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NREL Supports Development of New National Code for Hydrogen Technologies

January 11, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) helped develop a new national code for hydrogen technologies that was issued last month by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA 2 Hydrogen Technologies Code covers critical applications and operations such as hydrogen dispensing, production, and storage.

“The new code consolidates a variety of existing hydrogen-related NFPA codes and standards requirements into a single document and also introduces new requirements,” said NREL’s Carl Rivkin. “This consolidation makes it easier for users to prepare code-compliant permit applications and to review these applications.”

NFPA 2 helps project developers and code officials become more familiar with hydrogen safety requirements by giving them a single central reference document—instead of a vast collection of codes and standards documents—to comply with and enforce. It also increases the national consistency of hydrogen safety requirements by reducing variations among individual jurisdictions.

NREL supported the development of the new code on behalf of the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Program. In addition to hosting several NFPA Hydrogen Technology Technical Committee meetings, NREL's Robert Burgess served as a principal member of the committee. NREL also supported the work of the committee chair as well as a consulting firm with expertise in code development.

What are codes and standards?
Codes and standards unify development requirements and help ensure the safety and performance of new processes and products.

Codes and standards are needed to ensure the safety of hydrogen and fuel cell systems and to facilitate the commercialization of hydrogen as a fuel. Many organizations are working to develop the codes and standards needed to prepare for the wide-scale commercialization of hydrogen technologies.

Learn more
Learn more about NREL's hydrogen safety, codes, and standards projects, which focus on the safe operation, handling, and use of hydrogen and hydrogen systems through safety sensors and codes and standards for buildings and equipment.


—Julia Thomas