Hydrogen Safety Challenged at CSA Testing Labs

Safety is the most important feature of any vehicle and hydrogen cars are no different. As alternative fuel vehicles penetrate the marketplace consumers are naturally skeptical of safety issues surrounding the new technology. This is where the CSA International testing labs step in.

The CSA International testing labs are accustomed to checking out the safety of parts that help a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle run. CSA has recently upgraded their facility to include hydrogen car parts as well.

According to title="Cleveland.com" href="http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2011/11/csa_international_upgrades_ind.html" target="_blank">Cleveland.com, “After decades of promising hydrogen-powered cars, Honda or General Motors say they’re ready to start shipping vehicles by 2015. But before that happens, tank makers, gas stations, regulators and parts companies have to agree on a set of standards on how to fill those tanks, what materials they will use and how to make the whole process safe. That’s where CSA’s upgrades come into play … using hydrogen as a fuel has its challenges.

“The biggest problem is pressure. Natural gas gets stored at 3,500 pounds per square inch. Hydrogen gets stored at 10,000 psi. CSA will test fittings to 15,000 psi to measure how they perform when pushed beyond their normal capabilities. Hydrogen also requires a cleaner environment than natural gas. While the valves and fittings for gas equipment can be made out of brass, hydrogen fittings need to be stainless steel.”

So, you see as different manufacturers of components for hydrogen cars propose using different materials, title="CSA International" href="http://www.csa-international.org/" target="_blank">CSA International tests those components for safety before giving the thumbs up. It is this kind of check and balance system the hydrogen car industry will need not only for the cars but also for the title="hydrogen fueling stations" href="http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/hydrogen-fuel-stations.htm" target="_blank">hydrogen fueling stations as well so drivers and passengers can feel safe driving inside the latest technology that the auto industry has to offer.

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