Test of Vehicle Ignition Due to Hydrogen Gas Leakage 2006-01-0126
The distribution of concentrations of hydrogen leaking into the front compartment and the dispersion after the leak was stopped were investigated to obtain basic data for specifying the mounting positions of hydrogen leak detecting sensors and the threshold values of alarms for compressed hydrogen vehicles. Ignition tests were also conducted to investigate the flammability and the environmental impact (i.e. the impact on human bodies). These tests were also conducted with methane to evaluate the protection against hydrogen leaks in vehicles in comparison with natural gas (methane). We found that the concentration of hydrogen in the front compartment reached 23.7 vol% maximum when hydrogen gas was allowed to leak for 600 sec from the center of the bottom of the wheelbase at a rate of 131 NL/min, which is the allowable limit for a fuel leak at the time of collision of compressed hydrogen vehicles in Japan. If hydrogen of this concentration is ignited, impacts on the vehicle itself (damage) and impacts on surrounding persons (injuries) are small. Furthermore, we compared methane at a flow rate equal to that of hydrogen in caloric value and confirmed that the impacts on the environment at the time of ignition were similar to those of hydrogen.