Safety First for Pioneering Hydrogen Refueling Station

Oct 18, 2021

Safety First for Pioneering Hydrogen Refueling Station

by | Oct 18, 2021

Hydrogen Leak Detection System Driven by the twin goals of reducing carbon emissions and local air pollution, governments around the world, guided by climate change targets, are replacing fossil fueled vehicles with electric fuel. However, hydrogen fuel cells offer greater range and faster refueling than electric battery equivalents. By 2030, hydrogen could play an important role in decarbonising heavy polluted, energy-intensive industries as well as powering trucks, vans and buses.

The Problem

As a fuel, hydrogen is extremely flammable and with that, a hydrogen leak creates a serious risk of fire. Our client has pioneered the design of an innovative, convenient and safe hydrogen mobile fueling station. To ensure that the station is completely safe, it must be monitored for potential leaks. Hydrogen gas (H2) is produced from an electrolytic reaction. A mix of hydrogen gas and oxygen (from the air) may form a highly explosive atmosphere. Hydrogen is one of the lightest elements, so if a leak occurs, hydrogen rapidly disperses upwards. If hydrogen ignites, it burns more easily than petrol or diesel so it needs to be vented as quickly as possible. Our client approached us to install a hydrogen leak monitoring solution inside their new high pressure, transportable refueling station. Free space is limited inside the container and access is restricted. So we needed to develop a solution with this in mind.

Our Solution

We needed to find a Hydrogen sensor that could not only fit inside the container but was virtually maintenance-free because of the restricted access. Having worked closely with Crowcon, we were aware that they were launching a new sensor. This new sensor was perfect for this hydrogen fuel storage application.

The MPS™ sensor 

The MPS™ sensor housed in the XGard Bright detector is tailor-made for Hydrogen leak detection. It’s small profile means that it can be securely installed in the tight space. It’s designed to be calibration & maintenance-free throughout the operation of its 5-year lifecycle so that also ticked the box.

Why else do we favour the MPS sensor?

  • It eliminates interruptions – The MPS sensor self-monitors and automatically reports any problems with its operation
  • Confidence in its ability – Inaccurate readings, non-alarms and false alarms are a thing of the past. It resists contamination and prevents sensor poisoning giving you all-round greater peace of mind that the sensor is fully working.

We proposed a beacon and sounder alarm coupled with the leak detection system to alert people in the close vicinity of the dangers of a possible leak. Most stations will never encounter dangerous concentrations of hydrogen, but simple precautions with the installation of a leak detection system will give you the assurance you need to operate safely with peace of mind. Contact a1-cbiss for more details