Hydrogen Related Fire Safety Issues in Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities
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Hydrogen Related Fire Safety Issues in Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities. John Baker Will Schreiber University of Alabama Department of Mechanical Engineering Tuscaloosa, AL. Objective.

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Hydrogen Related Fire Safety Issues in Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

John BakerWill Schreiber

University of AlabamaDepartment of Mechanical EngineeringTuscaloosa, AL


Objective Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

The overall purpose of the proposed project is to provide practical guidelines for the safe storage of commercially available hydrogen powered vehicles.


Motivation Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Safe systems for the industrial production, transportation, and utilization of hydrogen already exist.

  • Unresolved issuesexist with regardto the use of hydrogen in commercial/residential applications.

Linde AG, Germany


Motivation Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Hydrogen

  • Wide range of flammability concentrations in air

  • Lower ignition energy as compared to gasoline or natural gas

  • Burns with almost invisible flame

  • Much lighter than air

  • Hydrogen embrittlement

  • Molecular diffusion

  • Leakage


Motivation Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Regulations

  • NASA, 1997, Safety Standard for Hydrogen and Hydrogen Systems, NSS 1740.16.

  • U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Regulations (Standard - 29 CFR), Standard Number 1910.103, Hydrogen.

  • NFPA 50B: Standard for LiquefiedHydrogen Systems at ConsumerSites

  • NFPA 50A: Gaseous HydrogenSystems at Consumer Sites


Motivation Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Residential Hydrogen Safety

  • Environmental factors

  • Dispersion of hydrogen from likely release sites

  • Potential ignition sources

  • Impact on residentialdesign


Plan of Action Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Proposed one-year study

  • Thoroughly examine existing regulations

  • Experimentally observe hydrogen dispersion behavior in typical settings

  • Develop preliminary hydrogen dispersion models.


Plan of Action: First Quarter Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Task 1a – Review of Existing Standards

    • Review of the existing standards and guidelines as related to commercial / residential hydrogen use and storage.

  • Task 1b – Experimental Design

    • Design of a test cell that can simulate the transport behavior of a hydrogen leak in a residential two car garage.

  • Task 1c – Initial Computational Models

    • Preliminary CFD models to be used in the development of the helium dispersion experiments.


Plan of Action: Second Quarter Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Task 2a –Hydrogen Sensors

    • A thorough review of existing hydrogen sensor technology.

  • Task 2b –Experimental Study

    • Helium dispersion behavior in on-campus parking garage.

  • Task 2c – Computational Modeling

    • Model helium dispersion behavior in parking garage.


Plan of Action: Third Quarter Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Task 3a – Analysis of Helium Dispersion Testing

    • Determine average dispersion patterns. May need to conduct additional tests.

  • Task 3b – Fabrication

    • Build two car garage test facility. Instrument facility.

  • Task 3c – Computational Modeling

    • Develop initial hydrogen dispersion models to aid hydrogen dispersion experimental test plan.


Plan of Action: Fourth Quarter Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Task 4a – Hydrogen Dispersion Testing – Two Car Garage

    • Conduct experiments and perform preliminary analysis of hydrogen dispersion data.

  • Task 4c – Analysis of Data/Recommendations

    • Using information gained during the course of the study, make preliminary recommendations regarding guidelines/regulations for storage of hydrogen vehicles.

  • Task 4d – Identification of Future Effort

    • Develop plan for continued examination of hydrogen safety in residential/commercial applications.


Facilities Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Combustion and Propulsion Systems Laboratory

    • Combustion (holographic interferometer, PIV, FTIR spectrometer, high speed video, data acquisitions systems, reduced gravity test cell, etc.)

    • Computational modelingsoftware (Fluent, CEA)

    • Codes developed in-house for thermodynamic equilibrium analysis


Summary Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

  • Existing regulations do not adequately address the hazards associated with the storage of hydrogen powered vehicles for residential/commercial applications.

  • A study is proposed to examine hydrogen safety as it relates to the residential/commercial use of hydrogen vehicles.

  • The proposed study will lay the groundwork for the development of practical guidelines/regulations needed for the safe storage of hydrogen powered vehicles.


Public Perception Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities


Contact Information Residential/Commercial Vehicle Storage Facilities

Dr. John Baker

Ph: (205) 348-4997

E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Will Schreiber

Ph: (205) 348-1650

E-mail: [email protected]


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