Safe hydrogen fuel handling and use for efficient implementation is a collaborative and knowledge building project (KSP) funded by The Research Council of Norway (NFR) under the topic environment-friendly energy. The project started Oct. 1 2021 and runs until Sept. 30 2025.

Project summary
Hydrogen is becoming a critical enabler in the ongoing energy transition, and it is expected that hydrogen will be applied in many different applications and industrial sectors. The safety-related properties of hydrogen, and the characteristic operating conditions of technical systems for producing, transporting and using hydrogen, implies that fires and explosions represent a significant hazard for installations with considerable inventories of hydrogen. To this end, it is essential to develop science-based solutions for fire and explosion protection, and to disseminate state-of-the-art knowledge to relevant stakeholders. The overall objective of SH2IFT-2 is to develop new knowledge on critical aspects of hydrogen safety, and at the same time facilitate the competence building required for supporting widespread use of hydrogen in society. The project will work to improve solutions for safe handling of hydrogen and hydrogen-based energy carriers by developing new, and improve existing, modelling tools, perform large-scale release, fire and explosion experiments, and provide input to guidelines for safe use of hydrogen. The combination of large-scale experiments, validation of advanced consequence models, risk based operational safety, and the critical evaluation of the strength of knowledge in risk assessments for hydrogen systems, represents a unique opportunity to progress the science on hydrogen safety significantly beyond the current state-of-the-art. The involvement of stakeholders covering the entire value chain of hydrogen production, transport and use, implies that the research activities will have high relevance for industrial applications. Close collaboration between leading research organisations and a wide range of Norwegian and international stakeholders from industry and government will address both societal and industry needs for knowledge and competence building, and thus secure existing and establish new value creation and employment in Norway.

Objectives of the project
The primary objective of the project is to develop new knowledge on critical aspects of hydrogen safety, and at the same time facilitate the competence building required for supporting widespread use of hydrogen in society.

The secondary objectives of the project are to:

Project structure
The technical part of the project will be carried out in four work packages: Experimental investigations (WP1), Model validation (WP2), Risk assessment and strength-of-knowledge (WP3) and Risk-based operational safety. Dissemination and communication activities are carried out in WP5 whereas Project management is carried out in WP6.

The Perth diagram show the work package layout, as well as the interactions between the work packages.

The technical work packages are described in the following:

WP1: Experimental investigations (RISE)

Task 1.1 will investigate build-up of flammable and toxic clouds of hydrogen and ammonia in an enclosed space. Relevant parameters will be varied and the results used to validate models used for design of ventilation systems and optimization of detector placement.

Task 1.2 will study the effect of initial flow and mitigation measures on explosions. More specifically, the effect of initial flow field on premixed combustion and DDT as well as combined measures for mitigating the consequences of hydrogen explosions in confined spaces will be investigated through experimental and theoretical studies. The experiments aim for 75 MPa source pressure.

Task 1.3 will conduct experiments for realistic fire scenarios with and without PFP. Both gaseous and liquid hydrogen jet fires will be explored. A test facility with a large hydrogen inventory will be built.

WP2: Model validation (GEXCON)

Task 2.1 focuses on the modelling of loss of containment of hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels, including source models and dispersion following releases in open and confined geometries with varying degree of congestion. Several relevant models will be evaluated.

Task 2.2 will model explosions in hydrogen-air mixtures, including potential effects from mitigation measures such as venting, chemical inhibition and combinations thereof.

Task 2.3 addresses modelling of hydrogen jet fires from gaseous and liquid hydrogen. It will include the effect of PFP on thermal loads and structural response.

WP3: Risk assessment and strength-of-knowledge (UiB)

Task 3.1 will arrange stakeholder/expert workshops and surveys in order to facilitate external involvement in the experimental activities.

Task 3.2 will develop a model evaluation protocol (MEP) for the project. This will be a collaboration between the project partners and stakeholders/experts.

Task 3.3 will define system and scenarios to be used in Tasks 3.4. and 3.5.

Task 3.4 will perform comparative risk assessments for hypothetical energy systems defined in T3.1.

Task 3.5 will conduct comparisons and risk assessments performed for hypothetical systems by different groups. Blind prediction benchmark studies will be performed for selected experiments performed in WP1.

Task 3.6 addresses strength-of-knowledge evaluation of risk assessment for hydrogen systems.

WP4: Risk-based operational safety (NTNU)

Task 4.1 will conduct testing of materials for hydrogen-material interactions and related materials degradation.

Task 4.2 addresses prognostics, i.e. predicting the time until equipment will no longer perform its primary function of containment. The experimental results will be used to model material strength and ductility, material resistance to cracking and material fatigue properties.

Task 4.3 will monitor degradation mechanisms through monitoring of relevant parameters (e.g. pressure, temperature).

Task 4.4 will define ad-hoc preventive safety barriers for degradation mechanisms. Standards for risk-based approaches for inspection planning will be used as a starting point.