In June 1992, the first plenary meeting of the International Standards Organization Technical Committee No. 197 (ISO TC 197) was held in Paris, initiating a valuable international effort to develop standards for hydrogen energy systems. Several standards are under development, but it takes an average of five to eight years to develop each new standard. A number of hydrogen projects (demonstrations, integrated experiments, field tests, scale-up, or proof of concept) are now in progress or are contemplated in the next two to three years, but formal codes and standards are not available. This is a major barrier to the success of new demonstration projects. Local permitting officials have different concerns in approving applications for projects when there are neither formal standards nor extensive operating experience. Permitting officials and insuring organizations want reassurances that their approval of a project is reasonable, prudent and defensible. At the same time, developers of hydrogen systems should not have to reinvent the wheel with each new project, but should build on current knowledge and experience. To meet these needs, W. Hoagland and Associates is developing, under subcontract to the US Department of Energy, a Manual of Recommended Practices for Hydrogen Energy Systems comprised of a compendium of current knowledge and recent experience as well as guidelines for the design and operation of hydrogen demonstration projects. The Manual will be comprehensive in nature, reviewed and approved by credible organizations, and is intended to serve in the interim while a more formal standards process progresses.
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