Best Practices for Designing a Laboratory Where Hydrogen Will Be Used
A laboratory designer should be aware of relevant codes and standards, especially NFPA 45 “Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals”. Many of the subjects listed below are based on best practices that have been extracted from NFPA 45. NFPA 2 “Hydrogen Technologies Code” specifically governs the storage and use of hydrogen.
Primary Design Considerations
- Minimize storage, transport, transfer, and end use quantities of hydrogen. The authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) may exercise discretion as to what quantity of gaseous or liquid hydrogen is permitted within the laboratory based on locally adopted codes. In the United States, for quantities greater than 11.3 m3 (400 ft3) of gaseous hydrogen or 150 L (39.6 gal) of liquid hydrogen, facilities must meet the location requirements for storage imposed by OSHA.
- Consideration should be given to the potential exposure effects on or from systems that will be in proximity to the planned system.
- Where possible, consider use of automatic and failsafe system controls.
Laboratory design topics include:
- Emergency Plans
- Fire Protection
- Explosion Prevention
- Leak and Flame Detection
- Fume Hoods
- Storage and Piping
- Cylinder Safety
- Use of an Electrolyzer
- Cryogenic Liquid
Note: For facilities other than laboratories, see Facility Design and Construction.