One step closer to hydrogen cars
As vehicles move towards more eco-friendly fuels such as hydrogen, there is a need to standardise regulations for hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS). However, permitting issues have long delayed the growth of fuelling stations and introduction of hydrogen vehicles. The EU-funded project 'Handbook for approval of hydrogen refuelling stations' (HyApproval) elaborated a guide for authorities to approve hydrogen refuelling stations and overcome obstacles for exploitation. In addition to the handbook, the project worked on refuelling station guidelines and contributing to international standards. The project team began by defining three types and sizes of HRS for certification in European countries, including safety equipment and regulations. It collected all the required information to create the handbook, incorporating considerations by relevant authorities in various European countries. Relevant information from China, Japan and the USA was collected additionally. The handbook covered safety issues for HRS design, construction and operation, supplemented by risk assessment workshops and accident scenarios simulations to develop best practices in the field. HyApproval also produced technical reports including vehicle receptacle geometry, data exchange between the vehicle and HRS, refuelling processes and safety during refuelling. Moreover, a manual for drivers was developed and met with international success. Raising public awareness about HRS and dissemination of the handbook were also part of the project's mandate. the handbook that finally emerged from the project features two parts: 'Guidelines for design, operation and maintenance of an HRS' and the 'Permitting process'. This is an important first step towards the establishment of common European policy and a basis for national authorities to adopt similar permitting processes.