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Safety Considerations for Hydrogen Test Cells

Abstract

The properties of hydrogen compared to conventional fuels such as gasoline and diesel are substantially different requiring adaptations to the design and layout of test cells for hydrogen fuelled engines and vehicles. A comparison of hydrogen fuel properties versus conventional fuels in this paper provides identification of requirements that need to be adapted to design a safe test cell. Design examples of actual test cells are provided to showcase the differences in overall layout and ventilation, safety features, fuel supply and metering, and emissions measurements. Details include requirements for ventilation patterns, the necessity for engine fume hoods as well as hydrogen specific intake and exhaust design. The unique properties of hydrogen, in particular the wide flammability limits and nonvisible flames also require additional safety features such as hydrogen sensors and flame cameras. A properly designed and implemented fuel supply system adds to the safety of the test cell by minimizing the amount of hydrogen that can be released. Apart from this the properties of hydrogen also require different fuel consumption measurement systems, pressure levels of the fuel supply system, additional ventilation lines, strategically placed safety solenoids combined with appropriate operational procedures. The emissions measurement for hydrogen application has to be expanded to include the amount of unburned hydrogen in the exhaust as a measurement of completeness of combustion. This measurement can also be used as a safety feature to avoid creation of ignitable hydrogen-air mixtures in the engine exhaust. The considerations provided in this paper lead to the conclusion that hydrogen IC engines can be safely tested, however, properly designed test cell and safety features have to be included to mitigate the additional hazards related to the change in fuel characteristics.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: United States
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2009-09-16
2021-09-26
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/conference393
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