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Such a compressor should NOT be used for hydrogen. There are many issues with converting a compressor to hydrogen service. First and most important, this must be approved by the manufacturer. Examples of concerns for a non-hydrogen compressor used for hydrogen service include (but are not limited to): 

  1. Are the materials compatible with hydrogen permeation, embrittlement,…
Category: Lab Equipment
Keywords: Compressors, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Compatibility

Refineries and large petrochemical plants will frequently have flare systems for H2 and other flammable materials. One of the major purposes of these flare systems is to prevent a large unignited cloud from forming since that could result in an explosion hazard and large deflagration overpressures if there is a delayed ignition. However, these are in large facilities which have the…

Category: System Design
Keywords: Venting, Flaring, Ignition

As is mentioned in the question, it should always be assumed that vent stack fires will occur. The vent stack must be designed to withstand a possible deflagration and the heat from a continuous vent stack fire. The stack should also have sufficient height and be located such that thermal radiation is safe for surrounding personnel, equipment, and buildings. The codes and standards have…

Category: System Design
Keywords: Venting, Flaring, Ignition

The water vapor cloud formed from venting cold hydrogen gas from a liquid hydrogen tank will vary in size depending upon atmospheric conditions including ambient temperature and humidity. There is not a direct relationship between the water vapor cloud and the flammable could of hydrogen, but it’s often used as a proxy. 

Initially upon release, it is possible that H2 vapor from…

Category: Properties
Keywords: Plume, Dispersion, Vaporization

It is not, but the vent stack design outlet is based on radiant heat exposure.

Category: System Design
Keywords: Exposure, Setback Distance, Vent Stack, Liquid Hydrogen

An annual inspection of safety devices is recommended. Testing requirements will be based on the type of device and a quantified risk analysis. Typical replacement or function testing of relief valves is between 5 and 10 years depending on the application within the industrial gas industry. Rupture discs are not tested but are frequently replaced on an interval based on manufacturer…

Category: Pressure Relief Devices
Keywords: Rupture Disc, Pressure Relief Device, Testing, Inspection

Yes, although not as common as high-pressure gas releases, high-velocity cold H2 gas has ignited during rupture disc and relief valve activation.

Category: Properties
Keywords: Rupture Disc, Ignition

A pressure gauge is not usually provided, as one set of devices (safety valve and rupture disc) is always online by design. If the diverter valve connecting the two sets of relief devices is in the center position, both sets are online although depending upon the design of the diverter valve, it might not allow full flow in either direction. For the secondary stack with a rupture disc and a…

Category: System Design
Keywords: Rupture Disc, Safety Valve, Pressure Gauge

The cleanliness of an H2 piping system is often based on end use requirements since the purity of the system may impact the end use application. Cleanliness required for end use purity is usually much greater than that required to prevent condensation or oxygen content sufficient to create a safety risk. While not required for the same safety reasons as oxygen safety, specifying a system to be…

Category: Miscellaneous
Keywords: Maintenance, Piping

Yes, the pressure safety relief system on LH2 tanks is sized for the loss of vacuum condition. The spring-loaded safety valves are sized for lower demand cases such as runaway pressure build or loss of vacuum. Higher demand requirements, such as loss of vacuum combined with fire, are handled by the rupture discs and are sized for such an event.

Category: Miscellaneous
Keywords: Safety, Vacuum, Safety Valve, Rupture Disc
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