cover a minimum of 1000 ppm or lower. Hence, there is no limit for the declared measurement range, including above the lower flammability limit. For detectors that are intended to cover a range that includes 1% hydrogen in air, 1% or less hydrogen by volume shall be allowed to be a set point considering the importance of this concentration for safety operations. 

After much discussion, the working group realized this decision would have an impact on many areas of the document, such as the standard test gas to be used, calibration curves, and tolerances, to name a few. In the case of detection apparatus with a wide range of detection, multiple concentrations of test gases for the calibration test and performance tests such as temperature test and so on may be required. First of all, the working group has decided that the declared measurement range will have to be proven by at least three calibration curves points: one at the lower end, one at the higher end and one in the middle of the declared range. If the apparatus uses two or more sensor principles to cover a wide measuring range, additional point(s) will be necessary. For the same reason, the working group also introduced an “order of magnitude” rule specifying the number of test gases which is determined by the concentration ratio of the highest detection limit divided by the lowest detection limit. If the ratio is less than ten, then use one standard test gas. If the ratio is equal to or more than ten, then use two test gases, one is the standard test gas and the other with the lower end concentration. For example, a detection apparatus that is claimed to measure hydrogen concentrations between 100 ppm and 40,000 ppm (4% vol.) will have to have at least three calibration points at 100 ppm (lower end), 20000 ppm (middle of the range) and 40000 ppm (higher end), and at least two test gas points at 100ppm (lower end) and 20000 ppm (middle of the range). Necessity of additional test points between 100ppm and 20000ppm or 20000ppm and 40000ppm are to be considered. The working group will therefore continue to work on the document to address these issues.

There was also progress in understanding the requirements in existing IEC TC 31 documents, and ensuring that CD 26142 does not conflict with existing standards, unless there is technical justification to do so. This is the case for detectors designed to measure in the range below 1% hydrogen by volume. It may also be the case for detectors that may be designed to monitor hydrogen concentrations above 4% hydrogen by volume.

Another area where it may be justifiable to deviate from published IEC standards is for the tolerance allowed in testing. For the range that is already covered by IEC, the tolerance should be the same or we need to justify why it is different. One reason could be that tolerances will be higher due to the larger range of the detection apparatus.

The following is a schedule for the follow-on actions for WG13:

  • Homework list and minutes are to be distributed to WG13 members by November 19, 2007.
  • Homework is due by January 15, 2008.
  • Incorporate homework into the draft by January 31, 2008.
  • Complete a review by convenor by February 14, 2008.
  • Circulate revised draft to WG members by February 15, 2008.
  • Feedback/comments on the draft due by February 29, 2008.
  • Review of comments and final review by convenor and final adjustment in March.
  • Target date for submission of DIS end of March.
  • 5 month voting period, to include IEC TC 31.

The next meeting is likely to be held in Europe, in an effort to facilitate IEC TC 31 participation. This meeting is likely to be held in the Fall 2008 timeframe to resolve comments from the Draft International Standard (DIS).

National Hydrogen Association Charts Course for Codes & Standards in 2008
Karen Hall and Kyle Gibeault, National Hydrogen Association

On November 14th, 2007 , the Board of Directors of the National Hydrogen Association (NHA) met in Washington to establish priorities for 2008, including the NHA's safety, codes and standards (SCS) activity in the upcoming year. Recently awarded a new five-year contract for its technical SCS work, the NHA expects robust activity in this area through 2012.

Facilitating information exchange within the hydrogen and fuel cell communities is among the NHA’s top priorities for codes and standards in 2008. As part of these efforts, the NHA will continue to publish and distribute The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report . The NHA will continue to gather industry input on the issues, needs, and priorities of SCS, and will further develop industry consensus on state and national hydrogen and fuel cell programs.

In collaboration with the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, the NHA will engage in outreach efforts to increase awareness and understanding of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies among building code officials, fire marshals, and other individuals critical to permitting the implementation of hydrogen and fuel cell equipment. 

The NHA will continue its involvement in the Hydrogen Industry Panel on Codes, or HIPOC. Created in 2005, HIPOC is a joint effort between the International Code Council (ICC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the NHA. The member organizations of HIPOC are working to harmonize the ICC and NFPA codes and standards for hydrogen technologies. The NHA provides only administrative and clerical support to the panel, and will continue to serve this role in 2008.

Members of the NHA have emphasized the importance of international hydrogen standards to achieving technical consensus and avoiding trade barriers. To this end, NHA staff will continue to participate in several national and international codes and standards development organizations. The NHA is currently involved in ISO Technical Committee 197 on Hydrogen Technologies and its US TAG; the NFPA Hydrogen Technologies Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 2; and the NFPA Vehicular Alternative Fuels Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 52. These activities will continue, subject to the evolving needs of hydrogen industry.

European Hydrogen Association Meets With European Commission to Discuss Vehicle Regulations

The EHA met with the Commission to discuss regulation for L-type vehicles. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the position of L-type hydrogen vehicles in EU legislation. The Commission repeated its intention to provide a framework for EC type approval of L category (2&3 wheel vehicle) hydrogen vehicles. This will be done by amending the directive on fuel tanks for such vehicles (COM 97/24).

Main conclusions:

  1. The Commission would like to receive input form industry before mid December 2007 on the following topics:
    • prioritization of sub-categories of L category hydrogen vehicles for which regulation is needed

    • which requirements would be similar as for M and N hydrogen category vehicles: specific requirements that are different for M and N category vehicles. The European Hydrogen Association and Fuel Cell Europe will facilitate names of possible participants to the Hydrogen Group interested in L category vehicles
  2. The European Hydrogen Association and Fuel Cell Europe will facilitate input on the three topics mentioned above before mid December 2007.

The EHA also requested that the passage on hydrogen and natural gas mixtures (art 10.2) was clarified. The Commission thanked the EHA for bringing this to their attention and commented that the percentage was taken out the final proposal referring only to hydrogen/natural gas mixtures.

Correction to Last Month's Issue

In the October 2007 article: WG11: WI 20012: Gaseous hydrogen- Fuelling stationsI incorrectly reported the item had been proposed as an International Standard, and was subsequently revised to a Technical Specification. This activity was originally proposed as a Technical Report, following the discontinuation of a similar work item to develop an International Standard for hydrogen refuelling stations. Based on discussions at the 2003 ISO TC 197 Plenary, the work item was accepted as a Technical Specification.