New testing system to make hydrogen safer

A new high-pressure hydrogen testing system has been unveiled to meet the new safety challenges of using the gas as an alternative fuel.

The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) invited more than 50 experts involved in the development of hydrogen technology for the launch of the experimental facility at its headquarters in Buxton, in Derbyshire.

HSL bosses said the facility exceeds all current technologies and has an unrivalled capability to test hydrogen systems up to pressures of 1,000bar.

It also provides researchers with the flexibility to investigate a range of high-pressure hydrogen applications from refuelling and bulk storage, to component and materials testing.

HSL chiefs said it they had already agreed a number of contracts to carry out tests using its new system.

Dr Stuart Hawksworth, HSL’s head of explosion safety, said: “This unique facility allows us to conduct tests at greater pressures than were previously available.

“It enhances our capability to conduct and support the research needed to enable a safe hydrogen economy.

“We already have contracts in place for hydrogen tests from the European Commission, the UK Government and industry, and we are also in discussion with several other organisations regarding future work for the facility.”

The launch coincided with a meeting of the Hysafe European Network of Excellence (NoE), hosted by HSL.

Thomas Jordan, HySafe NoE coordinator, said the new facility “would contribute enormously to achieving Hysafe’s goal to promote public awareness and trust in hydrogen technology”.

Kate Martin

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