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Group Leader:
Cathy Padró

Group Office:
Leorrie Atencio

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 1663
Mailstop D429
Los Alamos, NM

TA 3 Bldg 40
TA 46 Bldgs 16&58

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Hydrogen - Safety, Codes & Standards

The potential benefits of a Hydrogen Economy are large and far-reaching, but the challenges are significant. MPA-11 researchers are developing safety sensors, evaluating the impacts of hydrogen impurities on the operation of fuel cells, and providing technical expertise for the development of international regulations for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

LANL is a leader in the performance testing and analysis of single cell tests. In collaboration with the US Fuel Cell Council, LANL established the Single-Cell Testing Protocol, a series of precise fuel cell procedures that are used by research teams across the U.S. and around the world to perform reproducible baseline characterization. This protocol, in combination with LANL’s work on the effects of contaminants, will be essential in the development of fuel quality standards.

LANL supports the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE) / European Commission (EC) task on fuel cell testing, safety and quality assurance, FCTESqa. The proposal submitted to the EC had 48 participants, including Los Alamos, and the EC portion of this task has been selected for funding. Los Alamos National Laboratory is a world-wide recognized leader in the performance testing and analysis of single cell tests. In collaboration with the USFCC (U.S. Fuel Cell Council), we established precise fuel cell procedures to perform reproducible baseline characterization, the so-called Single Cell Testing Protocol. This expertise, in combination with our previous work on the effects of contaminants, will be essential in the development of fuel quality testing procedures. The EC is developing a standard test protocol using the most relevant procedures from the completed European FCTESTNET project. In this effort, we will compare protocols and develop new procedures to perform single cell tests and data analysis, and perform baseline and performance test(s) in cooperation with the European partners. As the collaboration unfolds, this effort will include testing the effect of selected contaminants (singly and in mixtures) on fuel cell performance.

LANL also provides technical expertise for the international collaborative development and implementation of performance-based codes, standards and regulations. The development of performance-based and harmonized international codes, standards and regulations is critical to fair and open competition in worldwide markets for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles. Teaming with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, through LANL, has played a key role in redirecting efforts that could have resulted in design-specific regulations for on-board hydrogen storage, through active participation in the United Nations/Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) World Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (referred to as WP.29). The US, in collaboration with representatives from Europe (primarily Germany) and Japan, led an effort to develop a roadmap to a global technical regulation (GTR). This roadmap effort is strongly supported by the leadership of WP.29 as a path forward to a promising Hydrogen Future, wherein we will "not sacrifice the long term for short-term political issues."

Team Members: Catherine Padró (Project Leader), Tommy Rockward, Eric Brosha, Fernando Garzon, Rangachary Mukundan, Karen Rau, and Calita Quesada.

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