Pressure Relief Devices for High-Pressure Gaseous Storage Systems: Applicability to Hydrogen Technology

Carl Rivkin, Arlen Kostival, William Buttner, Robert Burgess

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Pressure relief devices (PRDs) are viewed as essential safety measures for high-pressure gas storage and distribution systems. These devices are used to prevent the over-pressurization of gas storage vessels and distribution equipment, except in the application of certain toxic gases. PRDs play a critical role in the implementation of most high-pressure gas storage systems and anyone working with these devices should understand their function so they can be designed, installed, and maintained properly to prevent any potentially dangerous or fatal incidents. As such, the intention of this report is to introduce the reader to the function of the common types of PRDs currently used in industry. Since high-pressure hydrogen gas storage systems are being developed to support the growing hydrogen energy infrastructure, several recent failure incidents, specifically involving hydrogen, will be examined to demonstrate the results and possible mechanisms of a device failure. The applicable codes and standards, developed to minimize the risk of failure for PRDs, will also be reviewed. Finally, because PRDs are a critical component for the development of a successful hydrogen energy infrastructure, important considerations for pressure relief devices applied in a hydrogen gas environment will be explored.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2013

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-60175


  • codes and standards
  • hydrogen gas
  • hydrogen safety
  • hydrogen storage
  • PRD
  • pressure relief device


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