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ISO 19880 – New technical ISO document for hydrogen fueling station standardization

At the Fuel Cell Seminar in Los Angeles, California today, Jesse Schneider (BMW), the ANSI Convener of ISO Working Group 24 (from the Technical Committee on Fueling Stations) gave an overview presentation on the new ISO 19880 technical report for hydrogen fueling stations.

The ISO WG (Working Group) 24 committee members represent hydrogen suppliers, hydrogen organizations, local and national governments as well as automakers (OEMs) from North America, Europe and Asia. Last month, the participating members (P-Members) of ISO/TC (Technical Committee) 197 (Hydrogen Technologies), voted to approve ISO Technical Report 19880-1, Gaseous hydrogen — Fueling stations — Part 1: General requirements—essentially a worldwide safety and performance guideline for hydrogen stations and the interface to fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs). The station safety expectation, according to ISO 19880-1, will give the same level of safety to that of fueling with conventional fuels.


The TR ISO 19880-1 represents the work of ISO TC 197 WG 24 and is the first document that is meant to start the harmonization of hydrogen fueling stations worldwide. The scope covers the processes from hydrogen production and delivery to compression and fueling a fuel cell vehicle.

Highlights of ISO 19880-1 include:

  • General design & maintenance requirements
  • Equipment & components
  • Hydrogen and electrical safety
  • Layout & safety distances
  • Quantitative risk assessment (QRA)
  • Fueling protocol & interface hydrogen dispenser FCEV testing
  • Quality control: guideline for sampling frequency
  • Alignment of pressure terminology and values
  • Station acceptance to confirm the fueling station performs correctly

ISO 19880-1 defines the minimum requirements considered applicable worldwide for the hydrogen and electrical safety of hydrogen stations. The technical report also includes safety considerations for hydrogen station equipment and components, control systems and operation and performance expected for fueling. SAE J2601 (earlier post) is currently referenced as a fueling protocol in this document.

ISO Technical Report (TR) 19880-1 is a first step towards standardizing hydrogen filling stations, and providing more up-to-date guidance than that developed as the earlier ISO TS 20100, published in 2008. The goal of the ISO TC 197 Working Group (WG) 24 (“Gaseous hydrogen fueling stations—General requirements”)—the group responsible for TR 19880-1— is to create an all-encompassing guideline for the station and the interface between the vehicle and the hydrogen fueling station, including validation of the fueling process.

ISO 19880-1 differs from the previous ISO TS 20100 in a number of areas, including detailed guidance on the hydrogen dispensing process; more detailed guidance on the acceptance process (both safety and performance aspects); and a survey into variation of existing separation distances used currently around the world.

The document produced by the committee’s WG 24 is to be published few months. The work planned for the next phase, an International Standard (IS), is on an aggressive schedule slated to end in 2016 and to be published thereafter. The international standard ISO 19880-1 will be especially important for adoption into the EU Alternative Fuels Directive (replacing the ISO TS 20100 document) for hydrogen stations in Europe (including the 400 recently announced in Germany and 50 additional in the EU) starting in 2017.

ISO 19880-1 also gives FCEV fueling and interface safety guidance related to the dispenser and fueling components.

An example of a fueling station dispenser, also showing the fuel cell electric vehicle compressed hydrogen storage systems (CHSS), with sensors as well as pressure relief device(s). Source: ISO 19880-1©, Presentation given at the Fuel Cell Seminar. Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge.

TR 19880-1 (and the plan for the standard) also gives guidance for the fueling validation with safety considerations relevant to the interaction between the hydrogen station and hydrogen road vehicles during fueling.

The TR ISO 19880-1 is the first technical specification which that provides not only general safety guidance for the implementation of fueling stations, and regarding fuel cell vehicle fueling, it provides technical guidance in the form of devices for validation of hydrogen quality, sampling frequency and performance of implementation of the SAE J2601 protocol. The Hydrogen Station Testing Apparatus and Hydrogen Quality Sampling Adapter are some of the key devices needed to do this and are utilized in ISO 19880-1.

—Jesse Schneider

ISO 19880-1 also includes an Annex on hydrogen quality control which is meant to be used as a guideline for sampling frequency and to potentially reduce the amount of sampling required for hydrogen stations depending on the source of production. For example, Liquid Hydrogen has no gaseous impurities per say, but there may be a need to monitor water content and particulates. However, for producing hydrogen from reformation of natural gas at a station, it may be important to constantly monitor CO in case there is a bleed through from the purification means at the station.

Iso4 A new Web site——is sharing data to help accelerate the commercialization of hydrogen fueling. It was brought about as a proposal in an infrastructure workshop between the US DOE, German NOW, Japanese NEDO and Scandinavian government and industry representatives.

The H2Protocol website was conceptualized in ISO WG 24. ISO TC 197 Working Group 24 is also working to support this site regarding to data and templates. H2Protocol includes open source data from hydrogen fueling, hydrogen quality and other protocol topics.


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