Stay Safe with Hydrogen - Fuel of the Future
Hydrogen, a clean carbon neutral energy source emitting no CO2, is often described as the fuel of the future but in reality it is increasingly being used already in a wide range of applications in the UK and overseas.
Though its green planet credentials are highly encouraging, its advocates should not play down the risks its use can potentially cause. Hydrogen is a highly volatile element which creates a highly hazardous explosive atmosphere. Its inherent risk is caused not only by its low ignition and high combustion properties, but also by its tendency to leak easily from storage tanks.
A number of explosions within hydrogen refuelling stations and storage locations have underscored the fuel’s potential dangers.
Engineers and technicians working in locations where hydrogen, or other explosive gases or vapours, could be present can be confident that Wolf has a safe, certified and effective portable and temporary lighting solution which can be tailored to meet their specific needs.
While recognising these risks hydrogen is already being used to power fuel cell vehicles including buses, trucks and a test train currently running trials in Scotland. Future applications could include powering construction machinery, ships, even aircraft.
BP has revealed plans to build the UK’s biggest hydrogen production plant on Teesside, due to go into operation by 2030. It will have capacity of up to 1GW of ‘blue hydrogen’ representing 20 per cent of Britain’s target of 5GW before the end of this decade. Hydrogen is also being developed as a generator of thermal power in other parts of the world, including Australia and Japan.
Most of Wolf's portable and temporary lighting, as well as power distribution products, are ATEX and IECEx certified for safe use where hydrogen could be present.
Michael Morley, Wolf Safety’s Technical Director, comments: “Engineers and technicians working in locations where hydrogen, or other explosive gases or vapours, could be present can be confident that Wolf has a safe, certified and effective portable and temporary lighting solution which can be tailored to meet their specific needs.
“However, it is important that while developing new applications for hydrogen, in pursuing justifiable aspirations for green and clean solutions, people should not lose sight of its potential to cause explosion.
“The use of ATEX or IECEx certified lighting is a vital safety precaution in hydrogen atmospheres.”