Safety Aspects of Handling, Storage & Bunkering Hydrogen


Testing and modelling needs to be fine-tuned to hydrogen’s unique properties and safety considerations. There are uncertainties about the behaviour of cryogenic hydrogen (LH2), as well as thresholds when detonations occur. 


“Experiments on cryogenic (liquid) hydrogen, commissioned by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and carried out at the DNV Spadeadam Research and Testing Centre in the UK, yielded valuable learnings for the handbook,” says Asmund Huser, Senior Principal Specialist, Quantitative Analysis at DNV.

“These experiments provided important knowledge on how LH2 behaves in leakage scenarios in typical ship design with enclosed spaces and during bunkering of LH2, giving confidence in the mitigating measures in the design of maritime hydrogen arrangements,” says Kolbjørn Berge, Head of Green Shipping Innovation and New Technologies at the Norwegian Maritime Authority.

A key takeaway is that future modelling needs to better account for the detonation risk if there is a leak.

“A high-speed jet-like release of hydrogen in a large room, for example, may not disperse evenly. Such an inhomogeneous release may result in concentrated pockets of H2 that have a higher risk of detonation. We need rigorous safety measures to avoid this,” Asmund Huser explains. 

What size and layout do these spaces need to have? Where do the fans or ventilation shafts or detectors need to be located? These are some of the design considerations that can make a big difference in case of a leak. Dedicated large-scale testing will be needed when this industry scales up.

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Source: maritime executive 


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