9th International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Conference

The Hydrogen Association of India (HAI) organised the 9th International Conference on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 4 - 6 December 2022 at the Lalit Hotel, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. The conference was supported by the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF-SO). With a focus on decarbonisation as the crucial solution for climate change, the conference addressed a variety of areas and applications that could use hydrogen as fuel and its significance in the future energy transition.

IGEF-SO together with HAI organised a special session on Women working for the Hydrogen Economy. Following are the key highlights from the session:

  • Greater contribution of women will drive a greater hydrogen economy.
  • NITI Aayog suggests that by 2025 GDP growth can be increased from 9% - 11% if the women workforce is increased from 25% - 50%.
  • As the economy is related to the participation of women and renewable energy is related to an economy where hydrogen is a major part, so ultimately, a greater contribution of women will drive a greater hydrogen economy.
  • Green hydrogen gives opportunities for women in terms of startups, women engagements in oil and gas sectors etc. which concludes that the green hydrogen economy is always related to women’s participation.

Mr. Rolf Behrndt, Senior Hydrogen Advisor, GIZ spoke in a session on Hydrogen Application for Mobility. Please find the key highlights from the session:

  • Hydrogen can play a key role to achieve India’s decarbonisation targets. In the transportation sector as well, hydrogen can be the key to decarbonisation. The government also has the vision of embracing hydrogen mobility, for which they have formed a group as well.
  • The group has mapped global standards and conducted a gap analysis with existing standards.
  • They are in consultation with industry bodies of various segments – road transport, locomotives, ships, gensets and construction vehicles to develop standards for hydrogen mobility in India.
  • Hydrogen can be used in ICE engines with minimal modifications, thus helping in the reduction of CO2 emissions from ICE vehicles. H2 ICE can serve as an intermediate step in the transition from diesel to fuel cell vehicles. Ashok Leyland conducted a study on H2 in ICE engines, and the following were the results:
  • Backfiring in H2 engines is a challenge and can be avoided by specific design and calibration efforts. 7% – 10% Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) is required at higher speeds and loads to manage backfiring.
  • Thermal efficiency of hydrogen operated vehicles is lower than CNG and gasoline.
  • Total cost of ownership (TCO) of H2 ICE would be lower than diesel as in the future prices of H2 are expected to reduce significantly.
  • There is no starting difficulty with H2, and the engine runs quieter than CNG/Diesel.

Mr. Tobias Winter, Director, IGEF-SO spoke in a session on Regulatory and Policy issues to promote the H2 Economy. A few highlights from the session were:

  • National and international codes, standards and the creation of clear procedures, safety standards and regulations are essential for the safe implementation and adaptation of hydrogen systems which will lead to the successful progress of the hydrogen sector in India.
  • Petroleum & Explosive Safety Organization (PESO) has licensed 4 hydrogen dispensing stations in India – 3 for Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and 1 for Reliance Petroleum.
  • The standards considered for granting a licence were ISO 19880, ASME 31.12 and NFPA 2. PESO has also licensed a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) based EV charging station for Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL). The safety distance between two auto-dispensing hydrogen stations is 6 meters.
  • Composite type IV cylinders will play an important role in hydrogen infrastructure as they can be used under high pressure, are light weight and corrosion resistant, easy to handle and easy to mount in a vehicle.
  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) have various standards catering to all elements of the hydrogen value chain – Hydrogen generation (IS 1090 : 2002, IS 16512 part 1, etc.), Hydrogen storage & transportation and hydrogen dispensation (IS/ISO 1728 : 2020, IS/ISO 13985 : 2006, etc.).
  • Europe would float H2 global tenders in the near future, in which any country can participate to export green hydrogen to Europe in the form of ammonia.
    • The green hydrogen must conform to the standards set by different countries to be accepted as ‘green’ in that country.
    • For green hydrogen not produced on site with the RE plant, there are some specific requirements that have to be met, to be qualified to export to Europe.
  • Hydrogen has a wide range of flammable concentrations in air, has low ignition energy and burns invisibly. Hence, adequate ventilation, leak protection detection systems and special flame detectors are very important elements that are to be incorporated in hydrogen safety standards. Proper training is also required to ensure hydrogen systems are handled safely.
  • Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD) has been made the convenor for the hydrogen safety committee and for the formulation of hydrogen safety guidelines for the Oil and Gas sector.
  • Arup, Singapore conducted the Hy4Heat Mission for Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, UK.
  • The objective was to establish if it is technically possible and safe to replace natural gas with hydrogen in residential and commercial buildings and gas appliances.
  • They conducted experimental testing and Comparative Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) and recommended the government to undertake community trials.