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As a part of the experimental work of the EC-funded project HYPER Pro-Science GmbH performed experiments to evaluate the hazard potential of a severe hydrogen leakage inside a fuel cell cabinet. During this study hydrogen distribution and combustion experiments were performed using a generic enclosure model with the dimensions of the fuel cell "Penta H2" provided by ARCOTRONICS (now EXERGY Fuel Cells) to the project partner UNIPI for their experiments on small foreseeable leaks. Hydrogen amounts of 1.5 to 15 g H2 were released within one second into the enclosure through a nozzle with an internal diameter of 8 mm. In the distribution experiments the effects of different venting characteristics and different amounts of internal enclosure obstruction on the hydrogen concentrations measured at fixed positions in- and outside the model were investigated. Based on the results of these experiments combustion experiments with ignition positions in- and outside the enclosure and two different ignition times were performed. BOS (Background-Oriented-Schlieren) observation combined with pressure and light emission measurements were performed to describe the characteristics and the hazard potential of the induced hydrogen combustions. The experiments provide new experimental data on the distribution and combustion behaviour of hydrogen that is released into a partly vented and partly obstructed enclosure with different venting characteristics.

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