Survey of Potential Safety Issues with Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles 2006-01-0327
Hydrogen-powered vehicles offer the promise of significantly reducing the amount of pollutants that are expelled into the environment on a daily basis by conventional hydrocarbon-fueled vehicles. While very promising from an environmental viewpoint, the technology and systems that are needed to store the hydrogen (H2) fuel onboard and deliver it to the propulsion system are different from what consumers, mechanics, fire safety personnel, the public, and even engineers currently know and understand. As the number of hydrogen vehicles increases, the likelihood of a rollover or collision of one of these vehicles with another vehicle or a barrier will also increase. Although these vehicles are unique and present new challenges, government, industry, and the public expect that, in the event of a vehicle collision, the hydrogen fuel and onboard fuel system will not be more hazardous than gasoline or diesel fuels to vehicle occupants, fire safety personnel, the public, or surrounding property.
This paper summarizes some key results of an effort in which Battelle surveyed potential safety issues with hydrogen-powered vehicles . The results presented here are organized as follows:
Generalized Hydrogen Propulsion System Description
High-Level Failure Modes of Hydrogen Propulsion Systems
Recommendation of Topics that Merit Further Research