Safety, Codes, and Standards

Sandia National Laboratories provides the technical basis for assessing the safety of hydrogen fuel cell systems and infrastructure with the accumulation of knowledge feeding into the modification of relevant codes and standards. The effort at Sandia consists of four core components:

  • Hydrogen Behavior – This activity provides the foundation for the scenario analysis and risk assessment. The understanding and validated predictive models that result from this effort enable the specification of separation distances, mitigation features, site requirements, and component requirements. This core effort has enduring value for hydrogen codes and standards development for today and tomorrow’s fuel-cell technologies.
  • Scenario analysis and Risk Assessment – This activity applies our understanding of hydrogen’s behavior to specific and relevant scenarios to (1) develop quantitative risk assessment methodologies and (2) identify the risk drivers in hydrogen refueling to support the development of risk-informed, performance-based codes and standards for the commercial use of hydrogen. By quantifying risk, we are able to develop requirements and implement mitigation technologies to enable deployment of fuel cell technologies at socially acceptable risk levels.
  • Hydrogen Compatible Materials and Components – This activity develops the fundamental understanding of hydrogen effects on materials and applies that understanding to code requirements and standards for fuel-cell technology components in hydrogen service. The result of this effort is optimized test methodologies and key data that enable the rapid deployment vehicle, infrastructure, and stationary components.
  • International Harmonization – This activity coordinates international research and code development efforts to harmonize codes and regulations through established organizations and frameworks such as IEA, IPHE, GTR, and ISO.

Each of these activities is directly linked to a specific code or requirement development effort, for example, ASME, CSA, ICC, NFPA, and SAE.

The combination of these efforts results in a cohesive research, development, and implementation effort that enables the development of traceable and defensible codes and standards and, thus, the rapid deployment of fuel cell technologies domestically and internationally.

Process of implementing R&D into the code development process.

Figure 1. Process of implementing R&D into the code-development process.

Contact: Daniel Dedrick, (925) 294-1552,