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Safety Evaluation of a Hydrogen Fueled Transit Bus

Type of Publication
Year of Publication
D.A. Coutts; J.K. Thomas; G.L. Hovis; T.T. Wu
Hydrogen fueled vehicle demonstration projects must satisfy management and regulator safety expectations. This is often accomplished using hazard and safety analyses. Such an analysis has been completed to evaluate the safety of the H2Fuel bus to be operated in Augusta, Georgia. The evaluation methods and criteria used reflect the Department of Energy`s graded approach for qualifying and documenting nuclear and chemical facility safety. The work focused on the storage and distribution of hydrogen as the bus motor fuel with emphases on the technical and operational aspects of using metal hydride beds to store hydrogen. The safety evaluation demonstrated that the operation of the H2Fuel bus represents a moderate risk. This is the same risk level determined for operation of conventionally powered transit buses in the United States. By the same criteria, private passenger automobile travel in the United States is considered a high risk. The evaluation also identified several design and operational modifications that resulted in improved safety, operability, and reliability. The hazard assessment methodology used in this project has widespread applicability to other innovative operations and systems, and the techniques can serve as a template for other similar projects.
73-98 (546 p.)
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