Canadian Manufacturing

How Standards, Testing, and Certification Help Make Hydrogen a Viable Option for Clean Vehicle Fuel

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—Sponsored article by CSA Group

To effectively meet global CO2 reduction goals by 2050, the transportation industry will need to play a major role by finding an economically viable option for deep de-carbonization. The industry represents a third of global energy demand and 14 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions—and it has the lowest level of renewable energy use.1 Mass adoption of clean energy, supported by the deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure, is key. But ensuring the safe interaction between clean vehicles and the equipment used to supply the fuel requires a cost-efficient regulatory framework supported by nationally accepted codes and standards. This is especially true for hydrogen.


Why standards matter to manufacturers of hydrogen fueling equipment

Around the world, places such as Japan, Europe, and parts of North America are actively supporting the development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure. These governments and businesses recognize hydrogen’s main advantage—it produces virtually no harmful emissions—but the lack of safe and efficient fueling infrastructure still proves to be a barrier to mass adoption. In fact, until recently, fueling protocols were negotiated between the automotive manufacturer and the fueling equipment provider on a case-by-case basis. The continued development of standards for hydrogen fueling infrastructure and reliable testing of fueling stations and components can help pave the way for mass adoption and consistency in safety requirements will give consumers more confidence.

Nationally accepted codes and standards also benefit manufacturers looking to supply new markets with hydrogen fueling infrastructure. As a relatively new technology, hydrogen fueling station projects occasionally face delays in receiving approvals from Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) that may not be familiar with the technology. These projects also face heightened scrutiny because hydrogen must be stored under high pressure. A station that has been independently verified to safely comply with the requirements specified in ANSI/CSA HGV 4.3—Test Methods for Hydrogen Fueling Parameter Evaluation can ease the burden on the AHJ and result in smoother approvals. That’s why working closely with an experienced standards development organization and testing, inspection, and certification body such as CSA Group can help move these projects forward.

CSA Group’s leadership in hydrogen standards and conformity assessment

CSA Group’s expertise in clean energy spans the hydrogen gas, fuel cells, compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric vehicle (EV) markets. With the increased interest in hydrogen fueling, CSA Group has dedicated considerable resources and expertise to the development of standards and conformity assessment solutions. Its history in hydrogen standards goes back many years. In fact, the organization issued the world’s first fuel cell standard in 1998. In 2002, recognizing there were no standards that addressed safety considerations for hydrogen dispensing systems, CSA Group met with the U.S. Department of Energy to promote the development of hydrogen technology standards. In conjunction with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), CSA Group developed the first in a series of U.S. standards for hydrogen vehicle components and refueling stations.

CSA Group also developed a conformity assessment solution aimed at providing regulators and consumers with the confidence to stimulate more investment in clean energy for vehicles. The solution, known as the Hydrogen Dispenser Testing Apparatus (HDTA), is a unique mobile evaluation service that enables hydrogen fueling stations to be tested for safety and performance. The mobile test device replaces the need for vehicle testing at each station, reducing test time from months to just a week or less.

Influencing North American and international standards

CSA Group’s leadership in hydrogen standards is demonstrated by the fact that many of the international hydrogen standards in development are based on CSA standards that were licensed to the International Organization for Standards (ISO). CSA Group even plans to submit ANSI/CSA HGV 4.3 to ISO as a seed document for the development of an international standard.

For North America, CSA Group continues to collaborate with SAE International to transition ANSI/CSA HGV 4.3 to a binational standard to harmonize requirements across Canada and the U.S. CSA Group also hosted a forum last year with support from Natural Resources Canada to engage stakeholders in a critical discussion on the current landscape and opportunities to support hydrogen vehicles and related infrastructure across Canada and the U.S.

Testing capabilities

As a nationally recognized testing laboratory, CSA Group has established high pressure testing facilities for the testing, evaluation, and certification of components used in hydrogen applications. In addition to its time-saving HDTA, CSA Group can also test for weights and measures as well as hydrogen fuel quality. Its Weights and Measures Device (WAM-D) can validate dispenser performance and verify point-of-sale accuracy following NIST Handbook 44.

Contact CSA Group to learn more about hydrogen standards, testing, and certification.


1. IRENA (2017), Transport Sector Transformation, 7th Session of IRENA Assembly

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