Developing Safety Standards for FCVs and Hydrogen Vehicles 2010-01-0131
The SAE Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) Safety Working Group has been addressing FCV safety for over 10 years. The initial document, SAE J2578, was published in 2002. SAE J2578 has been valuable as a Recommended Practice for FCV development with regard to the identification of hazards associated with the integration of hydrogen and electrical systems onto the vehicle and the definition of countermeasures to mitigate these hazards such that FCVs can be operated in the same manner as conventional gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered vehicles.
An update to SAE J1766 for post-crash electrical safety was also published in 2008 to reflect unique aspects of FCVs and to harmonize electrical requirements with international standards.
In addition to SAE J2578 and J1766, the SAE FCV Safety Working Group also developed a Technical Information Report (TIR) for vehicular hydrogen systems (SAE J2579). The objective of this document was to define systems-level, performance-based requirements for vehicular hydrogen storage systems, particularly compressed hydrogen storage systems as most FCVs currently use this form of storage. The TIR has been verified to detect problems which occurred or could occur in the field, and a revision was published to capture the lessons learned during the verification testing. The Safety Working Group is currently focused on improving the definition of requirements and investigating methodologies to reduce the time and effort needed for verification of the compressed hydrogen storage systems without compromising safety.
Concurrent with SAE efforts, the United Nations is developing a Global Technical Regulation (GTR) for FCVs. The published SAE standards are being considered along with ISO and other regional standards as the basis for possible requirements. As technical issues are identified at the GTR meetings, these issues are discussed at the SAE Safety Working Group meetings to see if there are opportunities for improvement of the SAE verification methodologies.
The objective of the SAE FCV Safety Working Group is to continue to upgrade and revise SAE J2578, J2579, and J1766 as well as to develop new standards, when necessary, to provide real-world system safety while facilitating rapid technological advances by the industry and to serve as basis for necessary regulation.