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CORDIS - Résultats de la recherche de l’UE

Harmonisation of standards and regulations for a sustainable hydrogen and fuel cell technology

Final Report Summary - HARMONHY (Harmonisation of standards and regulations for a sustainable hydrogen and fuel cell technology)

The general objective of the HARMONHY project was to:
- identify what has to be done in order to close existing gaps that are present in the existing framework of non-harmonised items;
- help the setting up of a consistent European Union strategy to establish priorities on actions to be undertaken in the field of RCS related to fuel cell and hydrogen applications.

The HARMONY project was structured in five Work packages (WPs).

WP1 aimed at identifying and mapping the state-of-the-art of ongoing activities in hydrogen and fuel cell specific RCS in international organisations, namely the UNECE, ISO and IEC.

WP2 aimed to review the availability of pre-normative data able to support the development of RCS. The tasks included:
- mapping existing Research and development (R&D) projects in the field of fuel cell and hydrogen for transport and stationary applications;
- identifying gaps, lacks or limited comparability of data, in supporting the development of common data collection methodology;
- defining specific international collaborations for pre-normative research activities.

WP3 consisted of identifying the organisations that should establish liaisons with a view of facilitating the harmonisation of RCS.

WP4 consisted of the analysis of industrial and societal needs, identifying gaps and conflicts and making propositions to solve fragmentation.

WP5 consisted of preparing an action plan for further work on harmonisation of RCS on an international basis at UNECE, ISO and IEC.

The WP1 analysis has shown that the hydrogen and fuel cell standardisation landscape is in a state of rapid development and transition.

WP4 has recognised that, in order to achieve global harmonisation, most of the standardisation work has to be performed at recognised international SDO level (ISO, IEC).
The WP4 gap analysis has shown that some RCS activities are not yet covered by ISO/TC197 in the case of hydrogen technologies and IEC/TC105 in the case of fuel cell technologies. These gaps would need to be addressed.

At the international level, WP4 has highlighted that the technical committees of ISO and IEC have already started to share efforts to overcome conflicts within RCS. The WP3 and WP4 analysis has depicted that the situation is quite different on a national level.

For each identified industrial need, different RCS documents are already published or under development. For example, the US RCS National Bodies (SAE for vehicles, ASME, CGA, CSA America, NFPA for other purposes) are duplicating some of the work carried out at ISO and IEC. This will lead to different and potentially conflicting standards on the same topic.

WP1 has identified that further collaborative structures will need to be defined to avoid discrepancy between standards and regulations.

The 'New approach' philosophy of the European Commission towards regulation constitutes a worthy example that should be encouraged:
- Any Directive or Regulation should be limited to 'essential requirements', but should not state technical details or specifications.
- The technical details of products that fulfil the essential requirements should be given in harmonised standards.
In the case of road vehicles, it has been recognised that major vehicle manufacturers prefer a regulation with globally harmonised technical requirements, in order to be able to sell an identical vehicle all over the world.

WP4 has highlighted differences between the Japanese and European approach in terms of vehicle regulations:
- The two-step approach towards GTR (with an intermediate European Union Directive or European Commission Regulation) may generate fragmentation at regulatory level.
- Efforts should be made to ensure that the Japanese and the European regulations are replaced by a GTR as soon as it becomes available.
The situation for road vehicles stands in contrast with the situation for stationary applications, where no international regulating body responsible for harmonising regulations exists. In this case, the risk of proliferation of diverging national requirements is greatly increased. It is therefore more important that the 'New approach' philosophy of the European Union be applied to all new regulations covering stationary applications.

The WP3 analysis has shown that the establishment of further cooperations and liaisons between Regulatory bodies (RB) and technical committees of SDO are needed in order to facilitate the harmonisation of RCS.

There should be a stronger inter-relationship between European research programmes and standardisation, and that this should be a two-way process:
- Technical Committees could make more use of technical research;
- research consortia could be more strategic about exploiting their knowledge through standardisation.

The analysis of the industrial and societal needs has highlighted the need to:
- provide education and training to personnel operating hydrogen equipment;
- increase awareness to improve consumer confidence in hydrogen;
- continue improvement of technical knowledge on specific hydrogen and fuel cell issues.