CaFCP Study Determines Hydrogen Car Garages Safe

August 17, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP, West Sacramento, CA) has released a study that concludes that existing parking garages and service stations can safely handle vehicles running on hydrogen fuel cells. The partnership expects the report to help designers and code developers regarding commercialization plans for hydrogen-fueled vehicles and supporting infrastructure.

Modeling scenarios concluded that in all case studies - involving above-ground garages, below-ground garages, service stations, two-car garages, etc. - leaking hydrogen did not extend beyond 2 ft immediately surrounding the vehicle. Typical airflow, from natural or mechanical ventilation, resulted in dilution of leaking hydrogen to lower than the lowest flammable concentration levels.

The report maintained that one of the most important aspects to ensuring safety will be the preventive measures integrated into the vehicles themselves, such as leak sensors and shut-off valves.