July 9, 2007

New code specifies requirements for various hydrogen installations

A new hydrogen installation code specifies the installation requirements for different types of hydrogen installations in a single, comprehensive document. Published by the Bureau de normalisation du Qu├ębec (BNQ) as a National Standard of Canada, the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code (CHIC) (CAN/BNQ 1784-000) will help pave the way for a greater use of hydrogen as an energy carrier by guiding safe design and facilitating the approval process of hydrogen installations throughout Canada.

"The CHIC, which is the first of its kind, fills a gap and provides Canadian industry and regulatory authorities with a much needed tool for use with hydrogen installations," said Randy Dey, from The CCS Global Group, who chaired the technical committee that developed the new document.

The need for such a code had long been recognized by the federal and Quebec governments, which both sponsored the development of the new code. Until now, hydrogen installations could be put in place only following approval by the competent authority under an exemption procedure, a tedious process both for the owner of the hydrogen installation and the regulatory authority.

"The Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code is part of a process that the Quebec government has been supporting since 1994 and which is intended to promote the development of hydrogen technologies in Quebec," noted Raymond Bachand, Quebec's Miniser of Economic Development, Innovation and Export.

Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, pointed out that, "This new code will further facilitate the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies as well as help build consumer confidence in the use of hydrogen as a clean, safe source of energy." The federal government supports the development of clean energy sources such as hydrogen through its ecoAction initiatives, he added.

The CHIC defines the installations requirements of hydrogen refilling stations that dispense gaseous hydrogen, whether the hydrogen is produced on site by water electrolysis or natural gas reforming or delivered by truck in a liquid or a gaseous form. It also provides the guidelines for the installation of fuel cells and internal combustion engines that provide emergency or back-up power to commercial buildings and residential homes.

It has been approved by the Interprovincial Gas Advisory Council (IGAC), which represents 14 regulatory authorities across Canada from the federal, provincial and territorial regions.

Information on obtaining a copy of the CHIC is available from the BNQ, 418/652-2238, FAX 418/652-2292, E-mail bnqinfo@bnq.qc.ca, Web site www.bnq.qc.ca. Technical information is available from Sylvie Gingras at the BNQ, E-mail sylvie.gingras@bnq.qc.ca.

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