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The NREL Sensor Laboratory: Status and Future Directions for Hydrogen Detection


The NREL Hydrogen Sensor Laboratory was commissioned in 2010 as a resource for the national and international hydrogen community to ensure the availability and proper use of hydrogen sensors. Since then, the Sensor Laboratory has provided unbiased verification of hydrogen sensor performance for sensor developers, end-users, and regulatory agencies and has also provided active support for numerous code and standards development organizations. Although sensor performance assessment remains a core capability, the mission of the NREL Sensor Laboratory has expanded toward a more holistic approach regarding the role of hydrogen detection and its implementation strategy for both assurance of facility safety and for process control applications. Active monitoring for detection of unintended releases has been identified as a viable approach for improving facility safety and lowering setbacks. The current research program for the Sensor Laboratory addresses both conventional and advanced developing detection strategies in response to the emerging large-scale hydrogen markets, such as those envisioned by H2@Scale. These emerging hydrogen applications may require alternative detection strategies that supplement and may ultimately supplant the use of traditional sensors for monitoring hydrogen releases. Research focus areas for the NREL Sensor Laboratory now encompass the characterization of released hydrogen behavior to optimize detection strategies for both indoor and outdoor applications, assess advanced methods of hydrogen leak detection such as hydrogen wide area monitoring for large scale applications, implement active monitoring as a risk reduction strategy to improve safety at hydrogen facilities, and to provide continuing support of hydrogen safety codes and standards. In addition to assurance of safety, detection will be critical for process control applications, such as hydrogen fuel quality verification for fuel cell vehicle applications and for monitoring and controlling of hydrogen-natural gas blend composition.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United States

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