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The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the trade association for the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry, and is dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies. Fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies deliver clean, reliable power to leading edge corporate, academic and public sector users, and FCHEA members are helping to transform our energy future. FCHEA represents the full global supply chain, including universities, government laboratories and agencies, trade associations, fuel cell materials, components and systems manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users.

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Who is Involved?

A large number of organizations are involved in creating consensus documents in a variety of technical disciplines. Code Development Organizations (CDOs) create requirements for the built environment, including building codes, fire codes, mechanical codes, plumbing codes, etc.  Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) create and maintain standards, technical reports, best practices, etc., in the technical discipline for which they have the national or international remit.

United States Key Organizations

In the United States, the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are the Code Development Organizations (CDOs)  who provide processes for public change proposals to the U.S. Model Code.  FCHEA has several industry and staff members who have been working closely with these organizations to include changes to facilitate the approval of hydrogen and fuel cell installations, including hydrogen fueling stations.  For more information on the change proposal processes within ICC and NFPA, please feel free to contact us.

Local and state jurisdictions adopt building and fire codes according to their needs, and may adopt a Model Code in its entirety, or develop modifications.  There are extensive efforts in the U.S. to identify areas where requirements for hydrogen energy systems may be technically different, and work through the open code development processes to harmonize requirements.

U.S. Standard Development Organizations (SDOs) are organizations with a remit to develop standards for specific technology areas.  For example, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) develops and maintains Boiler and Pressure Vessel Standards.  The Compressed Gas Association (CGA) develops and publishes technical information, standards, and recommendations for safe and environmentally responsible practices in the manufacture, storage, transportation, distribution, and use of industrial gases.  SAE International is responsible for fuel cell electric vehicle standards, including the vehicle side of dispensing.  

An excellent resource for understanding which organizations are involved, and the progress of these efforts is through the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Codes and Standards Coordinating Committee. This group meets monthly by teleconference.  Minutes of the calls are posted on the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Safety Report website.

International Key Organizations

In order to achieve harmonized requirements for a worldwide marketplace, industry needs International Standards and Regulations.  To ensure this, experts in the U.S. work with the International Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to promulgate rules and requirements that can be used domestically, as well as internationally.  

There are two main Technical Committees involved developing and maintaining International Standards for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies:

  • IEC/TC 105 is the International Electrotechnical Committee on Fuel Cell Technologies

  • ISO/TC 197 is the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee on Hydrogen Technologies

A description of the scope of the documents developed by these organizations, as well as the status of the documents and points of contact for each work item is published online at www.fuelcellstandards.com.

The approval process for installation of hydrogen and fuel cell equipment varies between countries, and indeed, between local jurisdictions.  The process may depend on whether the installation is in an industrial or a residential environment.  Should you have any questions on the change proposal processes on the international level, please feel free to contact us.