Understanding hydrogen jet fires and the potential effect on the performance of passive fire protection

As the energy transition gathers pace so too is the momentum to develop hydrogen facilities quickly and safely for production, distribution and utilisation.

Like hydrocarbon fuels, if an accidental release of pressurised hydrogen occurs, there is the potential for a jet fire. Understanding the impact on critical structures and equipment, and importantly the performance of current passive fire protection (PFP) materials, is therefore critical.

DNV has undertaken comprehensive studies and tests at its research and testing centre in Cumbria, UK, to first understand the similarities and differences between hydrogen and hydrocarbon release scenarios and then assess how this might affect the properties of a jet fire.1 Consideration was then made on the impact of hydrogen and natural gas fires on PFP and the potential for the current standard jet fire (ISO 22899-1:2021) test to apply to hydrogen releases.

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