ACS Resources

Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines (ICE)

Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions

Safety

Our test facility has gas and diesel storage tanks inside the building; why can’t we do the same for hydrogen?

Storing hydrogen indoors differs from gas and diesel due to its unique properties. Hydrogen is highly flammable, more so than gas or diesel. Any leakage poses a risk of explosion. Strict safety practices mandate outdoor storage with proper ventilation and safety measures.

What specialized PPE and training is needed for operators testing hydrogen ICE?

When testing hydrogen ICE, the operators need PPE with a higher safety rating than what they’d wear when testing gas, diesel, or electric batteries. This elevated protection level is necessary due to hydrogen’s unique flammability properties. Personnel training should cover safe handling, leak detection, and emergency response protocols.

Are there extra hydrogen safety hazards that need to be considered for destructive tests on hydrogen internal combustion engines?

Yes, intentionally pushing a hydrogen ICE past its limits can potentially create a lot of damage. Recognizing hydrogen safety hazards is crucial. Destructive hydrogen ICE testing should always be done in an isolated building with specially designed containment areas, in addition to other robust safety measures.

Budget

We’re thinking about building modular test space for hydrogen ICE; what can we expect it to cost?

While modular test spaces may have some benefits, it does come with a premium to build. It will probably cost more per square foot than to build a modular test facility than to construct a new building. It’s like building a self-sufficient cabin in a remote area. It won’t be connected to anything else, so will require an entirely self-sufficient infrastructure.

My regular HVAC guy says he can set up piping for $100,000 in the hydrogen ICE test facility – why is it higher in your recommended budget?

Your regular HVAC technician isn’t likely familiar with hydrogen systems. Hydrogen requires specialized training, beyond what standard HVAC knowledge covers. That lower estimate from your HVAC guy probably doesn’t cover the additional costs of specialized piping, valves, motors/fans, gas detectors, and flame detectors required for hydrogen safety. Ignoring these precautions could lead to significant issues and costs later on.

We’ve already bought equipment to fit our current space. Why are there proposed budget increases related to expanding the test area for hydrogen internal combustion engine conversion?

It’s common to underestimate how much space will be needed for hydrogen ICE testing. This is where we often see budgets grow larger than anticipated. The volatile nature of hydrogen requires more space to store and test. Working with ACS experts during the early planning stages can help produce an accurate budget that accounts for the necessary space and safety measures for hydrogen internal combustion engine conversion.