SH2IFT - Safe H2 fuel handling and use for efficient implementation

According to the European Strategic Energy Technology (SET) plan, implementation of hydrogen technology is one of the key solutions to achieve the necessary reductions in emission for the 2°C scenario. Hydrogen can connect the transport- and energy sectors by fuelling most modes of transportation, as well as supporting the build-up of intermittent, renewable energy storage. Norwegian industrial actors are exploring the potential of producing large quantities of sustainable hydrogen from Norwegian natural gas with solutions that include carbon capture and storage (CCS). However, insufficient knowledge about safety issues related to widespread roll-out of hydrogen technology represents a major bottleneck when it comes to implementation of hydrogen technology. Hydrogen is not necessarily less safe than other fuels, but if it is not handled according its unique properties (low ignition energy, wide explosion range and increased density in cryogenic state), potential consequences may be jet fires, rapid phase transition (RPT) and BLEVE (boiling liquid expanding vapour explosion).

Several European projects have produced knowledge and prepared the ground for the market entry of hydrogen in transport and other applications, e.g. related to regulations, procedures, infrastructure, safety, training, social acceptance and facilitation of hydrogen technology. However, there is still a critical lack of relevant experimental work related to fires and explosions involving hydrogen in environments that require highly conservative approximations; such as tunnels, ships and other enclosed spaces. It is thus important to fill these knowledge gaps and improve the relevance and accuracy of consequence models and risk assessments.

The SH2IFT project shall increase competence within safe handling and use of both gaseous H2 (GH2) and liquid H2 (LH2), with focus on enclosed spaces and maritime transport. 

This goal will be achieved through the following activities:

  • Identify barriers for implementation of H2 as fuel.
  • Investigate the technical and physical processes involving GH2 or LH2, by medium- and large scale fire- and explosion experiments. Jet fire tests will be conducted to characterise GH2 flames and study the effect from jet flames on surroundings in enclosed spaces. Tests will also be conducted to simulate BLEVE from vehicles with LH2, and to study the potential for RPT from emission of LH2 on water.
  • Develop new or improved and validated consequence models.
  • Develop recommendations and information regarding safety.
SH2IFT is a four-year project and started in April 2018. The consortium includes SINTEF Industry (coordinator), RISE Fire Research in Trondheim, SINTEF Energy, NTNU, Institute of Transport Economics and Christian Michelsen Research.

 SH2IFT is funded by the Research Council of Norway, program ENERGIX, project number 280964, as well as by industry partners and authorities (Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Norwegian Railway Directorate, Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection, County authorities; Akershus; Hordaland; Møre & Romsdal; Trøndelag; Finnmark, Equinor, Shell, NASTA, Statkraft, Ariane, Air Liquide and Nye veier). The project is coordinated by SINTEF Industry. 

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