Work Plan

Work Plan

Any analysis of gaps or future technology needs for hydrogen distribution, transportation, and storage must encompass both centralized manufacture at sites remote from the user points (these could include large central station plants or midsize plants for regional markets) and distributed manufacture at the vehicle fueling facilities.

The study used a hazard assessment-like procedure that incorporated the following steps:

  1. Identifying the Key Areas required for a safe hydrogen economy, and their criticality.
  2. Assessing the state of these Key Areas:
  • Identify that the important factors have been or are being addressed.
  • Determine if prior work is still applicable or if recent breakthroughs or observations render the prior work obsolete.
  • Identifying and prioritizing gaps and highlight areas that warrant further study.
  • Developing recommendations for Key Areas, including research, studies, or trials that could close gaps and resolve shortcomings in understanding all aspects of safe hydrogen gas operations.
  • Although there may be considerable differences in how certain practices are performed, the general approach to design, construction, and operation of hydrogen pipelines is expected to be similar to standards and procedures for natural gas pipeline operations. Therefore, current DOT Safety Regulations were used as a reference for identifying a number of Key Areas.

    Other resources, such as ASME Codes, the National Academy of Science (NAS) report The Hydrogen Economy, NASAs Safety Standard for Hydrogen and Hydrogen Systems, the DOT Hydrogen Portal, DOE Hydrogen Program activities (particularly work underway at Sandia National Laboratories and the Hydrogen Pipeline Steering Group of which GTI is a member), and the comprehensive volume of related research performed by GTI was used to establish the comprehensive list of Key Areas.

    The overall process for the analyses is depicted graphically in Figure 1. The bottom of this figure shows a matrix that was developed for facilitating the identification, filtering, and prioritization of Key Areas. Criticality was categorized as high, medium, or low while the state of progress used the following categories:

    • Fully Addressed: technology is mature and safety procedures (not necessarily regulations) are established.
    • Addressed, Monitoring: technical work is well underway and safety procedures are reasonably well developed.
    • Addressed, Not Adequately: technical work has started and safety procedures are under development.
    • Not Addressed: no progress, or efforts are only identified or getting organized.

    Criticality and progress were assigned weights as indicated in the following table. The score for each Key Area was then calculated as the product of criticality and progress weights. Non-linear weighting was employed to emphasize the Not Adequately Addressed and Not Addressed progress categories.

      Description Weight
    Criticality High 5
    Medium 3
    Low 1
    Progress Fully Addressed 1
    Addressed, Monitoring 2
    Addressed, Not Adequately 4
    Not Addressed 8

    The anticipated deployment scope for technology categories was considered in formulating recommendations. The assessment of deployment scope was represented in the Usage Matrix in Figure 2. The matrix identifies categories of hydrogen transport technologies from high pressure gas to developing technologies such as hydrides and physisorption materials. The columns of the matrix identify the scale of transport from pipeline at the large end to small-scale (man portable) systems at the small end. Bulk and non-bulk are defined regulatory terms. From 49 CFR 171.8:

    Bulk packaging means a packaging, other than a vessel or a barge, including a transport vehicle or freight container, in which hazardous materials are loaded with no intermediate form of containment and which has:

    1. A maximum capacity greater than 450L (119 gallons) as a receptacle for a liquid;
    2. A maximum net mass greater than 400kg (882 pounds) and a maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119 gallons) as a receptacle for a solid; or
    3. A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1000 pounds) as a receptacle for a gas as defined in 173.115 of this subchapter.

    At each intersection of technology and scale is an indication of the likelihood of that technology being used at that scale.

    The timeframe matrix in Figure 3 uses the same overall structure, but with each intersection indicating the recommended timeframe in which the issues associated with the technology at that scale need to begin being addressed. This is not necessarily the same as the timeframe at which it is anticipated that the technology will be widely deployed. The timeframe coding is also shown for each Key Area in the Master Item Table below.

    The analysis of each Key Area is presented in a consistent format which encompasses a description of the Key Area, a discussion of criticality, a discussion of progress, and finally recommendations. A number of Key Areas have similarities and therefore similar discussion. While this can lead to some repetitiveness when reading multiple Key Area assessments, the benefit is that each assessment can largely be read and understood in isolation.

    This work was conducted by a multi-faceted implementation team, with oversight provided by a highly experienced and diverse expert panel. The expert panel provided high-level input on the direction of this study while providing review of interim and draft final documents. The implementation team consisted of Gas Technology Institute, Lincoln Composites (Dr. Norm Newhouse), Proteus Services Group (Dr. Ned Stetson), and St. Croix Research (Mr. Charles Powars).

    The following individuals served on the Expert Panel for this effort: Addison Bain (NASA, retired), Jim Campbell (Air Liquide), Don Cook (California Department of Industrial Relations), David Haberman (IF, LLC), John Koehr (ASME), George Parks (ConocoPhillips), and Ralph Tribolet (Linde, retired). The panel members represent the breadth of hydrogen economy participantsfrom technology developers, industrial gas and energy companies, standards developing organizations, and public safety officials. Additional commentary was provided by Mr. Louis Hayden, chairman of the ASME B31.12 Hydrogen Piping and Pipelines Project Team.