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Pre-normative research on safe indoor use of fuel cells and hydrogen systems

Final Report Summary - HYINDOOR (Pre-normative research on safe indoor use of fuel cells and hydrogen systems)

Executive Summary:
Hydrogen energy applications often require that systems be used indoors (e.g. forklifts in warehouse, refuelling stations, fuel cells for offgrid or backup applications. It may also be necessary or desirable to locate some hydrogen system components/equipment in indoor or outdoor enclosures for security or safety reasons to isolate them from the end-user and the public, or from weather conditions. Use of hydrogen in confined environment requires detailed assessment of hazards and associated risks, including potential risk prevention and mitigation features. The release of hydrogen can potentially lead to the accumulation of hydrogen and the formation of a flammable hydrogen-air mixture. The aim of the Hyindoor project is to develop safety design guidelines & engineering tools as well as RCS recommendations intended to prevent and mitigate hazardous consequences of hydrogen release in confined environments. Closing knowledge gaps is critical to this effort in 3 main areas: hydrogen release conditions and accumulation, vented deflagration and underventilated flame regimes. Each of these phenomena has been subject to analytical, experimental and numerical analysis within a dedicated work package (WP2-Dispersion and accumulation, WP3-Vented deflagrations, WP4-Indoor fire). They each have shared state of the art information in order to prioritize the research objectives. Existing analytical and numerical models were initially used as well as RCS lists (which were updated from time to time) were prepared and RCS
gaps were identified. These results were used to facilitate the formulation of the test program, while the experimental results were subsequently used to validate and improve the models and formulate guidelines (WP5-Safety strategies and guidelines) and identify RCS recommendations (WP6-RCS).
Project Context and Objectives:
Hydrogen indoor use is an emerging early market which is more and more developed in developed countries. The applications are numerous : hydrogen fuelled forklifts for logistic warehouses, backup power for strategic applications (banks, datacenter, ambassades, ...) off-grid electricity production (wifi and mobile telephony antenna, isolated locations), refueling stations (electrolysers or small reformers, compressor zone, ...).
The Hyindoor project addresses the issue of safe indoor use of hydrogen and fuel cells systems (priority 4.6 of the call FCH-JU-2010-1) for early markets. The consortium includes key players in the field comprising industry (Air Liquide, HFCS), research organisations (CEA, KIT-G, HSL, JRC, NCSRD), academia (UU), and an actor in RCS development (CCS Global Group).
The project provides scientific and engineering knowledge for the specification of costeffective means to control hazards specific to the use of hydrogen indoors or in confined space and developing state-of-the-art guidelines for European stakeholders. Specific knowledge gaps have been closed in the areas k=like indoor hydrogen accumulations, vented deflagrations, and under-ventilated jet fires in order to be able to optimally implement the most effective safety strategies. The generated knowledge has been translated into state-of-the-art safety guidelines including specific engineering tools supporting their implementation. Recommendations have been formulated with regards to evolutions needed in the Regulations Codes and Standards framework at European and International levels to support the safe introduction of fuel cells and hydrogen in early markets.
The outputs of the project is being and will be disseminated to the hydrogen safety community through different channels including international and national associations (IAHySafe, EHA, EIGA, etc.), standard development organisation (ISO, CEN, etc.), national regulators (e.g. HSE/HSL in the UK) and educational/training programs (e.g. MSc course in Hydrogen Safety Engineering and International short course and advanced research workshop series “Progress in Hydrogen Safety“ at Ulster).

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