Development of Risk Mitigation Guidance for Sensor Placement Inside Mechanically Ventilated Enclosures - Phase 1

Andrei Tchouvelev, William Buttner, Daniele Melideo, Daniele Baraldi, Benjamin Angers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


Guidance on Sensor Placement was identified as the top research priority for hydrogen sensors at the 2018 HySafe Research Priority Workshop on hydrogen safety in the category Mitigation, Sensors, Hazard Prevention, and Risk Reduction. This paper discusses the initial steps (Phase 1) to develop such guidance for mechanically ventilated enclosures. This work was initiated as an international collaborative effort to respond to emerging market needs related to the design and deployment equipment for hydrogen infrastructure that is often installed in individual equipment cabinets or ventilated enclosures. The ultimate objective of this effort is to develop guidance for an optimal sensor placement such that, when integrated into a facility design and operation, will allow earlier detection at lower levels of incipient leaks, leading to significant hazard reduction. Reliable and consistent early warning of hydrogen leaks will allow for the risk mitigation by reducing or even eliminating the probability of escalation of small leaks into large and uncontrolled events. To address this issue, a study of a real-world mechanically ventilated enclosure containing GH2 equipment was conducted, where CFD modeling of the hydrogen dispersion (performed by AVT and UQTR, and independently by the JRC) was validated by the NREL Sensor laboratory using a Hydrogen Wide Area Monitor (HyWAM) consisting of a 10-point gas and temperature measurement analyzer. In the release test, helium was used as a hydrogen surrogate. Expansion of indoor releases to other larger facilities (including parking structures, vehicle maintenance facilities and potentially tunnels) and incorporation into QRA tools, such as HyRAM is planned for Phase 2. It is anticipated that results of this work will be used to inform national and international standards such as NFPA 2 Hydrogen Technologies Code, Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code (CHIC) and relevant ISO/TC 197 and CEN documents.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)12439-12454
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-77691


  • codes
  • guidance for sensor placement
  • hydrogen safety
  • mechanically ventilated enclosures
  • regulations
  • risk mitigation
  • standards


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